First TLD article by this writer


Tom Tancredo and assimilation



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Tom Tancredo's recent speech sponsored by the promising new collegiate organization Youth for Western Civilization offers some sober reflections on culture, ethnicity, language, and the meaning of assimilation.

Tancredo gave his talk February 24 to an overflow student audience at American University in Washington, D.C., and that venue virtually assured overwhelming opposition from a vastly diverse student population. Many in the audience held signs promoting "multiculturalism" in a variety of foreign languages. For every sympathetic attender, including a few middle-aged white males, there were 20 or 25 college-aged multiculturalists. One female student, a few rows from the front of the room, had no idea what her sign (in a foreign language) meant when asked.

Tancredo established the cautious tone of his message early in his hourlong speech: "It is not about race." Although he stated his opposition to "diversity," multiculturalism, and illegal immigration (which is overwhelmingly Hispanic), Tancredo repeatedly said that his concerns on the issues raised in his speech (the importance of assimilation, citizenship, and the preservation of Western Civilization) had nothing to do with race or ethnicity.

The former congressman spent a great deal of time awkwardly trying to reconcile the irreconcilable: namely, that the issue of mass illegal immigration has nothing to do with race or ethnicity. He went out of his way to stress that race and ethnicity are unimportant factors in determining the selection criteria for citizenship. "It doesn't matter from where you come; that's of no consequence, as long as when you are here, you are willing to adapt to this culture," he said. "It doesn't matter what the color of your skin is; we have a connection because we speak the same language."

The issue, for Tancredo, is merely one of language and cultural assimilation. His basic rule for citizenship: if newcomers adopt the language, customs, and folkways of Western Civilization, America will remain, well, American.

In grappling with the issue of race, Tancredo repeated the familiar neoconservative refrain that the United States is not about peoples, demography, or ancestral heritage. America is simply a nation of "values" and "ideals" open to anyone willing to assimilate. It's a proposition nation (an idea advanced by neocons), so anyone who seeks legal entry can become a citizen.

In citing the late Samuel Huntington's conception that our national identity is grounded on a core set of values (overwhelmingly Protestant and European), Tancredo emphasized the necessity of assimilation and seemed to accept the current level of legal immigration (a level he believes is exceptionally generous).

The audience, overwhelmingly sympathetic to multiracialism and multiculturalism, wasn't buying it. When Tancredo said he couldn't accept the rationale for a black or Hispanic student association and asked the audience rhetorically if it would approve of a white student association, many in the audience applauded. I sensed at that point that I may have more in common with the multiculturalists — those willing to acknowledge the significance of heritage and ancestry — than with a confused advocate of assimilation.

Tancredo's apologetic tone and central theme on the necessity of "assimilation" exemplify why immigration restrictionists have won hollow, short-term victories to date in curbing the destructive trends of mass immigration, diversity, and multiculturalism. The long-term prospect — involving the type of America our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will struggle to live in — should influence the goals, program, policies, and objectives of anyone who wants to see less nonwhite immigration. And the type of nation that future generations of white Americans will inherit rests on this maxim: demography is destiny!

Our adversaries seem to grasp that. For example, the Website Imagine2050 captures the sentiments of the Marxist-fringe of multiculturalism: They imagine America with fewer whites, and they wholeheartedly embrace that vision.

Confronting the problems of mass illegal immigration, multiculturalism, and diversity while disregarding the role of race and ethnicity (in establishing the criteria for immigrant selection) is largely why we're in the mess we're in. Missing the forest for the trees will only compound our nation's immigration crisis.

The way out of the mess (if there is a way out) will depend on a multifaceted long-term strategy that doesn't have to involve intrusive state intervention: increasing white birthrates substantially (a counter demographic surge); stripping out the incentives for nonwhites and Hispanics to relocate here; and reversing the cultural pollution that encourages diversity and multiculturalism (cultivating a change of attitudes in how whites see themselves as whites in an increasingly nonwhite society) would launch such an important undertaking.

Eliminating several government agencies and programs would jump-start that process.

First and foremost would be closing down the Central Government's Education Department. Ed is the single greatest promoter of multiculturalism, and eliminating the department would terminate a number of multicultural initiatives.

Second, eliminate Head Start and other preschool "enrichment" programs.

Third, close down Housing and Urban Development.

Fourth, eliminate affirmative-action programs and dismantle the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as first steps toward the complete repeal of "civil rights" laws that destroy property rights and freedom of association.

Fifth, render the 14th Amendment null and void.

Sixth, encourage Northern Europeans to immigrate to the United States. (Follow the lead of businesses and small merchants on North Carolina's Outer Banks and encourage Europeans to fill service-industry jobs that now go unfilled.)

Seventh, stop state-sponsored multilingualism.

Eighth, revamp entitlement or welfare programs, and strip out any incentives for illegal aliens to relocate to the United States.

Once the incentives are removed, once the United States is no longer receptive to populations that seek to displace European-descended Americans, once the risks of relocating to America outweigh the incentives, we can begin to reverse the destructive impact of diversity and multiculturalism. If we make our country an undesirable place for undesirables, then we will be well on our way — though it is a long way — toward retaining America's European heritage and a robust majority culture.

Unfortunately, Tom Tancredo seems quite clueless about what really matters when it comes to keeping America American.

Cooper Sterling, a contributor to VDARE, is a free-lance writer in Washington, D.C.

Photographic evidence. Thanks go to Mr. Sterling for providing the photos. I labeled them. — Nicholas Strakon

Tancredo with banner

¡Es multicultural, ese!

Serious, very serious

From the side

Say what?

Spotted at the venue: Three socialist strategies

March 1, 2009

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