Using the words of Barack Hussein Obama at Tuesday’s inauguration, Cromer points out that perhaps Obama is not in tune with what is happening in some densely immigrant-populated areas of the country.
…. Mr. Obama offered the now-obligatory tip of the ideological hat to “diversity,” summoning forth a ringing affirmation of the cultural mosaic of America, calling “our patchwork heritage a strength, not a weakness.” Those are powerful words, to be sure, but they belie a harsh reality that is more plainly visible around the country today, perhaps more so than at any other time in our modern history. And that reality is that as cultural diversity has increased in America, so has unvarnished ethnic tribalism.
Although Cromer refers in his article to the large illegal Mexican immigrant population, those same concerns about the development of ethnic enclaves apply to other large immigrant populations as well. Here I am thinking of the Somali, little Moghadishus, we are seeing grow in cities like Minneapolis.
Like so many others before him, Mr. Obama evokes the immigrant history* of America in the richest of terms, speaking to what we’re told are our “better angels” when it comes to welcoming the stranger at our door (or the one already in our house). In some respects, it’s a commendable approach that our national leaders must employ to prevent demagoguery and scapegoating.
But his sweeping platitudes become potentially dangerous when they conveniently ignore historical fact, the present reality of illegal immigration and its impact on working Americans. And the fact is that the sustained wave of mass immigration from Mexico differs dramatically in both scope and context from any other large-scale migration to our shores in the nation’s history.
Perhaps our new President is such an ideologue that he just doesn’t see reality, afterall his mentor’s words went right over his head.
Given that Mr. Obama spent two decades in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church — and by his account never heard any racially polarizing rhetoric or brazen ethnocentric appeals from the good pastor at the pulpit — perhaps our new president just isn’t familiar with the deepening cultural divisions that mass immigration is fueling.
* On the issue of immigrant history, see Judy’s post yesterday. A song from the early 1900’s indicates that all was not sweetness and light with immigrants at that time either. Immigrants were not assimilating and as the Great Depression deepened, immigration was ground to a near halt giving the early waves of immigrants time to assimilate. It wasn’t until the Immigration Act of 1965 (Ted Kennedy) that immigration once again began to be out of control. We had a nearly four decade slowdown before 1965 and maybe it’s time for another moratorium now.
Come to think of it, those voters in Nashville who turned down English as the official language have actually done a great disservice to immigrants in that city by inhibiting assimilation.