Southern Poverty Law Center
is a left-wing outfit in
Montgomery, Alabama, which specializes in snooping out
"right-wing extremists," "white supremacists,"
similar thought criminals
. But when it`s not engaged
in its highly profitable
(assets of $68 million at last count)
against people it disagrees with, it`s pushing a school
The idea of the program is to snip what the Center
likes to call "hate"—
it doesn`t like—in the bud, by
getting to the
minds of young students
before anyone else has a
whack at them.
The SPLC also publishes a magazine called
but the Spring, 2003 issue
carries an article that suggests that what`s being
taught might better be described as a species of
treason—namely, how to brainwash American students into
thinking that national borders are merely arbitrary
lines on a map that don`t really matter.
Most of the article, "
," or "Let`s Go," in Spanish, by an Oregon based writer
named Matt Love, is harmless enough. It recounts a
school program in Arizona that places American and
Mexican high school students in each others` countries
for a few days. The idea is to "teach
tolerance"—largely to the Yanquis, of course, who, as
mainly white kids, can be expected to hold a monopoly on
As the article says, "none of these American
teenagers could count a
Latino youth as an acquaintance, let alone a close
friend, and most admitted they held a few negative
stereotypes about Mexicans."
Well, it just shows how narrow-minded those Anglos
If the point of the program is to drill into the
callow Americans` minds that
the bigots, it seems to work well enough.
One of the young ladies taking part in the trip said her
reason for wanting to go was, "I wanted to come back
humble. Americans are too spoiled."
Of course, her mind had to be prepared for that
insight well before they let her loose in Mexico to see
But by and large the brief trips back and forth
across the border are probably harmless enough, and it`s
doubtful if they really disabuse any students on either
side of the realities of the two countries. It`s when
the magazine recommends to teachers in the classroom on
how to "help students begin investigating borders in
their own communities"
that the course starts
getting dangerous and its real purpose becomes clear.
One way to "begin investigating borders" is
have the kids "draw a map of the neighborhood around
your school or home. Examine its borders or boundaries.
How did you decide where to stop drawing? What marks
these borders? How is it different from what is inside
your mapped area? How is it the same? Do you need to
cross these borders? What happens when you cross them?"
Of course you have to cross the "borders" around your
neighborhood and school. The point of the project is
that national borders are supposed to be like those
borders—arbitrary, imaginary and awkward to live
with—but the truth is that they`re not. National borders
are both legal and cultural, separating one people and
state from others. By drilling a false analogy into the
heads of the students, they`re supposed to get the
notion that the borders between the two nations are
neither real nor important.
The course also
a statement from a New Mexican folklorist
, [send him
]who expounds on how
"we continually negotiate our identity."
no, not really. Most of us—those who are born and live
—don`t "negotiate" anything about
our identities because we grow up knowing them. By
claiming that "we continually negotiate"
identities, Mr. Lamadrid and the course try to subvert
Mr. Love, the article`s author, finally gets to his
real point on the last page of his masterpiece in
cultural subversion. "In the new light of budding
friendships, the notion of an arbitrarily drawn
political border separating them cannot be so fixed as
it once was. This has to bode well for the future—on
both sides of the border."
Well, no again.
The U.S.-Mexican border is just swell right where it
is, and we don`t need to erase it any more than
But erasing the border—and the distinctive identities
who live on either side of it—is exactly
what the Tolerance Teachers at the SPLC have in mind.
As noted above, it`s not so much tolerance that
people who want to get rid of their country`s borders
are really teaching.
The better word for it would be treason.
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.]