E-Mail of the Day
by David Weigel
About that Pat Buchanan post:
"Can anyone point me to the border towns where democracy has collapsed, supplanted by Latin American-style caudillos?"
While I don't agree with Buchanan’s xenophobic views, the short answer to your question is, well, yes. I can point to manifestations in American towns where this "Mexification" process is well under way. I'm sorry, but there is a very real undercurrent to the present political Chicano advocacy groups that believe (and are teaching their progeny) the notion that since the American southwest was stolen from
Mexico , they have a right to the land including repatriating at a future date. Many of them understand the slow political process required to leverage our democracy to accomplish it. But make no mistake: repopulating the southwest and registering voters for this eventuality is the first step.
There are places in
California where if you don't speak Spanish, you're SOL as far as communication goes. I have lived in SoCal for thirty years and this wasn't the case in these places 20 years ago. Take the LA suburb of Maywood , CA, (hardly a "border town"). According to the March 29, 2006 CBS Evening News, more than 50% of the city's population are illegal aliens, and the mayor has declared that the city will refuse to cooperate with any enforcement of U.S. immigration law, declaring the city a "haven for Illegals. This mayor and his city council were swept into office during last November's election. My God, they even demanded that all city proceedings be held in Spanish when they were debating this declaration last April!
There is also a trend for towns to demand its city employees learn Spanish. This too, is part of the problem. I began to notice back in the eighties, the ATMs only offered Spanish as an alternative. Why? Are businesses saying Mexicans are too stupid to learn English, as opposed to Finns, Chinese, et al, who have the mental capacity to learn it and utilize public and private systems easily? I think we know this is not the case. It was pandering at its worse and sent a powerful subliminal message to a large segment of American society: you don't have to fully become apart of this country. We essentially told them to treat the country like a rental car. Drive it hard (work the system, get as much free stuff as you can, and then when you done, go back to Mexico and live on that large patch of land you saved up for and bought for the last twenty years) and put it up wet.
This happens on epic proportions. You can look up the stats on that, but trust me, it is quite common. Try this experimen: Drive through an East LA suburb and count the number of
Western Union signs (in Spanish, of course). Why is that? Could it be that "this great economic force" is actually spending very little here in the states, utilizing massive quantities of government largess, and wiring the money home? As my brother-in-law, a raisin farmer in Fresno, always tells these migrant workers the last two years: "You guys blew a good thing. You should have left your families down south, and then headed home with your money once the season was over."
This is pretty representative of the responses I got.