But some readers do prod me to think harder about subjects that I may not have fully considered. Sometimes, I end up agreeing; sometimes, not.
A recent letter from a
legal Mexican immigrant residing in
Miguel Mendoza wrote to me about my column regarding another Mexican-American, the former University of Southern California`s quarterback Mark Sanchez. My piece dealt more with assimilation than football.
"I have to agree with you that
assimilation is the key for success in
"I oppose those Hispanic radical groups such as the
"reconquistadors" and the
"Aztlan" movement. On May 1st, I did not take part in
to demand rights and citizenship from
Having stated his opposition to illegal alien activism,
"I think is necessary to take a closer look at another issue
that is closely related the subject of your article: Mexicans
are not the only immigrants who have a close devotion to their
former countries. If you doubt it, just take a look at both the
Cuban and Jewish communities in the
"When I arrived in
"And as you know, up until recently
To make sure I didn`t misunderstand,
"Now, don`t get me wrong, I do not in any way hate Cubans or
Jews living in this country. In fact I totally agree with
"Yet, it is important to see that in the
"My point is that while I agree the that assimilation and loyalty to this great country are essential for all people living in the United States, especially immigrants like myself, it is also important not to single out a specific group, in this case Mexicans, for failing to do so."
Mendoza pointed me to a Ruben Navarrette column that addressed his concern:
"You can always find flags at ethnic holidays and cultural celebrations in communities named Germantown, South Boston or Little Italy. Walk into a Mexican restaurant on Cinco De Mayo, and you`re likely to catch a glimpse of a Mexican flag…"
"Whereas other flags inspire pride and nationalism, the Mexican flag seems to threaten, frighten and inflame. It enrages Americans, generates backlash, unleashes angry calls into talk radio and leads to the careless use of words such as `traitors` and `separatists.`
"Interestingly enough—and here`s the double standard—I haven`t heard any similar complaints in recent days about Jewish Americans who waved the Israeli flag, or Cuban Americans who waved the Cuban flag."[ Flag Waving`s Double Standard, by Ruben Navarrette, San Diego Union-Tribune, August 6, 2006]
Mendoza`s view interests me because it`s true that the overt Mexican demonstrations "threaten, frighten and inflame." And they also "generate backlash and unleash angry calls."
To explain fully why Americans react with such passion to blatantly nationalistic displays by Mexicans but pay comparatively little attention when other foreign-born people do the same, we have to start at the beginning.
First, unlike what Navarrette suggests, we`re not talking about Italians in Little Italy during the San Gennaro Festival or Mexicans celebrating on Cinco de Mayo (when, by the way, you`ll "catch" a lot more than "a glimpse of a Mexican flag.")
And there`s a world of difference between Cubans who wave their flags for a limited period during a 24/7 national news story like Elian Gonzales or Jews who do the same in the midst of a military conflict involving Israel.
Gonzales goes home; the attacks end (at least temporarily), then Cubans and Jews go back to business as usual.
But Mexican agitation never ends. In fact, it rarely pauses. The flag-waving—be it literal or symbolic—is constant.
What creates such an intense, shocked reaction by Americans to these displays by unassimilated Mexicans is that so many of them have arrived in the US illegally, by the tens of thousands, virtually overnight and have spread throughout the country.
Many illegal aliens have not made any meaningful attempt
learn English. At the same time, dozens of expensive
language classes and
service programs have been established or expanded to
Before Barack Obama spent a full day in the White House, a group of ethnic advocates marched in front of the U.S. Immigration and Enforcement headquarters demanding an end to workplace raids (better known as law enforcement) and a path to citizenship. [Immigrant Advocates Call for an End to Raids, by N.C. Aizeman, Washington Post, January 22, 2008]
In those stories, La Raza`s anti-American views are quoted at length. But no reporter bothers to seek out the common American for his opinion. The inference is clear: Americans don`t matter.
Worst of all, the federal government tacitly approves illegal
aliens` presence. And as
statistics show, most of the aliens are from
Finally, there are no Italian, Cuban or
The logical result among Americans from the non-stop demands by the uninvited Mexicans: fear about our future and resentment toward those who threaten the us.
In an interesting footnote to my exchange with
When Navarrette was addressing a group of Jewish retirees just after May Day 2008, someone in the audience asked:
"A lot of us come from immigrant families. And we bonded with
"I agree that immigrants should assimilate—for their own good.
Besides, it doesn`t make any sense to flaunt allegiance to one
country while demanding rights from another. It`s bad manners
and bad civics. It also reflects bad memories. After all, these
people don`t owe
But for those who are in the
In conclusion, I`ll add that exchanges like the one I had with
When you read as many
letters as I do,
VDARE.COM is routinely accused of being "anti-immigrant". But because of letters like these, we know there are plenty of immigrants who agree with us.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.