Thursday, July 12, 2007

Who Owns the American Dream?

Everybody's talking about the PWC BOCS vote about illegal immigrants. From Citizen Tom's post on the subject, I picked up the Fox News AP story about it.

I'm torn on this subject. I support the Board's action, I oppose people entering the country illegally, and want most of those who have done so to leave the country and use legal methods if they want to come back.

But I see a lot of dangerous thinking in the mix when we discuss the issue. For example, there's this quote from the local leader of the "Help Save Manassas" group:

"When we moved to this area, it was just a regular American community," said Greg Letiecq, the leader of the group Help Save Manassas, which has lobbied strongly in support of the measure. "Six years later it's transformed into something different. It doesn't resemble the American dream that I bought or that I wanted to raise my children in."

Now, it is clear that there are illegal immigrants in Manassas. But what is also clear is that there are a lot of legal immigrants, and even legal citizens, in Manassas that are, shall we say, of other ethnicities than the likes of myself and Greg. There's a large Hispanic community here now, that was just a small population when I first moved here in 1981. But they aren't all illegals -- and I bet the majority aren't illegal.

In fact, I'd bet that if you removed every illegal from Manassas and Prince William tomorrow, Westgate and Georgetown South and other places would STILL be largely Hispanic. They'd still have people, legally here, who want to sell ice cream out of push-carts. They'd still be speaking Spanish amongst themselves, playing soccer on every field they could find, they'd still have their specialty food stores and places where they could congregate (the stereotypes here are for emphasis and to make a point, not to sell the stereotype as real or indicative of a problem).

There are people who complain about new development taking away their "scenic views". You know the people who buy house on a quarter-acre lot abutting a large, undeveloped section of woodland, and then get all upset when the owner sells it to someone who builds OTHER houses on quarter-acre lots abutting the NEXT undeveloped woodlands?

What I tell them is -- if you want a scenic view in your back yard, BUY the land around your back yard. And then hope the government doesn't decide to take it from you.

Well, Greg obviously couldn't BUY all of Manassas to make sure it remained the "American dream" for his family. I'm not really sure what you CAN do if that's what you want. People have long tried to keep their neighborhoods the way they remember them. A few will complain when the "wrong types" of people move in. Yet somehow in the past we've mostly survived, and adapted, and it turned out our commonalities outweighed our differences.

But I fear that won't be the case this time, because of the barrier of language and culture, as well as a new, disturbing focus on "diversity". I've heard some in the Latino community proudly proclaim that the idea of the "melting pot" is dead, that the goal was no longer to assimilate, but to embrace cultural differences, and in fact say proudly that they could love America but ALSO love their "home country".

I've read reports that say it's ALWAYS been like this, that every wave of immigration has raised the same angst, the same issues, and yet after a few decades everybody was assimilated whether they were expecting to do so or not. But I haven't lived through that process enough times to feel like I believe it.

Still, I wonder exactly what "American dream" we are all supposed to be pining for, and how, or if, ridding ourselves of illegals is really going to get back that "dream" we "bought" for our families.

Meanwhile, I hope that the legal Hispanic population doesn't take comments like this the wrong way. Because most of us really don't have an issue with legal residents regardless of their ethnic, religious, or cultural backgrounds. And I'm betting that most of these fine people, residents and citizens, were ALSO trying to buy a piece of the "American Dream" -- and are wondering why some people's version of that dream seem to exclude them.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Charles,
Keep your eye on the ball!! "Respecting Cultural Differnces" is really a load of manure that the liberal crowd uses when it wants to explain inconsistent positions. For example, Do you subscribe to the notion of always respecting the other person's cultural heritage? Fine.! What about the cultural heritage of many African cultures to "subincise" their females' genitila. Let's all embrace cultural diversity and the next time an African immigrant wants to mutilate one of their young girl's genitals here in the USA, in the name of cultural diversity, let's smile and tell them it's, "OK". WRONG.....We make decisions every day in this country about what is or isn't exceptable behavior. Just because some Latinos in their home country see nothing wrong with urinating in public, does not mean we have to put up with their disgusting behaviors here, in the name of "cultural diversity". If they want to act like animals, tell them to stay home. My grand parents came to the US in the early 1900's. They had to be vetted at Ellis Island for wellness and if they had their teeth. If the illegal aliens don't want to wait their turn like my family did...tough. Let them learn English like my family did. They should not get special treatment because they broke the law getting here.

Anonymous said...

Charles,
Just when you think that things can't get any worse..BADDABING!!

Yesterday I was complaining about recent immigrants who don't have the common decency to use an indoor toilette.

Today, I was over at United Conservatives of Virginia, where I read about a non-English/Spanish speaking (presumably recent arrival)who broke into an 80 year old woman's house in Fredricksburg, Va. so he could take a dump in her toilette. Let me clarify my complaint, if their are any recent arrivals who can read this: We don't needs animals who urinate or defecate in public nor do we need "TURD BURGLARS". Stay home don't come to our country. Or, get the hell out if you can follow our rules of decency or respect our established rules concerning private property.

Anonymous said...

Correction..."CAN'T FOLLOW OUR RULES..."

Citizen Tom said...

Charles, I don't think this wave of immigration is like prior waves. In the past, immigrants crossed an ocean to get here. Now they just walk across the border.

The people to the south of us have suddenly discovered the USA is the new El Dorado. Something like 15 percent of Mexico is now here, and these people are mostly poor and uneducated. While most of these people are undoubtedly nice people, they do not earn enough to pay for the public services they use, but they like using them. Everything is "FREE".

We do not need to import poor, ignorant day laborers. The only reason we allow these illegal immigrants into the country is that their employers like the cheap labor and have sufficient clout to abuse our immigration system. So get over your ambivalence. Just blame the people causing the problem, the employers.

The solution does not require hate, anger, or the arrest of millions. If we cut off the jobs, and the "FREE" public services, the illegal immigrants will go home -- where they belong.

Anonymous said...

Charles,

Citizen Tom is correct about the gringo employers luring the "INDIOS" to this country. Ever been in Mexico City? The majority of the folks there look a lot like former President Vincence Fox. Real tall with dark hair and blue eyes. Castilian Spanish. These educated Mexican citizens aren't coming to the US, except for a visit. Instead we get the untermensch, uneducated, illiterate troglodytes. Sure they like it here. At home in Mexico, the INDIOS are treated much the same as we treated the blacks in years past. It is no suprise that the racist Mexican Government controlled by the likes of Fox want to export, what to them are untermensch and a drain on their society.

Unfortunately, many of Mexico's criminals are streaming across the border along with those who just want "honest jobs". If these criminals stayed home, they would sometimes have to walk for miles just to steal a beer and if they were caught, it is likely that the store owner would not call the policia. The store owner or his friends would exact their own "special justice". It's much nicer in the US. The store owner calls the police. Maybe the Indio gets arrested maybe not. Indio goes to court instead of getting the tar beaten out of him/her, where he/she has all kinds of "RIGHTS". We even provide a translator at NO CHARGE to the Indio. I heard that the cost for translators in Virginia last year was 2.7 Million dollars, none of which by law can be charged to the non-English speaker criminal as court costs.

What's not to like? Compared to Mexican jails our prisons are like resort hotels. Clean beds and plenty of nutritious food. Some punishment? NOT.

It's like Citizen Tom said...until we make it unprofitable for the gringo employers, this problem will only get bigger.