A few years ago a reporter called to ask for my response to an incident he had observed while doing a story about the closing of the Roy Rogers Museum in Victorville, California.
While getting local opinions about the closure of this once-popular attraction, he approached a Hispanic woman sitting in the bar of a neighborhood lounge. He asked her what she thought about this “end of an era” event. She said, “There’s a revolution going on here and it don’t include no Roy Rogers or Bob Hope.”
I told the reporter that she was being very candid and accurate in her assessment of the what was happening. Not only in Victorville, but in the country as whole.
Indeed there is a revolution going on in America. It is a revolution of subnational identities against what was the predominant Anglo-Protestant culture.
This movement started in the 1960s and was exacerbated by the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965. The legislation eliminated national quotas in favor of what is called “family unification.” What it led to was a wave of immigration that has resulted in over 40 million newcomers; a number far greater than the total of all previous years of our history. It also helped speed the process of the deconstructing of America.
The legislation had a powerful supporter in the person of Senator Ted Kennedy, who saw it as a way to change the face of America that he and other liberals deemed to be too white. Long before Obama, the cult of multiculturalism was affecting national policy. The cult substituted diversity for unity as the overriding national value. They started a war on English as the common language, and the founding fathers as idealistic and courageous patriots.
Of course, they also saw the political advantage of tribalizing America. Victimized sub groups could be exploited for votes and party loyalty. This political calculus requires a constant supply of “victims” in order to maintain political power. Massive immigration of unskilled, low wage workers who were resistant to and encouraged to avoid assimilation, provides the replenishment of the underclass and must be maintained to avoid slipping back into an E pluribus unum America.
And I should add that I don’t believe that pluribus has to be defined to mean that the “many” have to be white. Indeed, in the past we were able to maintain a common idea of America, an American Creed if you will, because the assimilation process was an integral part of the immigration phenomena and it wasn’t dependent on the color of the immigrant’s skin.
Whether or not it depends on an immigrant’s religion is another question. Can Muslims who adhere to Sharia law be expected to excise that part of their faith where it is incompatible with the Constitution of the United States? Should they be required to do so as a condition of admittance? Your answer to that and the whole issue of massive immigration without assimilation depends on whether you believe the American culture can, or should be saved.
I’ve always found it typically hypocritical of the left to champion the importance of retaining all aspects of one’s culture, including its language, for all cultures except America’s.
Whether or not the revolution that the customer in that Victorville bar referred to has succeeded or whether Donald Trump’s election is the beginning of the counter revolution are questions, the answers to which will certainly determine what the term “American” will define.