through the madhouse called the California State Legislature and now awaits the undead governor’s signature. Indeed, one of the few signs of life he showed during the campaign that brought him back from beyond the grave was when he spoke of the joy with which he would sign such a bill if resurrected. I refer to AB 131, the second half of the so-called “California Dream Act,” which would allow illegal aliens brought to this country as children who’ve graduated from California’s public-school system to apply for college aid.
Predictably, rage against this act of the machine has focused on two points: one, for the happy-spending legislators to plunk down more money from our strapped coffers at a time when they are closing State Parks and cutting down on essential services staggers belief—they show less responsibility than a 16-year-old with four six-packs, his daddy’s car, and a girlfriend to impress. The second is that the recipients are…well…here illegally; their parents’ lawbreaking is thereby rewarded. I share both concerns.
But the illegal-immigration dispute encompasses two separate yet related issues. It is obviously a question of both national security and sovereignty—a nation that cannot control its borders has abdicated its independence. The righteous outrage that many feel over this issue derives its energy from another—the gradual re-Hispanicization of the Southwest in general and California in particular, as the redoubtable Pat Buchanan has written in these pages. But not only are conservative Anglo columnists agitated. Members of Southern California’s black community perceive Latino populations’ growth in traditionally black areas and Hispanic street gangs’ targeting of blacks as a form of ethnic cleansing.
But even if the border was locked down and every illegal immigrant was shipped home, this cultural change would continue, albeit at a slower rate. The cause would not be mere legal immigration but that unspeakable 800-pound burro in the room—birthrate. The Hispanics have, to a great degree, not yet learned that sterility ought to be marriage’s aim—and that sex is best outside of that union. That has been the Anglo’s fate to discover.
The Anglo birthrate’s collapse has not been the result of a Latino conspiracy, but of Anglo self-indulgence and sloth. Teddy Roosevelt (no great lover of Hispanics at home or abroad) declared to a conference of Protestant theologians in 1911:
If you do not believe in your own stock enough to wish to see the stock kept up then you are not good Americans, you are not patriots; and…I for one shall not mourn your extinction, and in such event I shall welcome the advent of a new race that will take your place, because you will have shown that you are not fit to cumber the ground.
Harsh words. But the future need not be as bleak as statistics and our 26th president would imply. New Archbishop of Los Angeles José Gomez has entered the debate over immigration and cultural change with an eminently sane point of view—for this reason, pro-immigration and other activists in his former archdiocese of San Antonio did not care for him. He has also called upon those who fear for this country’s future to reexamine what they are defending. In an address before the Napa Institute, the archbishop points out that regardless of anyone’s views, America is changing. It already has, in that “We have an elite culture—in government, the media and academia—that is openly hostile to religious faith.” Hispanic America’s growth must be seen in this context.
For the elite that Gomez describes is not merely an elite of secularism, but also of the demographic collapse President Roosevelt foretold and condemned. This same elite harbors a hatred for the good things in life and condemns drinking, smoking, and fine dining (at least for others). They will ruin the country for good and all. Yet they are the legal America, and in their propaganda—available in public schools, most universities, and the multimedia presentations that now accompany most national monuments dedicated to the revolutionary era—they argue that they constitute the real America while their opposition are the modern-day Loyalists and Confederates.
The archbishop asks the question, “What is America?” If it is the land of sterile debauchery our elites would have it be, then with Teddy Roosevelt I say, “Let it fall!” If one instead replies that it is the land those folk have usurped and taken into strange and bizarre paths, the question becomes more specific: What do we want to restore? The United States of the 1950s? 1932? 1860? 1789? 1774? Whichever of those dates appeal, the sad truth is that those United States are never coming back.
But the Hispanics are coming. It is possible to simply fear and loathe them as invading barbarians (having received a crash course in Latino gang culture at inner-city LA’s Virgil Junior High in the mid-1970s, I would be in a position to jump on that bandwagon). But that is as sterile a strategy as marriage counseling from Planned Parenthood.
Far more productive would be to support those elements in the Latino community, as does Archbishop Gomez, who push for their compadres to live up to what is best in their own culture and use it to strengthen the mainstream. It would be good to encourage the Anglo population to resume breeding as well. While these aims would require more cultural and religious initiatives than political, a part-time legislature focused on real issues would help. A living governor would not hurt, either.