Maybe it’s agitación contra un grupo étnico, incitacion contra una gente, or even difamación de la raza.
But whatever it is, Conan el Bárbaro, a.k.a. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, is learning the consequences of insulting an ethnic group.
When Arnold came to office in 2003, he seemed to jettison his “conservative” principles quickly enough. We watched him throw them off of the back of the sled one by one as it became evident that the governor of a state as big as California remains a 98-pound weakling unless he learns to grease the wheels of patronage and compromise with the existing political machine.
But suddenly he seems to have recovered his barbarian cojones. Yesterday he was willing to draw the ire of California’s largest ethnic voting bloc, one which will soon enough form an actual majority in the state:
Some Hispanic leaders lashed out Friday at California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s advice that immigrants should “turn off the Spanish television set” to better learn how to speak English.
Schwarzenegger, who immigrated to the U.S. from Austria, recently told a group of Hispanic journalists that immigrants should stay away from Spanish-language television, books and newspapers.
“You’ve got to turn off the Spanish television set,” Schwarzenegger said Wednesday night at the annual convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in San Jose, Calif. “You’re just forced to speak English, and that just makes you learn the language faster.”
Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., called the governor’s advice a “typical sound bite solution to an important issue,” said Jim Dau, a spokesman for Sanchez.
Sanchez said immigrants face the challenge of taking an ESL course because of long lines and up to a three-year wait to get into a class.
There was a time when immigrants to America acquired the English language informally. “English as a Second Language” classes were not considered a mandatory government function; if they existed at all, they were run by entrepreneurs for profit, or by fellow-countrymen acting collectively to benefit immigrants speaking the same language.
“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger demonstrated his ignorance on immigration issues once again by perpetuating the myth that immigrants have to reject their old culture and language in order to learn English and assimilate,” said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Why is this a “myth”? Why isn’t it a requirement that immigrants learn English and assimilate?
And no one is suggesting that immigrants “reject their old country and language.” This is a bizarre caricature of the position of the assimilationists. This is a free country; everyone is entitled to retain whatever he wants of his ancestral customs, provided that none of them are contrary to the laws of his adopted country. But when people enter the common culture and interact with others, the English language and basic American customs must be the norm.
Many years ago, back before the fall of the Berlin Wall was even a gleam in Ronald Reagan’s eye, I tutored a third-generation Estonian high school student in mathematics. Tom’s grandfather had left the old country in 1940 when it was overrun by the Russians, bringing along Tom’s father as a youngster.
When he was at school, or among his friends, or being tutored by me, he was “Tom”, but his name at home was Tõnu (I hope I have the correct diacritical mark on the vowel). The family strove to preserve its Estonian heritage, speaking the old language sometimes at home and teaching it to the children. All through the long dark Soviet period Grandfather held fast to the dream of returning to an independent Estonia, and finally realized his dream in 1992.
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But Tom and his father were fully assimilated Americans. Dad was a successful professional. Tom went to high school, played baseball, and watched MTV. Truth to tell, he found all this old Estonian stuff somewhat pointless and boring. But, being a dutiful son, he went along with the program. Later I always wondered what he made of the old country when he finally accompanied his grandfather on the old man’s return to Estonia.
The government provided no bilingual education for Tom’s father upon his arrival here. His school never instructed him in Estonian. He never heard a word of the language spoken except by his mother and father and their friends.
I suppose this is another example of the inherently racist nature of American society, that it could treat newly-arrived European immigrants so shabbily.
But back to Conan and the Barbaristan of California:
“Spanish-language media plays the essential roles of providing the Hispanic community with the news and information they need and care about, and keeping them connected to their cultural heritage,” a [sic] said the Univision spokeswoman, who declined to provide her name.
“In addition to daily news from around the world, Spanish speakers rely on Spanish-language media for information in critical situations, such as severe weather alerts and health emergencies, and for other public services they may not be able to get anywhere else,” the spokeswoman said.
Once again: if they were expected to acquire English promptly, none of this would be necessary.
Not all persons of foreign origin agree with LULAC and La Raza about this issue:
Joey Vento, owner of Geno’s Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, told FOX News that Hispanics won’t progress until they are forced to learn English.
“The Spanish people will never progress because of the fact that it makes it so easy for them to go to school or have anything and it’s done in Spanish,” Vento said. “You must be forced to learn English to be prosperous, otherwise you will be limited.”
Rafael Olmeda, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, said most NAHJ members would agree with the governor’s statements.
“Most people I’ve spoken to walked away believing that he was trying to say that we must learn English to succeed in American society,” Olmeda said.
Arnold left no doubt that he knew what he was in for when he uttered his ethnically insensitive remarks:
Schwarzenegger answered a question about how Hispanic students can improve academic performance, saying he was about to make a politically-incorrect statement.
“I know this sounds odd and this is the politically incorrect thing to say and I’m going to get myself in trouble,” Schwarzenegger said. “But I know that when I came to this country, I very rarely spoke German to anyone.”
Immigrants from Europe have always been treated differently from their Latin American counterparts. They are expected to assimilate easily and on their own, without having to be coddled and protected by the nanny state. Is this a racist attitude? Do we expect more from Germans and Swedes because we unconsciously assume that they are inherently more capable of learning and adapting?
In any case, you will find no phone menus that say, “Press 1 for Polish. Press 2 for German. Press 3 for Ukrainian. Press 4 for Hungarian…”
Surprise, surprise! All those honky ethnic groups learned English very well and very quickly.
It used to be that the same was expected of Latin American immigrants. But not any longer:
But the governor’s comments didn’t sit too well with audience members.
“I’m sitting shaking my head not believing that someone would be so naive and out of it that he would say something like that,” Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
The process at work here in the USA with respect to Latin Americans is the same as the one that has been going on in Europe for decades with Muslim immigration from the Third World. The EU is morphing into Eurabia as part of a conscious process, one which proceeds in near-secrecy, and about which the electorates of the various European countries are never consulted.
The Eurabian Union was created gradually and quietly by the élite and unelected leaders in Brussels. One doesn’t have to posit a single huge conspiracy to account for what has happened — it is simply a grand alliance of convergent interests, including large international corporations, the traditional political power-brokers, Old Money, and — not least — Arab petrodollars.
We’ve started a little bit later here, but progress on the North American Union is moving right along. Once again, it’s an alliance of convenience among different powerful groups: American businesses that want an inexhaustible supply of cheap helot labor from Mexico, Democrats who see a huge bloc of voters in the influx of new Latino welfare-state clients, Latin American (especially Mexican) leaders who can maintain their positions and perks only so long as their countries keep exporting potentially restive peasants to El Norte, and — not least — Arab petrodollars. The Saudis stand to gain from any actions that further weaken the American political system and erode our traditional culture of liberty and self-reliance.
The process is well underway, but it flies mostly under the radar. The current imbroglio over the
Needless to say, the push towards the NAU is being spearheaded by the State Department, and was launched with this joint statement in March 2005:
North American Leaders Unveil Security and Prosperity Partnership
We will establish Ministerial-led working groups that will consult with stakeholders in our respective countries. These working groups will respond to the priorities of our people and our businesses, and will set specific, measurable, and achievable goals. They will identify concrete steps that our governments can take to meet these goals, and set implementation dates that will permit a rolling harvest of accomplishments.
Within 90 days, Ministers will report back to us with their initial report. Following this, the groups will report on a semi-annual basis. Because the Partnership will be an ongoing process of cooperation, new items will be added to the work agenda by mutual agreement as circumstances warrant.
Through this Partnership, we will ensure that North America remains the most economically dynamic region of the world and a secure home for our people in this and future generations.
This ongoing effort is known as the SPP, the Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America, and Dymphna has written about it previously. It is a little over two years old, and is coming along very nicely, thank you, although you won’t read a whole lot about it in the newspaper.
One of the reasons for its invisibility is the sheer mind-numbing hypnotic prose that it generates for its reports and press releases. It’s an official government initiative, so one would expect the boilerplate to be written in Old Bureauspeak, but even by .gov standards the SPP’s publications gain top marks for turgidity.
If you can wade though it, you can get a glimmer of what’s intended by reading a 2006 progress report (pdf format) from the SPP:
Canada, Mexico and the United States share a continued commitment to enhance the security, prosperity and quality of life of our citizens within North America. We recognize that the success of our countries is enhanced by working cooperatively. The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which celebrates its first anniversary this month, provides a framework for us to advance collaboration in areas as diverse as security, transportation, the environment and public health.
North American Smart, Secure Borders. Our vision is to have a border strategy that results in the fast, efficient and secure movement of low-risk trade and travelers to and within North America, while protecting us from threats including terrorism. In implementing this strategy, we will encourage innovative risk-based approaches to improving security and facilitating trade and travel. These include close coordination on infrastructure investments and vulnerability assessments, screening and processing of travelers, baggage and cargo, a single integrated North American trusted traveler program, and swift law enforcement responses to threats posed by criminals or terrorists, including advancing a trilateral network for the protection of judges and officers.
Or this additional pdf document from March 2006:
The three leaders of North America agreed to advance the agenda of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) by focusing on five high priority initiatives:
The North American Competitiveness Council. Increasing private sector engagement in the SPP by adding high-level business input will assist governments in enhancing North America’s competitive position and engage the private sector as partners in finding solutions. The Council will:
- Consider issues that could be addressed trilaterally or bilaterally, as improvements in our bilateral relationships enhance North American competitiveness.
- Address issues of immediate importance and provide strategic medium and long-term advice.
- Provide input on the compatibility of our security and prosperity agendas, given the linkages between security and prosperity in a global marketplace.
- Offer ideas on the private sector’s role in promoting North American competitiveness.
It all sounds innocuous enough. Good for business. Good for prosperity. Good for security. Who could object?
But what do you notice in these paragraphs?
What I hear is the dog that didn’t bark.
There’s no mention of the United States Congress in these documents. There’s nothing about consultation with the people’s representatives. There’s no indication that any democratic process whatsoever will be involved.
It’s just like the EU. These things will be done by people who are smarter and better than we are, who know what needs to be done for our own good. There’s no point in consulting us: we’ll just interfere with a noble project in our usual benighted, ignorant, and racist fashion.
The “fast, efficient and secure movement of low-risk trade and travelers” will occur despite the opinion of voters. The SPP will decide who is low-risk, and those so designated will move across our open borders to do the jobs Americans won’t do and watch the increasingly large number of Spanish-language TV stations when they get here.
We won’t be Americans any longer; we’ll be North Americans.
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in’t!
Jerome Corsi has written in WND about the blanket of secrecy that shrouds the SPP:
Geri Word, who heads the SPP office within the NAFTA office of the U.S. Department of Commerce affirmed to WND last Friday in a telephone interview that the membership of the working groups, as well as their work products, have not been published anywhere, including on the Internet.
Why the secrecy?
“We did not want to get the contact people of the working groups distracted by calls from the public,” said Word.
Ah, yes. The entire matter in a nutshell.
We don’t want to be distracted by the concerns of the public. The annoying lumpenproletariat would only try to interfere in a process they can’t even begin to understand.
There’s nothing here to see, people — just move along.
No need to be alarmed. No need to concern yourselves. No need to assimilate. No need for national sovereignty.
Just get back on the couch, click the remote, and watch any channel you want in the language of your choice.
Hasta la vista, baby!