Regarding Latinos not as citizens but as internal enemies of America is an idea pushed not just by many racialist websites (e.g., Vdare).but also by Donald Trump. The outlook is particularly characteristic of something called the Alt-Right, a substantial if loosely defined group who are horrified at the thought of racial amalgamation. Hostility intensifies as one moves farther along the right wing to where the feathers end and giddy space begins.
It is perhaps worth noting that the accounts of Mexico in the anti-immigrationist literature bear little or no resemblance to the Mexico I have lived in for fifteen years. The streets are not strewn with garbage, it is not legal to screw little girls of twelve years, guns for home defense are not illegal, and Mexican school children behave like everybody else’s. The racialist sites often do not check facts, do not correct false claims when notified of them, and not infrequently simply lie. Many of the leaders seem never to have been to Mexico, speak Spanish, or have the foggiest notions of the world below the Rio Bravo.
The President agrees with them. He is openly hostile to some 43 million American citizens. He has placed Mexico itself among “our enemies,” His “Mexicans are rapists” assertion resonated among Latinos much as Hillary’s Deplorables among Americans. How smart is this?
Not very. In fact it is wrong, dangerous, stupid, and threatens disastrous consequences.
Let’s take a quick look at some numbers. Census figures show 57 million Latinos in the US,. Perhaps 12 millions of them being illegal. Trump promised to get rid of the illegals in two years, which would require deporting 500,000 a month for 24 months. He is way behind. He could also deport 125,000 a month for eight years. Do you see anything resembling this? If he deports 10,000 a month for eight years, it will come to a bit under a million–less than two percent of the Latino population,
In short, the number of Latinos is not going to change much whatever Trump does. There will be at least fifty million in the country regardless of anyone’s politics. Trump will deport enough to keep tension high but not enough to make a statistically noticeable difference. Most of the Latinos are, and more will be, American citizens. Treat them as internal enemies and they will likely become such–wouldn’t you?–with grievous results lasting for generations. This would suit the Alt-Right fine, but be ruinous for America.
There arise hard questions and curious situations. For example, the Left and businessmen do not want illegals expelled, businessmen because they like cheap labor that cannot organize, and the Left for the votes and because many think deportation cruel. The anti-immigrant people do not want to grant amnesty. This makes the illegals an underclass of twelve million unable to start businesses, go to college, or get good jobs. Brilliant. Exactly what the country needs. Further, the people who complain that the illegals are badly schooled want to deny education to undocumented children. This would produce a large number of irremediably unemployable illiterates. What a swell idea.
Add Trump. He too quite obviously loathes Mexico and Mexicans, probably because he failed in a couple of crooked real-estate deals here. He is supposed to be the President of all Americans. He is not. When he plays to his base by attacking something like seventeen percent of the citizenry, he is doing the country no favor.
Permitting mass immigration, like importing slaves, was a bad idea, but it was done. The time to stop immigration is when it begins. When numbers reach a vague tipping point, it becomes irreversible. This has long since happened. Note that it was an inside job. Patriotic American businessmen have encouraged immigration, Congress has condoned it as have both political parties and Presidents–except Obama, who did everything he could to encourage it. The problem is home-grown and self-inflicted.
The future? Many fear that Latinos won’t assimilate, the Alt-Right that they will. The desire of the latter, often explicitly stated, is for racial purity of European stock, and Mexican girls are alarmingly attractive. While racial purity is in bad odor currently, it is actually a very good idea–if you can get it. No diversity, no racial strife, riots, burning cities, or endless anger over immigration. The white race has been by far the most successful and creative the planet has known. A desire to keep it around makes great sense. Well and good. Fine.
Unfortunately you cannot have both assimilation and racial purity. It is one or the other. If you concern is the well being of America, you want good relations with the newcomers, inevitably leading to intermarriage. If purity is your goal, you want bad relations, and the worse the better. To all appearances, the racialist websites are working toward the latter end. Trump, however intentionally, aids and abets.
A degree of friction between the races cannot be avoided. A small town in Tennessee does not like being descended upon by people of an unfamiliar culture. But the descenders have descended, with the explicit help of the federal government. They will not undescend. When a situation cannot be changed, it must be dealt with. The practical question, for anyone who gives a damn about the country, for anyone who has to live in it or has kids who will, is how to make the best of things as they exist.
Many would say, “Stop the influx and assimilate the ones we have.” It is probably the best approach available. Yet to accept it is to concede the legitimacy of the citizenship of a minimum of forty-some million Latinos. Racial and ethnic purists cannot bring themselves to do this, so they vituperate and vituperate. The constructive value is not clear. What do they expect to achieve?
How to assimilate Latinos? A good question, grist for another column. Everywhere I have been–LA, San Fran, Houston, San Antonio, Chicago, New York City, and Washington, DC–the problem has seemed to be solving itself. Mexicans worked as cashiers, bus drivers, waiters, and secretaries, and spoke English. But LA is not Wheeling, and California is not Arizona.
A statistic that will hearten assimilationists and revolt genetic purists is that (if Pew is to be believed) the rate of intermarriage between white and brown is twenty-six percent, higher among the second generation than the first, and higher between the well educated than the less so. For what it’s worth, Latinos who speak unaccented American English cease to seem very Latino.
Working against assimilation is that different cultures inevitably experience friction, that most of the immigrants are poor, poorly educated, young, and male, that assimilation works less well with populations large and dense enough be self-isolating, such as we see in black ghettos, and that the white-nationalists do all they can to cause antagonism.
Working toward successful assimilation is that Mexicans are Christian, heavily European in their roots, live in amity with a million American expats in Mexico, and as a race are demonstrably able to run modern cities universities, and such. Unlike blacks and Muslims, they do not see whites and Christians as mortal enemies. Much depends on keeping things this way.
But one thing I believe to be sure: Constantly attacking forty million American citizens as stupid, dirty, disease-ridden, criminal, given to rape and all the rest, will not make for domestic tranquility.