Recently, I switched on C-SPAN just
in time to catch
Laura Bush`s diversity-infused observance of
World Refugee Day—a creation of the United Nations,
naturally. The UN designated June 20 as the occasion
"to celebrate the contribution of refugees throughout
the world." The world`s
displaced persons are no longer regarded as
burdensome charity cases, you understand, but as
colorful additions to our drab
Western Civilization—at least according to the
paid to resettle them among us.
brief movie about the day suggests that we are
surrounded by refugees and should do more to make
them feel at home. Some of us would be more inclined to
be generous if the displaced were to remain in their
home countries, where their upkeep is also less costly.
But then professional do-gooders of the
Refugee Industry would have to relocate away from
comfy homes to scruffier
Third World accommodation.
UN News Centre, the theme of 2008 festivities was
"Protection". (You can`t have a special day
human displacement without a theme, apparently.)
There`s an image of street urchins holding their hands
like a little roof—protection, in other words. Here`s a
music video with the same theme:
Give Refugees a Hand, with images of desperate
people alternating with Westerners making little
It reminded me of the part of Peter Pan
clap your hands to keep Tinkerbell alive—it`s a
totally ineffective activity but it makes the
participants feel good about themselves.
In addition, refugees provide
Hollywood stars with opportunities for do-goodery,
well-publicized of course. Public acts of
diversity charity are practically required for the
film community these days. It gives them a change of
pace from shopping on
Reigning queen of Hollyweird
Angelina Jolie, who has the official title of UNHCR
Goodwill Ambassador. One of her issues is the
six thousand unaccompanied children who
deposit themselves in America each year. She thinks
there should be lots of
pro bono lawyers available to the kiddies to
help them through
immigration court proceedings.
Has she not considered the
sending them home to their parents?
But the simple action of returning
children to sending parents apparently doesn`t have
enough drama for Hollywood refugee rescuers.
The imposition of Hollywood
personalities on the refugee issue makes it seem like
just another marketing campaign like Coke vs. Pepsi. But
of course no one minds, certainly not at the UN, which
has welcomed glamorous stars for years.
Laura Bush`s shindig featured
several refugees now living in America who came to bear
many legal and illegal immigrants, the event`s
refugees were vocally grateful to be here, and they love
the USA for more than
just the dollar bills.
That was the script, anyway.
The First Lady used the occasion to
enumerate the good works done for refugees by America
generally and the Bush Administration in particular
Mrs. Bush`s Remarks in Honor of World Refugee Day]:
United States contributes more assistance to refugee
populations than any other government. This year, we`ll
spend nearly $1.2 billion to facilitate refugee
resettlement and to provide food, shelter, and supplies
to those who fled their homes in search of safety.
pleased to announce that this morning, President Bush
approved a $32.8 million emergency funding to support
unexpected and urgent needs, including food, for
refugees and conflict victims in Africa, the Middle
East, Asia, and the Western Hemisphere.
American families came to this country to escape
repressive regimes and build better futures. We honor
this legacy by welcoming more refugees annually than any
past 30 years, the United States has accepted some 2.7
million refugees. And this year, we`ll take in as many
as 70,000 displaced men, women, and children. "
(You can watch the
whole event on C-SPAN using RealPlayer.)
Call me ungenerous, but it`s
disturbing that this do-gooder activity is done on the
national credit card, now run up to
over $9 trillion. I contribute to worthy causes
VDARE.com] only after I`ve paid my bills and stocked
In addition, I`m sure there are
many genuine stories of suffering among refugees. But
it`s hard not to remember Prof Jan Ting`s estimate that
95 percent of refugee and asylum applications are
Needless to say, unpleasant facts
did not intrude upon Laura`s lovely garden party.
Furthermore, her warm hostessing was a signal that
welcoming the extremes of diversity remains a top
American duty, as well as a pathway to civic virtue,
particularly for Republicans of the
Compassionate Conservative subgroup.
And if there`s one thing I`ve
learned from reading
Stuff White People Like, it`s the importance of
virtue in modern life—or at least feeling virtuous in
terms of being a
diversity-positive individual, and projecting that
idea by wearing
foreign clothing, declaring
empathy for the downtrodden, appreciating
ethnic cuisines and
raising children to be citizens of the world.
Of course, a cynic might think that
appeals to hipness and liberal generosity are a version
of fiddling while Rome burns, i.e. it`s cover for the
globo-culture agenda promoted by the Mainstream Media
and other elites, while they are busy dismantling the
nation-state and undermining individual rights.
Interestingly, this year`s Refugee
Day may have had an extra twist lurking in the
background beyond accruing diversity points. Refugees
are now seen by some businesses as a new source of cheap
colorful legal Somalis have replaced illegal
immigrants (mostly Hispanics) on the slaughterhouse
floor in Greeley, Colorado, and beyond. In
late 2006 ICE raided
six Swift plants across the country and arrested
1297 persons, including 262 in Greeley. Jack Shandley,
head of human resources at the Greeley plant complained,
"The raid almost brought this corporation to its knees."
Turn to Refugee Workers after Government Crackdown,
Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2008].
Whatever the truth of that dire
assessment, the company moved to a different strategy.
If illegal workers must go, then exploitable Africans
known for their fine
herding skills might be the
next best thing.
You wouldn`t expect
meatpacker management to return to paying citizens a
middle-class wage—like 30 years ago, when
"meatpacking was one of the highest-paid industrial jobs
in the United States" (according to
Eric Schlosser, the author of
Fast Food Nation).
Plus, the Somalis don`t have any
idea of American workers`
century of struggle for
decent wages and workplace conditions. That
ignorance makes Somalis perfect workers from
management`s viewpoint. Other than their annoying
demands for special Muslim prayer breaks.
I wouldn`t put it past them.
Brenda Walker (email
her) lives in Northern California and publishes
ImmigrationsHumanCost.org. She believes undefined
is worth about as much as unspecified "change."