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Race, it has now pretty much been proved, is not “just a social construct but a fact of nature, but it does have social and cultural meaning. Most of the talk about what race means centers on non-whites, but last week Gregory Rodriguez, a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times, took a look at what it means to be white in California. What it means is not very encouraging.

What Mr. Rodriguez [Send him email] saw is that while California has historically been the “land of futurists and dreamers,” the place where dreams came true and the future really happened, it is now “increasingly home to pessimists,” with the state’s chattering classes cranking out “jeremiads about paradise lost and the coming apocalypse.” Moreover, “There is a racial dimension to all the gloominess. The downbeat outlook is in large part driven by Anglos, the state’s largest minority.” [Pouty White People, LA Times, September 26, 2004]

“Anglo,” of course, is a racial epithet that can still be used in mainstream publications like the Los Angeles Times, while epithets referring to non-whites usually can’t be.

That fact itself might just explain why California whites feel gloomy: Having ceased to be a majority of the population, they know it’s no longer their state, and they’re starting to see what happens to racial groups that get ousted from cultural dominance.

As Mr. Rodriguez notes, whites have a long way to fall. They still have the largest per capita income of any group in the state and

still make up a disproportionate share of the electorate. They dominate the state’s business, intellectual and cultural elites,” but “they have become the most pessimistic of any group in the state, according to an August survey of the Public Policy Institute of California. Fully 57 percent felt that the state would be a worse place to live in two decades. At 49 percent, blacks were the second most pessimistic group. Latinos (39 percent) and Asians (34 percent) were significantly less downbeat.” [Survey, PDF]

“What these polls do measure is expectations,” Mr. Rodriguez concludes. “A majority of Anglos clearly believe that their best days in the state are behind them.”

Mr. Rodriguez, a Hispanic himself, has an easy (and rather self-serving) answer as to why Anglos are so sad—“it’s that the Anglo myth that dreams should be achieved without struggle is gone.” Of course there was never any such myth, though it probably makes Mr. Rodriguez feel good to think there was. It’s more likely Anglos are gloomy because they see that the dreams for which they and their families worked so hard are vanishing.

They’re also starting to figure out that, as a result of mass immigration and the implosion of the white birth rate, the future doesn’t belong to them or their descendants. Mr. Rodriguez notes that “the median age of whites (40.3) is significantly higher than all other groups”and suggests that “Anglo declinism may stem from the aging of the Anglo population.” The reason it’s older than everyone else is that it has fewer children.

Mr. Rodriguez himself is not happy about Anglo pessimism. He thinks it’s a cop out, that the state’s problems like a withering school system and creaking infrastructure can’t be fixed until “we re-create the social contract that built postwar California.” “That contract must be founded on a shared vision of the future. If Anglo California is not willing to provide one, then at the very least it should make way for those who do.”

It doesn’t seem to occur to him that the “shared vision of the future” was a white thing, that no other racial or ethnic group in the state, regardless of how chirpy they are about the future, has such a vision or is likely to formulate one, and that whites’ “making way” for others won’t fix much of anything—for California or for the country of which California is only a forerunner.

What the “Anglos” brought to California was not only their genes and a shared vision of the future but a shared heritage from the past. That heritage included a work ethic as well as an ethic of creativity and cultural dynamism that was largely unique to white Anglo-American civilization. That’s the thesis of Samuel Huntington’s recent book “Who Are We?” which received so many sneers when it was published last spring.

Today, not only has mass immigration and differential fertility started displacing the people who carried that vision, but the vision itself is being discarded as—well—too “Anglo”—which means, too snooty, too “elitist,” too “exclusive,” and too “oppressive.” Forerunners of the new civilization like Mr. Rodriguez can’t expect to have it both ways: Either you have the Anglos and the California (and the America) they created, or you have the Third World from which the new America comes.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: California, Immigration 
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With no fewer than three lead articles on the California election in the next issue of the Weekly Standard, the neoconservative spin on the election’s meaning is pretty much complete.

As usual, the neocons manage to miss (or mask) the real meaning,misdirect conservatives and Republicans who pay attention to them and desperately try to clamber on board what geniuses like me have been telling them for years.

The most interesting of the articles is one that ridicules the belief that California’s 1994 ballot measure, Proposition 187, harmed Republicans.

Prop 187, which terminated welfare benefits for illegal aliens, passed by some 60 percent of the popular vote but was later killed by the courts.

In the Standard, columnist Debra J. Saunders announces, “It is an article of faith among political journalists that Proposition 187 … was poison to the Republican Party.” And she’s right. [Pete Wilson's Vindication, October 20, 2003]

She’s also right that the article of faith is wrong, as I have argued ever since the days nine years ago when the measure was on the ballot.

Since California victor Arnold Schwarzenegger backed Prop 187 at the time and still won this month’s election, it could not have been very poisonous.

But what’s interesting is that among the political journalists who were wrong about Prop 187—then and, until this week, now—were the neoconservatives for whom Miss Saunders is writing.

The most prominent neocons who denounced Prop 187 as poison were Bill Bennett and Jack Kemp, who held a news conference just before the vote to call on voters to reject it. In the Nov. 3, 1994 issue of Roll Call, columnist Morton Kondracke, who also opposed the measure and prematurely celebrated its defeat, told us why the two did what they did.

“Credit for Prop 187′s swift decline,” wrote Mr. Kondracke, “goes mainly to defeated California Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Unz, who convinced influential national conservatives Bill Kristol, Jack Kemp, and Bill Bennett to come out against it…. Kristol then convinced Bennett at a lunch in New York to reverse his position on 187, and Kemp joined him in leading a charge against it.”

And what does Bill Kristol do today? He’s the editor of the Weekly Standard, of course, where Miss Saunders’ article ridiculing those who denounced Prop 187 appears.

If Mr. Kristol after nine years of delusion has at last grasped what was obvious to me, Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Gov. Pete Wilson, presidential candidate and commentator Pat Buchanan and 60 percent of California voters, I’m happy to hear it, but don’t tell me the Republican Party should pay much attention to him and his magazine in the future.

Another major article spinning the California results is one published a week later by Standard Executive Editor Fred Barnes, who mainly wants to see the election as proof a Republican majority has finally emerged. [The (Finally) Emerging Republican Majority, October 27, 2003, by Fred Barnes]

Maybe so, but in reaching that conclusion (from a rather unique election), he manages to make the same blunder neocons made about George W. Bush.

With Mr. Bush, who won re-election as governor of Texas in 1998 with about 39 percent of the Hispanic vote in his state (not “half,” as Mr. Barnes claims), the neocons prophesied he would carry a “majority”of Hispanics nationally in 2000.

In fact, he won only 31 percent in that year.

Now, with Mr. Schwarzenegger having won almost the same percent of Hispanic voters in California that Mr. Bush did in Texas in 1998, Mr. Barnes leaps to the conclusion that Hispanic voters are “in play” and can be won by the GOP.

Together with Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom McClintock, Mr. Schwarzenegger won about 41 percent of the state’s Hispanic vote. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante won 52 percent, considerably less than the Democrats usually get.

But if you add Mr. McClintock’s share to Mr. Schwarzenegger’s, it’s only fair to add the portion of the Hispanic vote won by Peter Camejo of the state’s Green Party—3-5 percent—to Mr. Bustamante’s share.

That means something like 55 to 58 percent of California Hispanics did not vote Republican, so it’s just a bit of a stretch to claim the returns show they are “in play.”

In fact, California Hispanics remain solidly Democratic and liberal.

The neocons’ strategy in making up their political analysis as they go along is not only to paint themselves as winners but also to smother any talk of serious immigration control.

By making Republicans think they have a chance to win Hispanics if only they shut up about immigration, they aim to keep the issue out of political discussion entirely.

The Republicans may well fall for it, but whether the voters who backed Prop 187 and want real immigration control will fall for the new neocon propaganda line is another question.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: California, Hispanics 
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With the entire state of California rapidly on its way to join the Titanic at the bottom of a fiscal ocean, the political elite of the state is busily engaged in arguing which party should start rearranging the deck chairs.

The Washington Post this week reports that California is “on the brink of a fiscal disaster,” and as of the time of the story, only “hours remain to solve the $38 billion shortfall.”

Of course it occurs to no one to look for what is without doubt one of the major underlying reasons for the boondoggle: Mass immigration.

The immediate problem in California is indeed political. The Democrats, led by Gov. Gray Davis, want to raise taxes, and the Republicans don’t. Under state law, a compromise had to be reached by midnight last Monday or else the state government would have to start “cutting billions of dollars in payments to its agencies and its contractors in July—and could run out of money by August.”

The first to go would be some 30,000 state employees, and their chief, Perry Kenny of the California State Employees Association, moans, “It looks bleak. This is the biggest hole we’ve ever been in, and no one seems to find a way out. We’re all sweating bullets.”

How sad.

Among the state employees who may soon be jobless is Governor Davis himself, for whose recall some 400,000 voters have already signed a petition.

Even sadder.

The immediate solution to the immediate problem is simple enough—either tax or cut—but that’s not a real solution at all, which is why most politicians of each party would be perfectly satisfied with one or the other.

Ten years ago another governor saw what the problem was.

Back then Gov. Pete Wilson faced a similar budget crisis and a political grave similar to the one Mr. Davis faces. In his budget for 1993-94, Gov. Wilson pointed out that foreign immigration accounted for some 55 percent of the state’s population increase in the 1980s and that “the immigration trends of the 1980s have already had a substantial impact on state and local government finances”—for the worse.

Among the biggest costs to the state due to immigration, the governor cited “K-12 education services provided to undocumented immigrants and especially to the citizen children of undocumented and legalized immigrants” (that is, illegals and illegals who had received amnesty, such as the one the Bush administration is said to be contemplating today).

Other costs deriving from immigration came from the state’s health insurance program (Medi-Cal), “refugee, IRCA and OBRA recipients,” “substantial costs for incarcerating undocumented immigrants in state prisons” (at that time 12 percent of the state prison population), and welfare costs for immigrants of one sort or another (“about 22 percent of statewide AFDC caseload”). The total cost of immigration to the state was about $5 billion.

Partly because of what he had come to grasp about the dangers mass immigration presented to his state (and his own political future), Mr. Wilson endorsed the state referendum measure known as Proposition 187, which would have prohibited most public services for illegal aliens and their children.

Despite massive opposition from the Hispanic Lobby, the Treason Lobby, and the teachers and public employees who are now whining about losing their jobs because of the current budget crisis, Prop 187 passed overwhelmingly—and Gov. Wilson was re-elected by some 55 percent of the vote and carried at least five Republican congressional candidates in 1994, the year the GOP captured Congress.

Much of what Gov. Wilson warned about with respect to the impact of mass immigration on his state was confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences report on immigration four years later. It found that the fiscal impact of immigration on California amounted to an estimated“net fiscal burden of $1,178 per native-headed California household, again measured in 1996 dollars” for the 1994-95 fiscal year.

For the nation as a whole, the NAS study found that the net fiscal drain on American taxpayers from mass immigration was $166 to $226 per household, adding some $15 billion to $20 billion to the national tax burden.

Of course the mild restrictions Gov. Wilson supported in Prop 187 were soon overturned in the courts. The Republican Party, especially in California, abandoned immigration reform completely and boasted of supporting mass immigration.

And today the Bush administration slams the White House door in the face of the few political figures who support immigration control.

Meanwhile, California, which in Pete Wilson’s day had only 6 million immigrants, now has 9 million.

And it occurs to no one in the political leadership of either party to point to how mass immigration has helped push the state to the edge of bankruptcy.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: California, Immigration 
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With California now being digested by the mass immigration the Treason Lobby has imported, even academics are beginning to see—up to a point—what’s going on. Interviewed recently on National Review Online, historian Victor Davis Hanson tried to explain.

His explanation is not quite complete, though it shows progress, but what he had to say about the wonderful world of diversity mass immigration has created in his state could not have made too many of the pro-immigration pseudo-conservatives who run the magazine very happy.

Asked by his interviewer “what has multiculturalism and mass immigration wrought in Selma, California, your hometown?” Mr. Hanson, a classics professor at California State University at Fresno and author of several important works in ancient history (and a new one, Mexifornia, about what immigration is doing to his own native state), had a mouthful to say:

“Immigration from Mexico was once as measured and legal as it is now uncontrolled and unlawful. And instead of meeting the challenge of turning illegal immigrants into Americans, our teachers, politicians, and government officials for some time have taken the easier route of allowing a separatist culture, from bilingualism and historical revisionism in the schools, to non-enforcement of legal statutes and a general self-imposed censorship about honest discussion of the problem.

“The result is that we are seeing in the area the emergence of truly apartheid communities … plagued by dismal schools, scant capital, many of the same social problems as Mexico, and a general neglect by the larger culture, including prosperous and successful second- and third-generation Mexican Americans who would never live there.”

Well, so much for diversity, which Mr. Hanson rightly sees as a dismal failure, a vision rather different from the chirpy delusions of the Open Borders crowd that poses as conservative.

But even Mr. Hanson doesn’t quite grasp what’s happening.

In the first place, the problems created by mass immigration in California and the rest of the country are not mainly the result of illegal immigration but of the legal variety. The state’s foreign-born population is about 9 million, but only some 2.3 million illegals (25 percent). If we want to curb the “diversity” Mr. Hanson is justly denouncing, we mainly have to cut legal immigration—as well as enforce the laws already on the books against the illegal kind.

Secondly, why is the “challenge” to turn “illegal immigrants into Americans”?

Why isn’t the challenge to stop illegals from coming at all and to send back those already here?

One suspects Mr. Hanson is being careful not to be too anti-immigration (in which case he wouldn’t be in National Review at all), so he dwells on illegal immigrants and the problem of assimilating them.

But he also betrays other misconceptions about subjects he should have thought through a little more carefully. In his new book, Mr. Hanson writes that the problem “has nothing to do with race,” and he expands on that in his interview.

“Here in the Central Valley we have literally thousands of new immigrants of all races from southeast Asia, the Punjab, Armenia, and Mexico who arrived under lawful auspices, in numbers that do not overwhelm local facilities, and with the assumption that assimilation and acculturation alone promise success in their new country.

“A multiracial society works. But a multicultural one—whose separatist identity transcends the enriching and diverse elements of food, fashion, entertainment, music, etc.—whether in Rwanda or the Balkans—does not.”

Well, now, in the first place (again), the legal status of immigrants has nothing to do with whether they assimilate or not.

In the second place, what Mr. Hanson is trying to claim here is – well—nonsense.

The “society” he is criticizing is a “multicultural” one precisely because it is “multiracial.” Where else does he imagine the “many cultures” the immigrants import come from?

The scientific jury may still be out on how much race determines or causes culture, but there’s no doubt that race carries culture—that you learn cultural traits mainly from the same people your ancestors and parents married. When you have millions (not thousands) of people of the same race living together, the result is that they plant their culture there. When you have several other races doing the same thing, the result is the multicultural (and simultaneously the multiracial) mess Mr. Hanson rightly dislikes.

Much of what the professor has to say is worth saying and reading, and it ought to jog a few brain cells even in what passes for the conservative mind at National Review these days.

But when Mr. Hanson [email him] roots out of his own mind a few more of his unexamined preconceptions about race, culture and immigration, you probably won’t be reading about it in National Reviewat all.

 
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Winners take what they want; losers take what they can get. In California, the losers are white people, now known, at least to some, as “European-Americans,” and what they can get is their own month, at least in an obscure school district. Everywhere else in the state — and, before too long, the nation — they get nothing.

In Stockton, Calif.’s Unified School District, the locals have succeeded in badgering the board into declaring April “European American Heritage Month.” Explaining it a bit dubiously in a recent issue of Asian Week, reporter Thomas Lee acknowledges, “It had to happen sooner or later.”

It had to happen because, as Lee explains, if blacks can have Black History Month and Asians can have Asian-Pacific American Month, then why can’t Europeans have their own month, too? The conventional answer, of course, is that it would be “racist,” as is just about everything European-Americans do on behalf of themselves. It’s swell for other races to declare entire months their own, but only bigots would want a month for white folks.

After much cogitation, the school board decided that having a month for European-Americans wasn’t really racist after all, which is something of a breakthrough in itself. Linda Whitlock, the “program specialist” in the district’s curriculum and professional development office, suddenly realized that “European Americans are a part of that history” and therefore ought to be “included.” How sweet.

And, indeed, European Americans seem to think so, too. Lou Calabro, president of the European-American Issues Forum, which defends European-Americans, smiles that “It was a brave thing to do. … It lets European American kids know they have a rich (ancestry) and that many inventions were contributed by Europeans.”

Well, it will do that, but whether they realize it or not, the European-Americans who pushed the heritage month through the school board have just signed the death warrant of what was once known as “white civilization” in California. They have agreed that they no longer define the civilization of the state and that they have now devolved into just one more little brick in the ethnic and racial mosaic.

If the European-Americans don’t realize that, Raymond Tom, the district’s Chinese-descended director of state and federal programs, does. “They’re recognizing immigrant groups, and European Americans are an immigrant group to America,” he says. “Kids think white is America. We have to understand that we’re all American. Asian Americans, African Americans are all part of America. We’re all newcomers to this country. Not one group owns it.”

You can see how Tom plans to make use of the heritage month. By acknowledging that European Americans are merely one more immigrant group, the heritage month forfeits the claim that America is a nation of European heritage. Having once forfeited that claim, the largely European-derived institutions that make American civilization what it is lose their claim to legitimacy. It’s more than “many inventions” that Europeans contributed, you see. What they really contributed was the whole concept.

We could start counting with the language that comes from Britain and its Germanic forebears, go on to the basic judicial and political institutions (juries, the right to bear arms, voting, the rule of law), education (universities, most of what we still study in the curriculum), and religion (Christianity may originally come from the Middle East, but it didn’t last there; the only place it’s ever endured has been Europe and its extensions). That’s just for starters. Inventions, in fact, — from airplanes and vaccines to electric potato peelers — are pretty far down the list.

The new non-European-Americans will no doubt keep the inventions, but why they would want to retain the European cultural, linguistic, political, educational, and religious traditions of a civilization and a people of which they are not a part is not clear. And the more they displace European-Americans, the less they’ll want to keep what their predecessors left. If European-Americans are no longer the majority in the state, they will no longer be able to define the civilizational framework of the state; and if they no longer define the civilizational framework of the state, other races and peoples will rush into the vacuum to define it themselves.

Nevertheless, Calabro does have a point. “Fifty-one percent (of California’s population)” he says “are non-European. We are a minority.” When you lose your state — and eventually your country — it’s nice if they let you take a month once a year or so, so you can try to convince the winners you’re not such a bad lot after all. That in essence is what white people in California will be doing from now on, and maybe some of the non-whites who have won will pay attention.

 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: California, Immigration 
Sam Francis
About Sam Francis

Dr. Samuel T. Francis (1947-2005) was a leading paleoconservative columnist and intellectual theorist, serving as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Patrick Buchanan and as an editorial writer, columnist, and editor at The Washington Times. He received the Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in both 1989 and 1990, while being a finalist for the National Journalism Award (Walker Stone Prize) for Editorial Writing of the Scripps Howard Foundation those same years. His undergraduate education was at Johns Hopkins and he later earned his Ph.D. in modern history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His books include The Soviet Strategy of Terror(1981, rev.1985), Power and History: The Political Thought of James Burnham (1984); Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism (1993); Revolution from the Middle: Essays and Articles from Chronicles, 1989–1996 (1997); and Thinkers of Our Time: James Burnham (1999). His published articles or reviews appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, National Review, The Spectator (London), The New American, The Occidental Quarterly, and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, of which he was political editor and for which he wrote a monthly column, “Principalities and Powers.”