Abolishing America (contd.): No Assimilation, No Nation

Does anyone today still seriously maintain that the

mass immigration of the last 30 years
is not
transforming America?

The classic argument in support of immigration,
especially among

conservatives and neo-conservatives
, has always been
that the immigrants would assimilate to the culture of
their new homeland. Indeed, most conservatives believed
that assimilation was the prerequisite for accepting
immigrants and that if immigrants didn`t assimilate,
they shouldn`t come.

Today, that argument is virtually impossible to make.

The most obvious test of assimilation is language,
which in turn is one of the strongest and most obvious
bonds of a unified nation and culture. It`s hard to see
how a nation can remain unified unless its citizens
share a common language. In the United States, it`s now
clear, we don`t.

NBC News reported last week that the 2000 census
shows that "in 13 states … more U.S. residents

are speaking Spanish at home
." The report calls that
trend "inevitable," given "the surge in the nation`s
Hispanic population over the 1990s," which is exactly
what opponents of immigration were saying back in the
days when the open borders lobby was chirping that
immigrants would simply learn English. So much for the
assimilation argument.

Along the same theme, the Washington Times
reports that in the Washington, D.C, area, automatic
teller machines now routinely carry instructions in both
English and Spanish. Since the Hispanic population in
the area is about 8 percent, the Times tells us
that`s "not surprising." Maybe what is surprising is
that the

majority of the nation`s ATMs
are also multilingual.
"About 90 percent offer Spanish and English," an
executive for a financial services consulting firm told
the Times. "But in the future, they will be
offering other languages as well." [Spanish
language joins U.S. culture, May 20, 2002

So will other institutions. In California, 12.4
million residents told the Census Bureau they spoke a
language other than English at home, and perhaps the
alarming part (if alarm is still possible) is that only
65 percent said their home language was Spanish.

In other words, Hispanics aren`t the only immigrants
not to assimilate linguistically; no one else does

The current fashion is to regard multilingualism as a
cute addition to the national mosaic, but there are
obvious problems in schools, governments, businesses and
just about every other institutional relationship in the
country. The larger point, however, is not so much the
administrative difficulties that a polyglot nation
creates but rather the nation it destroys.

Immigrants are not assimilating to America; America
is assimilating to the immigrants. Not only with respect
to language but also with dress and other cultural
customs, immigrants are retaining what they brought with
them, not adopting what Americans do.

This week the Washington Post carried a

about Muslim women in the United States
preferring to wear their traditional headscarves. "It`s
gotten to the point where I felt this is my

culture and my heritage
," Lisa Hashem, a college
graduate with a degree in engineering, told the Post.

That`s terrific. Why doesn`t she go back home where
she can

her culture and her heritage all the time?

This week also the Washington Times

on the growing presence in American
theaters of Indian films—one of the most popular is
something called "Kabhi
Khushi Kabhi Gham
"—due to "the increasing number of
Indian immigrants in the United States." There`s nothing
wrong with the films—except their themes, plots, music,
language, and stars aren`t ours. If Lisa Hashem can have
her culture and her heritage and

Indian immigrants theirs,
why can`t we have ours?

In the absence of assimilation, immigrants—dare we

—impose their own culture on their new
country, and they will do so more quickly and firmly if
the country`s old culture puts up no resistance. Today
cultural resistance to

alien folkways
is almost impossible, if not actually


NBC News was right: Given mass immigration, alien
languages, alien dress, alien forms of entertainment are
"inevitable," and so is the extinction of the traditional
culture and heritage of the nation that welcomes the

The counter-argument is that all this is "diversity"
and will "enrich" us by exposing us to alternative
cultures and ways of thinking and expressing. But we can
get that out of

National Geographic;
the real danger of
"diversity" is that eventually it makes the nation
itself incoherent.

Language, dress, and movies are one thing, but if the
millions of immigrants from non-Western cultures who
have arrived here in the last 30 years don`t assimilate
in these comparatively trivial ways, how have they not
assimilated in more important ways—in folkways that

political conduct
, family life, ethics, work, and

national identity?

Sooner or later we may discover that many simply
never assimilated in any way—and as a result that we no
longer have a nation at all.


May 23, 2002