Immigration vs. “Anglo-Protestant” America – Which Side Are The Neocons On?
This week it happened, and a tip of
the hat is in order to Harvard`s distinguished scholar
Samuel P. Huntington for arriving at much the same
conclusion that I and many other critics of mass
immigration have been arguing for two decades or more.
As the Chronicle of Higher
Education describes Professor Huntington`s new essay
Hispanic Challenge, By Samuel P. Huntington,
March/April 2004] in the magazine Foreign Policy,
"High levels of Hispanic immigration threaten to
disrupt the political and cultural integrity of the
United States," and "the United States faces the
loss of its `core Anglo-Protestant culture` and may soon
be divided into `two peoples with two cultures (Anglo
and Hispanic) and two languages (English and Spanish).`"
Better late than never, I guess,
but far be it from me to quibble.
Of course, the Huntington thesis
has not escaped controversy, and the Chronicle
recounts several (mainly Hispanic) academics who
challenge his argument. One critic pants that the
Huntington article is “misinformed, factually
inaccurate, inflammatory, and potentially injurious to
public policy because of its potential for being used as
a further baseless rationalization for anti-immigrant
and anti-Mexican politics."
The Harvard scholar, one of the
world`s leading political scientists, is the author of
The Clash of Civilizations, a widely praised
study of how Western and non-Western cultures are in
conflict in world affairs.
It`s not surprising people on the
other side of the clash don`t like him talking about it
or suggesting something should be done about it.
One who doesn`t like it and isn`t
even Hispanic is David Brooks, [email@example.com], resident
neo-conservative at the New York Times, who
wasted no time in lobbing a few smacks at the Huntington
essay before it even popped off the presses.
Mr. Brooks, who
Bush amnesty and mass immigration generally, knows
he can`t denounce Harvard professors as the kind of
he and other
neo-cons want to paint all other immigration
He also knows that if skepticism
about immigration has actually reached the backwoods of
Harvard, then the pretensions of the
Open Borders lobby are in trouble.
Mr. Brooks` critique of the
Huntington thesis is somewhat more subdued than what
came from the fevered brows of the academics quoted
above. His main case against it is
economic—that Latino immigrants are doing much
better than the essay seems to claim.
But Mr. Huntington`s thesis doesn`t
depend on economic arguments.
He`s arguing that the sheer number
of Hispanic immigrants and the sheer numbers of those
who will keep coming if immigration isn`t halted, plus
their very different linguistic, cultural, and political
identities, will serve to split American society in two.
Cultural, not economic, forces are
what will threaten the "core
Anglo-Protestant culture" of this country.
And if there`s anything about the
thesis Mr. Brooks doesn`t like, it`s precisely the claim
that we have an
Anglo-Protestant core at all.
"Frankly," he writes,
"something`s a little off in Huntington`s use of the
term `Anglo-Protestant` to describe American culture."
What does describe us, Mr. Brooks
thinks, is that "Americans share a common conception
of the future."
Maybe so, but if they do, it`s
because that conception comes from the culture created
and informed by the Anglo-Protestant core. If and when
that core vanishes, the conception will vanish.
In so far as a "conception"
does or can make us Americans, it does so not simply as
an intellectual abstraction but because it has ethnic
and cultural roots, and if Mr. Huntington is arguing
that mass Third World immigration threatens those roots
and the core they create, he`s right.
What`s interesting about the
controversy about the Huntington thesis is not only the
mainly Hispanic hostility to it but also the dislike
with which neo-conservatives like Mr. Brooks are
greeting it and the
discomfort they experience whenever
anyone—especially Harvard professors—starts talking
about what the
real roots of the American identity are and who
planted them here.
As noted, it`s not surprising
people on the
other side of the clash of civilizations don`t like
what Mr. Huntington has to say.
But to some people who don`t
the neo-cons so well, it might be astonishing they`re on
the other side of the clash too.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
[Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.
for Sam Francis` website. Click
here to order his monograph,
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American
Political Future and
Glynn Custred`s review.]