Immigration Day?


I was puzzled, when I arrived in the U.S. in 1970, to
find a small minority of Americans would pointedly wish
you “Happy Holidays” at Christmas. Now, of course,
“Happy Holidays” is on the point of exterminating
Christmas altogether, providing us here at VDARE.COM
with one of our favorite

seasonal sports.

I`d say it was about ten years ago that I became
aware that Americans were hesitating about wishing each
other (well, anyway, me – a citizen but still a member
of an

oral minority
) Happy Independence Day. They had
become afraid that it might be offensive to an
immigrant.

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page has
been leading a very similar campaign to transform
Independence Day into Immigration Day – “we annually
celebrate the Fourth of July with a paean to
immigration” as its long-time rabbi R. Bartley put it
last year in a signed

column
subheaded “Immigration Is What Made This
Country Great.” As James Fulford

replied,
we at VDARE.COM still tend to think
Independence means independence – for example from the
designs of Bartley`s hero

Vicente Fox.
But of course the signers of the

Declaration of Independence
were an inconveniently
undiverse lot. Some of them were even immigrants from (aargh!)
England. As, of course, was the

political tradition
that in fact made America great.

What Bartley did not say was that the Edit Page`s
paean varies quite a lot with political circumstances.
Thus in the mid-1990s, it abruptly and without
explanation stopped running its notorious annual
editorial advocating a constitutional amendment to
ensure open borders. The reason for this was that
immigration reform was a suddenly hot issue, following
the victory of California`s Proposition 187. It took a
great deal of unscrupulous politicking for the

Treason Lobby
to get the situation under control
again. The Edit Page played a key role in demoralizing
the Congressional Republicans and their

media mouthpieces.
It would have been most imprudent
to remind everyone of the Edit Page`s true nuttiness.

At that time, I formed the habit of writing an
anonymous editorial in National Review
tweaking the Edit Page for its annual omission. This
appeared in July 29, 1996 issue. 

It crept across the
country with July Fourth`s summer dawn – the stunning
realization that the Wall Street Journal
Editorial Page had yet again flinched from repeating its
once-traditional annual call for a constitutional
amendment proclaiming “There Shall be Open Borders.”
Indeed, there was no triumphalist immigration editorial
at all. Mothers hushed crying children. Fathers gathered
in grim groups under the bunting-bedecked pictures of

Julian Simon
crossing the Delaware and

Emma Lazarus
producing the Declaration of
Independence from an Ellis island steamer trunk….Were
the Journal Edit Pagers demoralized by the
devastating recent

Rand Corporation report
confirming that many recent
immigrants are indeed failing in the economy? Humiliated
at being singled out by Peter Passell, in his

judicious column
[pay archive] in the New York
Times
, because of their embarrassing hostility to
evidence?

Bob Bartley was obviously working up to it in 2001,
but it looks like Independence Day is dawning this year
without the Open Borders editorial. We said after 9/11,

“It`s The Immigration, Stupid.”
Silence is the Edit
Page`s answer to the unanswerable.

As Richard Neuhaus
observed in
First Things this spring, National Review
fell tactfully silent on immigration after John
O`Sullivan ceased to be editor. But (perhaps
stung  by
observations like that of Neuhaus) it is reportedly
recently trying to cover its flank.

Let`s see if it dares to tweak the Wall Street
Journal
this year. 

Happy Independence Day to all our readers.

July 04, 2002