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Tilting at Windmills

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April 7, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

MUST HAVE BEEN SOMETHING IN HIS TACO....Why should we think immigrants from Mexico are any more dangerous than immigrants from other countries? Mickey Kaus offers this explanation:

Part of the answer is [that] citizens of "other backgrounds" do not have any colorable claim that they are living in the land of their "roots," land then taken by the U.S.. There's no danger that Koreans on Vermont Avenue will think they have a special pre-1789 entitlement to Koreatown, or desire to reconnect it to its ancient, original status as part of Korea. The more historically valid the Mexican claim that "vast portions" of the Southwest constitute their "homeland," the more dicey it is to allow such a large chunk of immigration to come from Mexico. True, the fabled "reconquista" is hardly a real threat now. But who can guarantee what future generations will think?

This is a rather baroque fear, no? One more step and we're in Howard Hughes territory.

Kevin Drum 8:23 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (88)

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Comments

Well, in that case, Kaus must be strongly in favor of the whole Abramoff-Reed-Norquist scheme to rip off the Native Americans. Just think: those lobbying dollars Jack 'n' pals siphoned away were the only thing standing between the US and an armed insurrection!

Posted by: The Confidence Man on April 7, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

If Mexico ever managed to reclaim the American Southwest, thirty years later the only real change will be that Mexicans would have to travel a few hundred extra miles to get into the United States.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 7, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Holy ****. Mickey needs to get out more.

Posted by: dj moonbat on April 7, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

So it was wrong for Jews to reclaim Palestine? Will Mickey Kaus call for them to return from whence they came?

Posted by: hopeless pedant on April 7, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

see the Wikipedia entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_of_Aztl%C3%A1n

And: http://www.aztlan.net/la_gran_marcha.htm

Posted by: Zorro on April 7, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

I am pretty liberal on legal immigration, but perhps you could help me understand something: as a US voter, do I get to vote for the executive and legislature of Mexico? No? What influence do I have then over Mexico (say) flushing $100 billion of oil wealth down the tubes, or doing other self-destructive things?

None? Then why do I have to pay to clean up their messes (emigration illegally to another nation)?

W

Posted by: George W Bush on April 7, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Why does the US think it can avoid the pitfalls of Yugoslavia, Iraq and other nations which aren't bound by a common culture?

We're now planting the seeds for a market dominant minority comprised primarily of white and asian citizens. Look internationally at the correlation betweeen market dominant minorities and social stability and the picture isn't reassuring.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 7, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: If Mexico ever managed to reclaim the American Southwest

If? Ok, not the whole thing, but the other 49 states have voted and you guys are out. It's all part of a deal to get the Mexican government's help in curbing illegal immigration. On the bright side you get to keep your cut of the Colorado River water.

Posted by: alex on April 7, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

He makes the point and then fails to really tie it together in the last paragraph. Having listened to him at more legnth on bloggingheads.tv, his actual point is more along the lines of:

1. The U.S. labor market simply cannot absorb all of the south of the boarder wokers who would, if offered the chance, move north. One could argue the it might even be better for the U.S. economy if some illegal, lower wage immigrants were deported now, let alone letting more in.

2. Kaus really does not care about those already here. What he is worried about is the combination of (i) a boarder which is, at the moment, not much of a deterrent, coupled with (ii) any sort of message that encourages more illegal immegration.

3. Finally, the point at issue is that his worry about additional illegal immegration is hardly to be scoffed at, considering that mainstream Mexican opniners actually consider immegration to the U.S. southwest as repopulating former Mexican and Spanish territory.

4. I don't think he's worried about his tacos, or particluarly anti-Hispanic, I think he believes point 3. is directly related to how appealing additional illegal immegration would be. And, circling back to point 1., he doesn't think additional illegal immegration is a good thing.

Posted by: hank on April 7, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

" The more historically valid the Mexican claim that "vast portions" of the Southwest constitute their "homeland," the more dicey it is to allow such a large chunk of immigration to come from Mexico."

Following this logic, the most dangerous group of 'Mexicans' would be those descended from the Mexicans who inhabited the Southwest when the US seized it. The Southwest really is their homeland. Is Kaus calling for ethnic cleansing? Will Linda Ronstadt be driven across the border into Mexico?

Posted by: arkie on April 7, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

arkie: Will Linda Ronstadt be driven across the border into Mexico?

Who cares, as long as we get to keep Salma Hayek.

Posted by: alex on April 7, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

"The report, released back in 1995 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says that while Hispanics comprised 9 percent of the driving population, "21 percent of those arrested for impaired-driving nationally were Hispanic."

Hispanics are less educated, and come from a society that tolerates higher dager levels and police coruption. They come from overpopulated families. They are the major importers of dangerous drugs.

This is not a secret, and Kevin Drum is still stuck in 70s era political correctness, basically wasting our time trying to create myths.


Posted by: Matt on April 7, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Funny, but I just read Barbara Tuchman's wonderful book The Zimmerman Telegram, which describes how, during WWI, the Germans offered to arm and finance a Mexican military effort against the US, and said they could have Texas, Arizona and Nuevo Mexico back if they were successful. It was all a scheme to distract us from getting involved in the European war.

As so often happens with schemes, it backfired when the Brits (who had intercepted and decoded the German communications) tipped us off, hoping it would be outrageous enough to drive Woodrow Wilson into the war in Europe. It was, as it turned out.

Posted by: Vikingham on April 7, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Tango: Why does the US think it can avoid the pitfalls of Yugoslavia, Iraq and other nations which aren't bound by a common culture?

Since the secret police doesn't kick down doors at three in the morning and say, execute the all males in a household, I'd say there's a big difference between a multi-ethnic United States and a multi-ethnic Yugoslavia and Iraq.

Since local conditions and conext alway differ, it's hard to make simple and easy comparisons. But on the surface, I'd say the ethno-regionalism in Canuckastan (eh!) and Belgium might be more relevant.

Posted by: Soviet Canuckastani on April 7, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

>On the bright side you get to keep your cut of the Colorado River water.

For now, that is. But you have to "stand up" soon and find your own source of water or we will force you to by withdrawing our water.

Posted by: doesn't matter on April 7, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

hank:

The word for the imaginary line dividing one country from another is "border".

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

I think Kevin meant "Hugh Hewitt territory."

Posted by: jpe on April 7, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Soviet Canuckastani,

I'd say the ethno-regionalism in Canuckastan

In the immortal words of Jacques Parizeau "it was the ethnic vote" for without them the quebecois voting preferences would have carried the day. Now if the quebecois were dispersed throughout the country their concentration into one province wouldn't have posed the threat that it did, nor it is likely that the FLQ would have had it's moment in the sun.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 7, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Tango: Why does the US think it can avoid the pitfalls of Yugoslavia, Iraq and other nations which aren't bound by a common culture?

Because its a functioning, economically advanced multi-ethnic democracy. Yugoslavia and Iraq were nothing like the US.

If you want a negative example that is somewhat parallel to the US, you'd be better of picking India, which has done far better than either Yugoslavia or Iraq, but had its share of rather extreme problems, nonetheless. But even there, the US has the great advantage of far better economic conditions for its population, with far less of the desperation caused by poor economic conditions that is at the root of much identity-related violence.

Even where Hispanics are a huge minority, there is no substantial separatist sentiment. Even the things fearmongers point to as separatism are platforms used more to pus the idea "this is the land of our ancestors, we shouldn't buy into the idea that we belong less than others" than any real separatist sentiment.

Ideological separatism, as fringe of a minority as it is, as a bigger factor than ethnic separatism...

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

alex: "Who cares, as long as we get to keep Salma Hayek."

You are probably too young to remember Ronstadt in the Stone Pony days.

Posted by: arkie on April 7, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Texas was clearly stolen from Mexico by a bunch of felons who were running from the law in the U.S. I don't know what other reasonable reading of the history of Texas there can be.

Posted by: Freder Frederson on April 7, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Soviet Canuckastani: Since the secret police doesn't kick down doors at three in the morning and say, execute the all males in a household

Don't keep up with politics south of the border much, do you? Ok, give it a few years.

ethno-regionalism in Canuckastan (eh!) and Belgium might be more relevant

Because you have not provided a French translation of your post, you are hereby fined $1000 (or 10 USD).

Posted by: alex on April 7, 2006 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Freder Frederson: Texas was clearly stolen from Mexico by a bunch of felons who were running from the law in the U.S.

For years I've been saying we should give it back, but I doubt that the Mexicans are dumb enough to take it.

Posted by: alex on April 7, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

I am all for a reunited California joining Canada and Costa Rica as the free and democratic nations of the North America.

El Pueblo, Unido, Jamas Sera Vencido!

Posted by: jerry on April 7, 2006 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

One more step and we're in Howard Hughes territory.
Why? Mickey Kaus is no genius, not very useful or entertaining, takes no real risks that are apparent. He doesn't even seem especially clean.
Howard Hughes, on the other hand, may well have been a genius, created great (for his era) films and airplanes and gambled a sure life of comfort to build a great airline and aircraft manufacturing company. And he was clean. So, so clean.

Posted by: Kiril on April 7, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

I think that all the liberals in our midst would agree with the observation that social mobility has been decreasing in recent years.

One of the most effective vehicles to use to climb the social mobility ladder is education.

Even into their 4th generation in the US Hispanic HS graduation and College enrollment figures are below the American mean (not just the white mean) so as a result we are seeing hispanic social mobility even more depressed than the American mean.

With increasing numbers comes increasing power at the ballot box, so we can expect initiatives to redistribute wealth but the pie is finite and there is increasing pressure to provide for our senior class.

If we start raising taxes then that leads to a slowing of economic growth, and keep in mind that capital has a whole world which welcomes investment but our illegals stay with us and can't follow the capital flows with the same ease.

So if things remain as they are we are planting the seeds for a permanent race and class division which will likely be more provocative than what existed in the past when the market dominant group was the majority - imagine what the situation will be when the market dominant group is the minority.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 7, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

Where's a good small pox infected blanket when you need one?

Posted by: B on April 7, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't we buy an acre or two from the French? And a tiny piece of land from the Russians? Maybe the Brits would have a claim here or there? Or the Spanish?

And, of course, the Chinese are coming to own more and more of us.

Posted by: Bob Munck on April 7, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

jerry: I am all for a reunited California joining Canada and Costa Rica as the free and democratic nations of the North America.

No Panama? At least we'd get the canal back.

Estados Unidos de Norte America?

Posted by: alex on April 7, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Bob Munck: And, of course, the Chinese are coming to own more and more of us.

I don't buy the stories of Zheng He making it this far. So, lacking any real estate claims, we're only selling them our souls.

Posted by: alex on April 7, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Not to sound like Pat Buchanan here, but there's really no way to know how massive immigration from a single country will affect the U.S. in the long term. That isn't the immigration pattern that has existed since our founding. One reason, among many, that the U.S. experience with immigration has been such a success is that the basic commonalities of U.S. culture proved both 'larger' than, yet responsive to, the cultures of individual groups. In other words, there was some level of assimilation, both expected and in practice. Also, most immigration was from geographically remote places, and there was less incentive historically to retain strong ties to one's former country, given the difficulty of communication and travel.

I've had a hard time making decisions about this because there's just so little really comparable precedent, in U.S. or world history, for the large scale Mexican immigration into the U.S. Maybe it's net positive, maybe not. I would ideally like to see a compromise that estimates the illegal immigration (from everywhere) per year into the U.S., increase the legal amount by that much (across the board, so to speak), and make a real effort to control the border. We know, in U.S. history, that massive immigration 'works'. We don't know whether massive immigration from a single country does, however.

Posted by: ChiSox Fan in LA on April 7, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Has anybody done an actual survey to see how many Hispanics in the Southwest would really like to see it become part of Mexico? I think you'd find it's a pretty small minority. About the same number, I expect, as Canadians that would want to be part of the U.S.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 7, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

I assume the snacks are arriving shortly?

Posted by: IOKIYAR on April 7, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

Freder:

The history of Texas is a lot more complex than that. My favorite Texas historian, while not the most mainstream, is Jack Jackson.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 7, 2006 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

IOKIYAR: I assume the snacks are arriving shortly?

Yes, yes. You're worse than my 2 year old. Did you skip lunch or something? There are some good burritos left over at the anti-Mexican rally.

Posted by: alex on April 7, 2006 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Has anybody done an actual survey to see how many Hispanics in the Southwest would really like to see it become part of Mexico?

You don't have to make the choice so stark, simply ask how many would favor more redistributive policies to favor their ethnic interests.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 7, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

ChiSox Fan:

Great post. I find the lack of cogent long term analysis to be most distressing. Everyone seems to be focusing on the shorterm political, economic, or feel good implications.

Posted by: Keith G on April 7, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Also, following Kaus' logic, we should cleanse the South of all descendants of the Confederacy, since they have a "colorable claim that they are living in the land of their 'roots,' land then taken by the U.S."

I guess it isn't that big of a deal to Kaus, since Southerners have not shown the same nationalism as Mexicans, eg, they have not taken to waving the Confederate flag with the same insistance that Mexicans wave their flag....

Oh, wait....

---

Setting aside the snark, I'd also like to point out that Kaus makes the classic racist mistake of conflating Mexicans with all Hispanics.

When Valdes-Rodriguez, who he is responding to, refers to those with "other backgrounds", she is refering to those who are not of Hispanic/Latino background. Kaus, however, equivocates and somehow translates this in his racist head to mean those who are not of Mexican background.

Kaus in his racist ignorance pretty much makes Valdes-Rodriguez' (who is not even of Mexican descent herself) point for her.

Posted by: Disputo on April 7, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Not to sound like Pat Buchanan here, but there's really no way to know how massive immigration from a single country will affect the U.S. in the long term. That isn't the immigration pattern that has existed since our founding."

Actually it is.

US immigration has been composed of various waves where people from one country or region have been a very large slice of immigration for some decades.

There was the original western european immigration, the 'immigration' of slaves from africa, a post civil war immigration from western europe (you might recall the irish), then it shifted to southern and eastern europe (italians, poles) while west coast immigration was mainly from asia (particularly china), cubans flooded in when Castro took over, after each of our asian wars we get a surge of people from that country (koreans, the countries around vietnam), and mexican and other south american immigration today along with some post cold war eastern europeans.

Mainly I imagine this is for economic reasons (they are leaving some place that sucks), but it is also encouraged by the way US immigration law favors relatives of former immigrants.

This is nothing new, it is exactly how it has always been.

Posted by: jefff on April 7, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

"mexican and other south american

Should be "mexican, central and south american" of course.

Posted by: jefff on April 7, 2006 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: Kaus makes the classic racist mistake of conflating Mexicans with all Hispanics

Is he from CA, TX or the Southwest? With only mildly snarky intent, a lot of folks there seem to forget there's a difference.

Here in NY there are lots of Hispanics, but so few Mexicans that the Mexican places are run by Chinese people (seriously). Twenty years ago Mexicans were so rare that a Mexican woman I worked with said that she didn't even know any other Mexicans.

In NY by far the largest Hispanic group is Puerto Ricans. Amazingly even a lot of people around here call them immigrants. Odd, since it's hard to emigrate to your own country.

Posted by: alex on April 7, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

"We don't know whether massive immigration from a single country does, however."

Actually, we do. In the 18th Century, a "massive immigration" of the Scotch-Irish occurred in the Colonies:

"The "plantation" of Ulster, in northern Ireland, with Scottish immigrants, took place from roughly 1606 through 1700. The "Great Migration" of Scotch-Irish to America took place from 1717 through 1776. An estimated 200-250,000 Scotch-Irish migrated to America during this period.
It is believed that, at the time of the Revolution, they comprised 10-15% of the population of the United States. Their negative feelings toward England played no small part in the emotion of the "stew" that led to the American Revolution."

Source: http://hometown.aol.com/ntgen/hrtg/scirish.html

Also, see "The Scotch-Irish, A Social History" by James G. Leyburn.

And the Scotch-Irish weren't welcome. The 'scum of two nations' was what the Pennsylvania Quakers called them. 'Savages' was another popular term. They were pushed to the frontier where they illegally 'squatted' on private, public and Indian lands.

BTW, these unwanted, often illegal, immigrants were my ancestors.


Posted by: arkie on April 7, 2006 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

Why does the US think it can avoid the pitfalls of Yugoslavia, Iraq and other nations which aren't bound by a common culture?

Because history strongly suggests we can avoid such scenarios, as long as we offer citizenship and inclusiveness. This is why I'm very unenthusiastic about the idea of a guest worker program, but strongly favor traditional red white and blue immigration/assimilation/citizenship. It's worked before: I don't buy the argument that the cultural gap between a circa 2006 Chiapan peasant and his Anglo neighbors in LA is any larger than that between a circa 1910 Sicilian peasant and his Anglo neighbors in NYC. In fact I strongly suspect the opposite is true: the power of contemporary media pretty much ensures everybody has experienced significant exposure to American culture well before they arrive. I remember my grandmother telling me that when she was crossing the sea on the boat from Ireland (around 1915 I believe -- sidenote -- the ship was supposedly torpedoed on the way back to Europe), she remarked to her mother what a curiously cold "pudding" the American canteen was serving. That cold pudding is what you and I call ice cream. I guarantee you the average person from Sichuan or Guatemala knows what freakin' ice cream is.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida on April 7, 2006 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

Let's make a deal. We gave Mexico back it's old territory if they help us invade Canada.

We'll liberate Quebec and grant it it's independence. The Anglophone Canadians we'll keep as slaves and flog them until they learn to say "about" correctly.

What's not to like?

Posted by: alex on April 7, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

Even into their 4th generation in the US Hispanic HS graduation and College enrollment figures are below the American mean (not just the white mean) so as a result we are seeing hispanic social mobility even more depressed than the American mean.

This oft-repeated Huntington "factoid" is almost certainly pure bunk. Most likely, the explanation is that a high percentage of 4th generation Hispanics simply don't get counted among the general Hispanic American population, because of a particularly high rate of assimilation and intermarriage. They pass, as it were, as "white". Those who do not "pass" are undoubtedly that smallish remnant who fail to assimilate and are stuck in low income, heavily Spanish-speaking ghettos. Thus, the very success of Hispanics at integrating into the larger society means that the few who do not "make it" stand out like a sore thumb -- and get touted as an example of the "inferiority" of people from Latin America.

Posted by: P.B. Almeida on April 7, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

>Let's make a deal. We gave Mexico back it's old territory if they help us invade Canada.

Ah, form the United States of Canada, leaving behind Jesusland. I've seen the maps, eh.

Remember our "natural governing" party is outright named the Liberal Party. Lib/left americans might love the idea of annexing Canada, but are too nice. Righties are shiteheads, but however dim, they know better than to add a chilly second California. The oil's for sale anyways.

Besides, when you guys elected chimpy the wonder texan a *second time* we kind of wrote the lot of you off. But maybe it was just a sly ploy to have us take you less seriously, and then leap...

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on April 7, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Has anybody done an actual survey to see how many Hispanics in the Southwest would really like to see it become part of Mexico?

A poll of Mexicans in Mexico had 58% saying that the U.S. southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico.

And, remember all those banners at the recent illegal immigration marches claiming that this is the Chicano "homeland".

See this for some examples: mexica-movement.org/granmarcha.htm

Obviously, this whole subject is a bit complicated, and most people don't know about it. And, many people who are ignorant about something tend to downplay it because of their ignorance.

As for Kevin Drum, he discredits himself yet again, since he should have done a little bit of research first. Instead, all he wanted to do was apparently throw out some red meat.

Kevin: are you a real pundit, or just an Atrios?

If you the rest of you want to do some research and find out what's really going on, try Illegal immigration news

Posted by: TLB on April 7, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Mickey suckey.

Posted by: HeavyJ on April 7, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

When people discuss the history of immigration to the US, they overlook base rates. Yes, there were successive waves of immigrants from other countries, but as a percentage of the population and in absolute numbers, immigration was at an historic high until 2001. The Hispanic population--around 10 million in 1970, about 5% of the population--is now the largest minority population in the US--with 41 million members (~14%), or one American in seven. It is predicted to grow to 25% of the total population by 2050. This growth is projected to be largely due to immigration. Check out this chart to appreciate how this wave of "immigration" is different from previous waves.

The question is whether these immigrants will be assimilated into US culture, US culture will be engulfed by Latino culture or whether some new, some fusion culture, will emerge. And how do we feel about having a US population of 400 million? How are our roads, schools and housing stock doing? our prairies, forests and farmland? Our water & air?

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 7, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

One more step and we're in Howard Hughes territory.

I'm sure Mickey is already surrounded by jars of his own urine.

Posted by: Col Bat Guano on April 7, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, so I should warn interested readers that the chart I link to above is a .pdf and it's on page 6. It's a nice map of the US, with population shaded in.

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 7, 2006 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: 咖啡机 on April 7, 2006 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I always thought that most of the anti-Mexican sentiment
among Anglos in the Southwest was the result of a bad conscience. Nothing makes you hate people as much as the guilty knowledge that you have done them wrong.

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Posted by: TEST on April 7, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's all part of a plot that somehow involves the U.S. Postal Service

Posted by: Jon on April 8, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

This oft-repeated Huntington "factoid" is almost certainly pure bunk. Most likely, the explanation is that a high percentage of 4th generation Hispanics simply don't get counted among the general Hispanic American population, because of a particularly high rate of assimilation and intermarriage.

Sigh . . OK, please point out to the rest of us where we can read about the massive movement of Hispanics who don't take advantage of Affirmative Action, EEOC mandated employment quotas, etc and instead chose to not categorize themselves as Hispanics.

It's telling that when you don't like a fact you concoct a just so story to explain it away and don't even suffer a moment of cognitive dissonance when your just so story doesn't reflect reality.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 8, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Tango: Now if the quebecois were dispersed wouldthroughout the country their concentration into one province wouldn't have posed the threat that it did, nor it is likely that the FLQ would have had it's moment in the sun.

"Dispersed"? Obviously, you mean on their own accord. (Of course, the Brits did "disperse" the Acadiens.)

A lot of French Quebecois, nearly a million, immigrated to the US North East from the 1840s to the 1930s. Jack Kerouac's parents were among such migrants. (And, I would smile when Pat Lafontaine and John Leclair suited up for USA hockey!) That was easily the biggest draw of population away from Quebec.

Anyway, given the Quebec Act (protection of legal system and religion in that ONE province), a decentralized federation and other events is Canadian history (notably a French-English spat re: Manitoba) it was rather unlikely French Quebecois would disperse. Some did move to Ontario to mine or dig canals and others West to farm, but the rate of retention in Quebec was nevertheless high.

The Francophone Quebecois have constitutional rights and are an overwhelming majority in a constitutional political jurisdiction so that their legal status ("power") is rather different than that of Hispanics in the US. But still, on a political front, peaceful and prosperous democracies are fundamentally more important than institutional mumbo jumbo. That's what I meant when I said the US is more like Canada than the former Yugoslavia.

Posted by: Soviet Canuckastani on April 8, 2006 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

Alex: you are hereby fined $1000 (or 10 USD).

Hah! The Loonie is flying high these days, we almost hit $1.12CAN to $1US a while back. Of course, it's screwing up our manufacturing sector. Merde.

En tous cas, veut-tu a en espces? Ou est-ce que tu accepte les cartes de credits?

Posted by: Soviet Canuckastani on April 8, 2006 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

If I had to pin it down to a single moment in time, I'd have to say it was the John Kerry finally sewing up the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 that finally drove Mickey Kaus around the bend. Up until then he still had occasional flashes of lucidity. But ever since, you know, this week it's Mexicans, next week could be the spiders again.

Posted by: Cal D on April 8, 2006 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

The more historically valid the Mexican claim that "vast portions" of the Southwest constitute their "homeland," the more dicey it is to allow such a large chunk of immigration to come from Mexico.

By that logic, we'd better roll back the whole Civil Rights movement, too. After all, if we admit that African-Americans have a historical claim to have suffered under years of oppression and discrimination, we might end up oweing them back pay for all those years of involuntary servitude. Would that run into the billions, trillions, or quadrillions?

Posted by: logical conclusion on April 8, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

Speak to a second generation, working class LA Latino. Some people really believe that "LaRaza", "All white people are Neo-Nazis" crap.

If there are historical debts to pay the Apache's are first in line. African-Americans next. Vietnamese/Cambodians(For having a war there) then Latinos. But because of politics, the African-American and the Latino's are the only disadvantaged minorities out there.

Affirmitive action lost all its moral authority when asians refugees from non-english speaking countries were classified as 'white' because they studied for their SAT's.

Posted by: McA on April 8, 2006 at 3:36 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Mickey should consider using those extra-long fingernails to claw his way back to sanity.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on April 8, 2006 at 4:56 AM | PERMALINK

Texas was clearly stolen from Mexico by a bunch of felons who were running from the law in the U.S. I don't know what other reasonable reading of the history of Texas there can be.
Posted by: Freder Frederson

It was mostly about Anglo immigrants, who had been officially offered land and other concessions as encouragment to settle a very sparcely populated and dangerous province, wishing to import slaves which was not sanctioned under Mexican law.

The great majority of immigrants to the region were not 'felons' on the lam, though many could be classified as economic refugees.

The existing Hispanic population of the time were generally supportive of efforts to seperate Texas from the control of the extraordinarily corrupt and inadequate (some things just don't change) Mexican government.

CFS

Posted by: CFShep on April 8, 2006 at 7:28 AM | PERMALINK

This is utterly stupid. I live in a New Mexican city where 80% of the citizens are hispanic. I can't believe I spent most of my life living in the paranoid environment of the gringo suburbs when I could have been living here among these loving, generous, friendly people. Why do I still beat myself by reading ignorant blogs?

Posted by: Milt on April 8, 2006 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

"Well, in that case, Kaus must be strongly in favor of the whole Abramoff-Reed-Norquist scheme to rip off the Native Americans. Just think: those lobbying dollars Jack 'n' pals siphoned away were the only thing standing between the US and an armed insurrection!"

Well, my ancestral tribe (Choctaws) used to claim much of Mississippi and Alabama. Do you really think, if we were to reclaim them, that we could be any *worse* at running things down there?

Posted by: MJ Memphis on April 8, 2006 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

Not to inject a real issue into the rants, but consider dual citizenship and the relative economic power of Mexicans in the United States.

Supposing in 2020 there is a tough election in Mexico in which there is a real conflict of interest between most Mexicans IN Mexico, and their still-voting compatriots who have dual citizenship in the United States. As has happened for a generation, much of the Mexican election campaign is played out in American cities like LA, where a not insignificant # of voters provide a decisive amount of campaign dollars.

A populist candidate in Mexico denounces this practice, recognizing that even though the dual citizens' contributions are crucial, they still don't have... quite ... enough votes, so running AGAINST their influence is a solid wedge issue, to appeal to Mexicans IN Mexico who retain the quaint view that their interests is what Mexican elections ought to be about.

Since the dual citizens also vote (and contribute) in the U.S., American politicians -- what the hell, including the President -- proceed to make noises favoring the dual citizens' side.

And then one fine day, somebody shoots one Presidential candidate or the other. Supposing the guy who fires the shot turns out to be an employee of the U.S. government. Wars have started over less -- and suddenly, the actual allegiance of several million U.S. citizens becomes a genuine issue.

Y'all still so comfortable with the dumbass arguments you're making?

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 8, 2006 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, I live in Santa Fe. Most of the comments I'm reading here are at best - NAIVE.

If you are a tradesman in New Mexico - an electrician, plumber, framer, or do concrete or asphalt work.... you cannot get a job.

ALL the government contracts go to 'connected' latinos and they hire ONLY illegals.

AND YES - there are businesses here where if you do NOT speak Spanish - you are unable to do business with their employees.

If you call a company, and you speak English - you must press 1 for English [there is no extra step for Spanish]

IF you are up against a deadline on construction - and are an anglo from outside the town [50,000 residents last count] -- your permit process will cost you extra - in graft - because you simply cannot complete construction without paying off the Latino officials... [they don't like anglo projects]

Santa Fe is NOT part of the states anymore. PEriod.

I suspect those on this board who have been there will gush about the 'culture' and food...

If you think drunken Navajos waiting behind your car -- hoping to jump behind you when you begin to pull out of your parking spot - to they can claim injury -- or stepping over a family huddled in the doorway of your favorite Mexican restaurant -

If you think these are golden memories of the old Southwest - then you will love the 21st century in Texas, California and New Mexico.

There is actually a restaurant here [Garcias] where all the employees wear T Shirts that say

HELP STAMP OUT GRINGO FOOD

Try walking into a department store in the mall and speak English to the lady behind the perfume counter.... she will look at you like you are garbage.

Posted by: karen on April 8, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Milt:"I live in a New Mexican city where 80% of the citizens are hispanic. I can't believe I spent most of my life living in the paranoid environment of the gringo suburbs when I could have been living here among these loving, generous, friendly people."

I think virtually everyone I know who has worked with or lived among the Mexican or Central American immigrants finds them loving, generous, and friendly. They have strong families. They are also hardworking and, in my experience, excellent craftsmen and women. What is not to appreciate?

But the affection and respect you and others feel for Latino immigrants is a positive social attitude, not a practical solution: "Don't worry, be happy!" The problems associated with undocumented workers, with uncontrolled borders, and with the effects of Latino immigration on US culture and population growth are social, structural, political and economic. Are they assimilating and becoming Americans, or, vice versa, are Americans in the Southwest being surrounded by a North of the Border Latino culture?

Is there some cultural tipping point at which the "old" Euro/Afro-American culture vanishes? Are we confident that the US Constitution, that framework which has bound us as a republic for 200 years, will continue to have meaning? Or is there a tipping point at which the noble ideals embodied in the Constitution will also vanish? Should we care?

Posted by: PTate in Mn on April 8, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

kaus is a goddamn fool. these folks want to be mexican-americans.

Posted by: harry near indy on April 8, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

I don't want to live in Mexico.

Posted by: Bill on April 8, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

I guess most of you bloggers don't know that there are hundreds of thousands of U.S. Geezers like me living in Mexico. We own property there, like the lifestyle (it's mostly affordable) and enjoy the culture. I fear that all this anti-mexican hysteria will begin to make our lives hell down there and it's not a pretty thought. So far, there doesn't seem to be any reaction. No Mexican I know where I live (In Jalisco) has even mentioned it. The tradesmen, grocers, butchers, etc treat us wonderfully and appreciate our business. I also know several retired Mexicans who have spent years in the U.S. and returned to retire in their native country. Their biggest complaint? Their kids don't like Mexico and hence never visit. The kids consider themselves Americans not Mexicans.

Posted by: RAY on April 8, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Is there some cultural tipping point at which the "old" Euro/Afro-American culture vanishes? Are we confident that the US Constitution, that framework which has bound us as a republic for 200 years, will continue to have meaning? Or is there a tipping point at which the noble ideals embodied in the Constitution will also vanish? Should we care?

Considering how pathetic a job the current white protestant male administration we now have in power is doing at preserving the noble ideals embodied in the Constitution, you may want to think twice about attempting to argue that Constitutional principles are contingent upon WASP culture.

Posted by: moderleft on April 8, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK


There are Hispanics who "think they have a special pre-1789 entitlement"; of course, they're not immigrants, but the descendants of those who were given Spanish land grants in the 17th C. It's hard to see how the land grant movement in New Mexico has anything to do with immigration.

Posted by: john sherman on April 8, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

moderleft:"Considering how pathetic a job the current white protestant male administration we now have in power is doing at preserving the noble ideals embodied in the Constitution, you may want to think twice about attempting to argue that Constitutional principles are contingent upon WASP culture."

A fair challenge. Bushco's assault on the Constitution is exactly why I have rethought my assumptions. Though white, Protestant, and Anglo, Bushco and his Southern conservative base are not part of the old New England WASP hegemony. We're talking about the cultural difference between Boston and Houston, between the the descendents of Puritans and the descendents of Texas wildcatters. There's overlap, yes, but don't let the common features blind you to the differences.

If such small cultural differences--from New England WASP to Southern whtie Evangelical--can suck the guts out of the Constitution, what will be the impact of big cultural differences?

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 8, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

To TangoMan who said:
Sigh . . OK, please point out to the rest of us where we can read about the massive movement of Hispanics who don't take advantage of Affirmative Action, EEOC mandated employment quotas, etc and instead chose to not categorize themselves as Hispanics.

Well, I'm one. And so is Linda Ronstadt, Salma Hayek, etc. We've been at it for a long time.

Posted by: James P. Ricker (de Gonzalez) on April 8, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I have always advocated trading the New England states to Canada for everything West of Manitoba.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on April 8, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Mexicans are more dangerous than legal immigrants because there is no screening of them. Thus 10% of illegal aliens are criminals, others disease vectors, etc. Many are not normal immigrants, but involved in the drug or human trafficking rackets. Mexico has the world's highest rate of child sexual abuse.

Mexicans come from a corrupt culture, and bring this culture with them. They start from a total disrespect for the immigration laws of the US. Many of their children are pandilleros. The form of local government chosen by Mexican illegals is gang rule.

PC means everybody is exactly like Anglo-Americans, but I would think Iraq would be a lesson to the politically correct that cultures differ.

Posted by: Myron on April 8, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Myron, didn't you mispell your name? It's spelled with an "o", not a "y".

Posted by: nemo on April 8, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

No, it's not baroque at all. Many of those people do have underlying political loyalty to "greater Mexico" and this should concern us. It is idiotic for progressives to think we should reflexively oppose things that have a certain right-wing smell without consideration.

Posted by: Neil' on April 8, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

How do we relate this to the Mexican illegals living and working outside the southwest? If this is a reconquista, why don't they concentrate their numbers in their "homeland?"

Remember Occam & his razor? You're introducing complexity into a simple problem.

P. S. Any chance we can trade Mexico the southern half of California for Baja?

Posted by: Thaumaturgist on April 8, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Are you kidding??? Mickey Kaus is an idiot. What a load of idiocy this is. Take it from me, within a generation most Mexican families in this country become completely bilingual and root for their local football teams along with every body else. Within two generations, they hardly know spanish but retain some sort of pride in their origins. It's called assimiliation and it happens pretty quick, see: American history.

Posted by: Mexican on April 8, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

And what if it is true? Not that they want to annex the Southwest to Mexico, but that area is similar to the land to the south and there might be a natural comfort. It's not like they are going to move here and want to make it part of Mexico. They, like all immigrants want the benefits of the US. It might be interesting to see another culture, blended Mexican--United States, develop here.

Posted by: Frequent Traveler on April 8, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Mexican: " within a generation most Mexican families in this country become completely bilingual...It's called assimiliation and it happens pretty quick, see: American history."

Yes, that's the classic paradigm: People immigrate, a couple generations later, they are all-American. I've had many friends who were completely assimilated within 15 years of arriving in the US. It is startling when they start speaking Korean/Hindi/Thai/Chinese/Spanish with their parents.

Where do you think assimilation will occur more quickly: in communities that are 80% Mexican and in which the immigrants don't learn English or in communities that are, say, 15% Mexican and the children learn English when they enter kindergarden?

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 8, 2006 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

Andalusia baybee!

Posted by: MaryCh on April 8, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

That's just stupid.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on April 8, 2006 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Scholars make distinctions within "Americanization" (which is a better word, I think):

"Assimilation" denotes language acquisition within the first generation and intermarriage thereafter;

"Acculturation" denotes stuff like the NFL vs the World Cup;

"Civic incorporation" denotes legal status, including citizenship, for the first generation, especially voting, and eventually running for office, acting more or less like a voting bloc, etc.

If you take ten seconds to think about it, clearly Americanization is a two-way street. It isn't simply that "they" become "us", it's that the "we" in "We, the People" CHANGES, and expands, to include them.

Americans famously think of issues as problems to be solved (which most immigration policy is) rather than a conflict to be managed -- but we DO have a conflict with Mexico: they want Mexicans who go north to remain Mexicans, even after they become U.S. citizens.

Mexico wants 'em to send their money south, including political contributions, and there is a real possibility Mexicans in America could become a politically dominant voting bloc in Mexico.

It would be worth thinking about that as a question of America's national interests.

It's not the same as soy sauce, which I've always used as an example of how an ethnic niche product goes mainstream. It's not the same as the thousands of baseball diamonds that have become soccer fields nationwide.

I coined a Devil's Dictionary item once: "Multiculturalism, n. Something understood by commerce but not by politics."

Our political and cultural debate, such as it is, tends to act as if all "Hispanics", the fabled "La Raza", is the same. It ain't. (I remember a school system that required Puerto Rican and Cuban kids to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.)

We gotta bear in mind what we are REALLY teaching kids, and the foreign-born in general, when we force 'em into a groupthink mold.

Becoming American isn't simply learning enough English to get by, and we should NOT take it for granted that because we Americanized the German 48ers or the Irish Potato Famine survivors, that we're going to so easily Americanize a population that, unlike those earlier examples, has largely come here in defiance of our laws, and which is often told by our elites that immigration imposes no obligations on them whatsoever.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 9, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

I fundamentally agree with theAmericanist...omg, my cosmos is crumbling!

Posted by: PTate in MN on April 9, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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