“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
(Emma Lazarus, 1888)
“. . . . [W]e declare the independence of our mestizo nation. We are a bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlan. Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.” (“For the race, everything. Outside the race, nothing.”)
(From El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan)
A land of dreams. A land of myths. America began as a rumor, a subject of court gossip in the great halls of 15th century Europe where it was whispered that some Genoese navigator had discovered new lands across the ocean sea. In the ensuing 500 years as tens of millions flowed to her shores, America swallowed the new arrivals with relative ease, assimilating them with a combination of brutal exploitation and wondrous opportunity – powerful forces that stoked the fires of the melting pot and imprinted American values, customs, and ideals on the peoples of every race, color, and creed.
But something has gone horribly wrong. Not just with immigrants from Mexico although currently being the largest group of new arrivals, they come in for the harshest criticism. It is the same with Russians, Poles, Slavs, Balkanites, Africans, Asians and many more who make it to our shores and then disappear into the great morass of bureaucratic ineptitude and inertia. The fact is, it is ridiculously easy to skirt our immigration laws.
Overstayed your visa? No problem. A huge underground industry has grown up that supplies illegal immigrants with documentation so that they can live and work in the United States as well as apply for benefits related to everything from health care to unemployment compensation. No one knows how large this illegal document industry is but estimates are in the 1-2 billion dollar range. This doesn’t include the monies stolen from the American taxpayer in illegal benefits.
With 96% of illegal immigrants able to procure these documents and become part of the workforce, this unprecedented outbreak of lawlessness has had predictable consequences; fewer and fewer of these illegals are on a path to citizenship and assimilation. The various schemes put forth to rectify this situation including the latest “guest worker” program have had no impact on solving the problem and may, in fact, encourage more people to illegally enter the country.
With no stake in the future of America, no need to learn English, no desire to make America their adopted land, there is no compulsion to inculcate American ideals in their children who are automatically citizens by virtue of being born here.
Anyone who doesn’t think that this aspect of illegal immigration doesn’t have consequences I would direct your gaze to the picture above of the upside down American flag being deliberately flown below the flag of Mexico. Is anyone seriously making the argument that this one image, so wrenching in its implications for our future, doesn’t accurately reflect the feelings of those children, most of whom are citizens? They are future voters. And I shudder to think of what they would be willing to vote for if the growing reconquista movement is able to successfully play upon and manipulate the current coalition of greedy businesses, weak politicians, diversity crackpots, multicultural tyrants, and guilt-ridden leftists who have made it plain that America is a land without recognizable borders and that citizenship, in the end, doesn’t mean squat.
John Fonte, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute:
We have arrived at a tipping point in American history. Make no mistake about it, these demonstrations are a challenge to what Aristotle and Straussian political theorists call a â€œregimeâ€ or â€œway of life.â€ We are witnessing the assertion of raw power (from and on behalf of non-citizens) that challenges our own citizenship and our very constitutional order. Illegal aliens who are here without the â€œconsent of the governedâ€ (aided and abetted by amoral corporate and ideological elites) are demanding that the views of the overwhelming majority of the American people (for border control and immigration restrictions) be ignored. This is an attempted social coup; war by other means.
A “social coup” indeed. The image of that upside down American flag is a declaration of war not just on the citizens of America, but on our values, our ideals, and our most cherished hopes that have sustained this country for more than 200 years.
It should go without saying that the reality of America has rarely lived up to its promise. Slavery of Africans, ethnic cleansing of the native Americans, and especially the way newcomers have been treated in the past upon their arrival have made the words contained in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution ring hollow. But almost important as this reality is the promise that our society can and does work to constantly better itself. The “No Irish Need Apply” signs in the days of our great grandfathers have disappeared along with similar disdain for subsequent waves of immigrants from Europe. The forces of assimilation worked their magic on those peoples to transform their progeny into citizens who are indistinguishable in all the important ways from the native born.
For others, the transformation was more painful but was made nonetheless. Overcoming the obscenity of racism (as well as other cultural obstacles), Asian-Americans and recent African immigrants have proven that the melting pot model of assimilation can be stretched to include those whose cultural values were vastly different from the Europeans who came before them.
The drive to assimilate has done more to make the words “All men are created equal” resonate with meaning than all the Supreme Court decisions, civil rights laws, racial pressure groups, and crusading journalists put together. By standing up for and exercising their rights as citizens, ethnic groups in the past have changed the American social and cultural landscape. By becoming citizens and taking part in the grand experiment that is American democracy, they have fought for and won important battles to make their vision of America – not their native land – a better place to live.
That is the stake that assimilation gives new citizens; the future happiness of their children. But today’s illegals, while wanting the same happiness for their offspring, don’t care about the context in which that goal is achieved. Hence, infusing their children from birth with the values of American society takes second place to maintaining their separateness from the rest of us. Part of this has to do with their status as illegal immigrants. But it has more to do with a belief that America is not a place to dream but rather a place to milk. The opportunity afforded those willing to work is seen as a means to take and give nothing in return.
This is why the image above is so disturbing. It shows that their children, despite many being citizens, have taken the same attitude as their parents toward American opportunity. Many apparently see themselves as the vanguard of a movement to “take back” California and the American southwest for Mexico. At the very least, it shows a lack of understanding of what America is all about, a failure of education both at home and at school. At worst, it presages a period in American politics that could lead to civil unrest and a fracturing of the American polity.
For 120 years, the Statue of Liberty has been the image of inclusion and opportunity for immigrants. It is sad almost beyond words that the image of the upside down American flag displayed in an inferior position to the flag of Mexico could become modern shorthand for the feelings and even the hopes and dreams of immigrants today.
Cao has an excellent round-up from the passionate right on the flag issue as well as the immigration bill before the Senate.
Michelle Malkin has dozens of pictuers of the illegal, forged, and fake documents used by “undocumented” workers. Quoth Malkin:
Next time you read or hear reporters mindlessly refer to the “undocumented,” send them here and ask why they continue to use such an inaccurate, biased, loaded, and plain annoying term.
I eagerly await their reply.