Recently, a friend sent me a video. It was dealing with the border crisis. I must have watched that thing at least five times. I wanted to be sure that I absorbed every bit of it. There is a lot to break down, and I will not get into all of it, but there was one thing that stood out to me clearly, and I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on it.
The sticking point of the video for me was the part where the person speaking said, "if everyone just lived like they did in New York City, then the entire global population could live in the state of Texas."
I've also heard that before, and it goes something like, "if everyone would be content with 1/4 acre, everyone in the world could live in America."
It all sounds great in theory, and it is emotionally beautiful, but it is also about as realistic as Santa Claus in principle (not reality, because there is nothing real about it). The idea that America has enough at its disposal to take care of the entire population of the world is farcical, at best, and downright dishonest at worst.
Yet you will hear it again, and again, and again.
But, let us get back to New York City for a moment. I hate cities, I hate feeling people and eyes everywhere I go. I want to live on as many acres as my limited resources will allow me to and to be as little dependent on others and society as possible.
Live like they do in New York City?! Could you possibly think of a worse torture for me?
There is the issue. People are not alike. I have about as much interest in living in a Manhattan high rise as I do a corner in Hell, and that includes you giving it to me for free with zero expenses. That kind of life is just a punishment for breathing to me. Yet, for millions of people that life is what draws and attracts them to the city.
We... Are... Different...
The same holds true with regard to the American way of life and the way of living in other countries. We are so different, and our ways of life are so anthemic, that some emotive simplicity cannot possibly bridge the divide between our way of life and theirs. They do not want to become like us, and we do not want to become like them.
We already have a balkanization problem in our nation, this only exacerbates it.
New York City... a city divided up into little communities. Large sections of it balkanized. The Italian neighborhood, the Black neighborhood, Chinatown, the Jewish sector, and on and on and on. No melting pot, just different groups of people keeping to their own. Each creating their own version of life in America.
That's completely different from what America was supposed to be, and it is a large part of why people have such an issue with immigration today as opposed to the anti-immigration sentiment of the past, which was largely based on race or national origin.
In the past, families generally banned their original language from being used in the home. They wanted the children to become American and to live like Americans. Today, each group expects their own translator, practically, and there is a genuine anger when their balkanization is not met with total acceptance and service.
In the past, people banded together in ethic communities because of oppression. Today there is MUCH LESS oppression, yet just as much, if not more, balkanization. Why? Because today it is not about external oppression, but rather a personal desire to remain a part of the community left rather than be absorbed into the community being joined.
In the past, the goal was to get your family as "American as possible" as quickly as possible. Today, it is about "holding on to your heritage," which is just another fancy way of saying balkanize without all of the negative connotations. Yet, it is no different.
Do you wonder why you don't see many "white" Americans waving English, German, Italian, French, et al flags? Simple, when those people came, they did what they had to do to acclimate as soon as possible. They wanted to be a part of America, and understood that doing so meant embracing life as an American, not as an Englishman living in America.
Yet today, that is seen as simply asking too much of an immigrant. Wanting them to become American is now considered "racist."
**NEWSFLASH** - No, it is not. My desire to see them embrace being an American has no regard for their skin color, their national origin, their ability to speak English proficiently, or any other myriad of factors. I want them to embrace Americanism, regardless of any of those factors and join us in national brotherhood.
Many of them, however, just want to stand off in balkanized groups and hold on to their "heritage."
Well, I hate to break it to you, but Americanism is what created this nation differently than the one that you are fleeing from. Coming here while trying to hold on to where you were is what is tearing this nation apart. It is also why you see so much MORE anti-immigrant sentiment today than you ever have before.
Yep, that is, in fact, the key. Anti-immigration sentiment has always been here. Just go look up the anti-Irish, anti-Semitic, anti-German, or anti-Chinese immigration sentiment in America. You will find a plethora. It has always been here, but there is something different in the anti-immigrant sentiment today, and that difference is that today it is about a growing anti-Americanism, not about Americans being anti-wherever you came from or whatever your skin color is ism.
That is the big problem today. I'd be more than happy to let tons of people in... IF the idea still was that they would all conform to Americanism and not try to bend America into what life was like where they came from. Yep, anti-immigration sentiment is different today because it is not actually anti-immigration, it is anti-multiculturalism.
And there is the biggest thing that no one, right or left, wants to talk about. The push back that many people get today is not against their "race," their "national origin," or the myriad of other factors that they try to throw in there. It is about their desire to change America and Americanism, and to force people to embrace balkanization and a "tossed salad" instead of Americanism and a "melting pot."
Here is the troubling fact, however, a large portion of the country is not interested in a melting pot, and so the fight continues.
I love going to the homes of my Hispanic friends, and you would have a VERY hard time finding someone in my life who is unaware of my practical dependence on / addiction to Mexican food; yet even with my love of the people and their culture (yep, I've been to the celebration of "The Virgin of Guadalupe Day" and even tried to dance the dances), I am still dismayed at the large percentages of their population that simply refuses to acclimate to America. They want to live in what is basically a, "little Mexico."
Well, if you do not want to be American, why are you wanting to live in America?
It IS, INDEED, a fair question, despite the cacophony of protests otherwise. Particularly if the only answer is, "we just do not want to be poor."
I do not care about your color, where you come from, if you speak broken English, if you are poor, if you believe in Jesus or Zeus. If you WANT TO BE an American, welcome, let me throw the door wide open for you, however; If you want to be a (whatever you were)ian in America, then we have issues, and I am not ok with you coming in to further divide our country and drive us into this fractured and balkanized community.
Our unity used to be our strength, now our balkanization (or multiculturalism) has become our greatest weakness.
This ends Part I, balkanization. Part II, or resource availability will be coming soon.