A Belgian Academic in America: American Citizenship= “Show Me The Money”?

[Recently
by Paul Belien: 
Anti-Immigration
Party Banned In Belgium
]

Bart Geerts
is a compatriot of mine. He is a Belgian, a Fleming to
be more precise, who has been living in the U.S. for 18
years. Mr. Geerts is a

professor at the University of Wyoming
and lives in
Laramie.

I envy him
for that. I was in

Laramie
this summer, visiting a friend, and I liked
the place. I liked Wyoming.

I went there
in the footsteps of another Fleming, Father

Peter-John De Smet
, a.k.a. “Blackrobe,”
who was a missionary amongst the Indians of the Rocky
Mountains in the 19th century and was the
first Roman Catholic priest to say

Mass in Wyoming.

This happened
during the great

Rendezvous of the mountain men
at the Green River,
near

present-day Pinedale,
in 1840.

Kit Carson
was there. He wrote in his diary about
“old Father de Smitt,”
whom, he said, “never
feared danger when duty required his presence among the
savages.”

At that time,
Father De Smet, who had left

Flanders
in 1821 had already become an
American
citizen
,
swearing the

oath of allegiance
to the great nation which he had
come to love.

I was proud
to discover this nation has not forgotten him. When
looking in the (large) bookstore of the

Buffalo Bill Historical Center i
n Cody for a book
about De Smet, I asked the shop assistant whether she
had ever heard of him. “Oh yes,” she said,
“everybody in Wyoming knows

Father De Smet
.”

Sadly, Mr.
Geerts does not like America. On November 8, he wrote an
op-ed piece in

De Standaard,

the leading Flemish intellectual newspaper, saying that
America makes him “shiver.” [Texas
zet de trend
,
pay archive, in Flemish]

Geerts`
shivering is the result of

George W. Bush`s reelection
. Last Wednesday, he
writes, “was a day of mourning at the

University of Wyoming
and all university campuses in
the U.S.”

It is
obviously hard for Professor Geerts to live in a

state
where Bush won a higher percentage than
anywhere else but

Utah.

The professor
is saddened by the elections because the result proves
that the U.S. is changing “from a

pluralist
country where

Blacks and Whites
,

Lutherans
,

Catholics
and

Jews
were neighbors and had

freedom of speech
into “an ever more
conservative and narrow-minded country.”

The elections
showed, he laments, that moral
values were decisive
.”


“This makes
us shiver,”

he continues. “By `us` I mean the people who have
already

travelled abroad
. People who are a bit more

educated
. People who have expatriates among their
friends. People who care a great deal about nature,
justice and other ideas.”

To these

illuminati
, Prof. Geerts opposes the nincompoops
“whose social life is centered

around the church
.”
He writes that the
reelection of Dubya “is a tragedy for America and the
world”
and writes that


“…for many of
my friends

emigrating to Canada
has become an option. This is
certainly the case for people who were not born in
America, people with a broader perspective, people who
had hoped to contribute to the frontier of

enterprise
,

science
and

technology
.
 


“The flight
of America`s creativity, the narrow-mindedness of the
new majority, the over-confidence of the Bush
administration: these are the beginning of the end for
America as a world leader.”

Is Bart
Geerts talking of himself when he refers to
intellectuals willing to flee America?

Earlier this year, my wife, who is a member of the
Belgian House of Representatives, received an e-mail
from Professor Geerts [send him

email
]
.
He
asked her and her legislative colleagues to change
Belgium`s nationality rules.

Professor
Geerts wrote that, in the U.S., he needed to be an
American citizen in order to qualify for government
subsidies for some of his

scientific projects
. But a Belgian who becomes a
foreign national loses his Belgian nationality. So could
the Belgian legislators please change the law—so that
Mr. Geerts could have

dual nationality
?

Professor
Geerts explained that he would rather remain a Belgian,
but he wished to become an American, too, in order to
apply for American subsidies.

The Belgian
law, he complained, discriminated him because his
American colleagues could get U.S. government funding,
while he could not.

So far,
Belgium has not changed its nationality law. I hope it
does not.

Dual nationality is a contradiction in terms
. It is
divided loyalty, which is no loyalty at all. People
cannot be loyal to two countries. Can you imagine Prof.
Geerts taking the

oath of allegiance
to the U.S., while the only thing
really on his mind is: Give me the money?

Today, the
cities of

Europe
, as well as the U.S., are being inundated
with

immigrants
who want to become citizens of our
various welfare states for exactly the same reason:
Give us the money
.

They do not
share our values and loyalties; they want our
social handouts
and our

money
. They say they “hope to contribute to the
frontier of enterprise,”
but their words are mere
lies.

Unlike Father
De Smet, two centuries ago, they do not want to

share the “dangers”
of their new homeland
“when duty requires them to.”

Let them all leave for

Canada
—if it wants them.

Paul
Belien [
email
him] is a Flemish historian and journalist. His wife,


Alexandra Colen
,
is a member of the Belgian House of Representatives for
the Vlaams Blok