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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Wrong...As Usual

Time magazine's Massimo Calabrese asks whether racism is fueling the immigration debate. As evidence he points to various statements of concern over America becoming some alarmingly large percentage Hispanic, or simply largely ethnic. While undoubtedly some of the debate is fueled by nativist sentiment, it is a very small part. The main reason for the concern over unchecked immigration is multiculturalism. There was a time when it was fully expected by all sides that newcomers to this country would ultimately assimilate into the larger culture. My grandparents emigrated here from Italy, and likely remained "Italian" to their dying day. Nothing wrong or particularly shocking about that. However, I'm an American even though there's only one generation between me and southern Italy. The fear many have is that the premise underlying the deal is no longer in play. Rather than encouraging "Americanization" and discouraging Balkanization, the opposite takes place with multiculturalists urging immigrants to maintain their culture, traditions and language in lieu of adopting those of their chosen new home. That's why we see thousands of American born Hispanics waving Mexican flags and demanding rights they could never expect to see in their "home country."

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