"And that is very difficult for some people to do especially, I think, for Mexicans because they are so close to their country here so they try to stay Mexican but try to be in America so there's this kind of back and forth and what I'm saying to the Mexicans is you've got to go and immerse yourself and assimilate into the American culture become part of the American fabric. That is how Americans will embrace you. That was my, I think, the secret, if there is one, to success."Now, let's compare that with "Can We Still Afford to Be a Nation of Immigrants?" by Stanford Professor of History David M. Kennedy . Harvard's Samuel Huntington made a similar point . Other scholars have said much the same, see "Multiculturalism, Immigration, and Aztlan".
Luis Arteaga, Latino Issues Forum: "I'm offended because once again, this governor is making these blanket generalizations about the Mexican community that comes in so many different shapes, sizes and beliefs. And yet he wants to couch us all as un-American."That, of course, misrepresents what Arnold said. The only other quote is from Prof. Melissa Michelson of California State University East Bay (homepage)
"I think he put his foot, his ankle and his entire lower leg in his mouth. He really seems to have a misunderstanding about how Mexican immigrants see themselves and their place in this country."Wait, it gets worse. Here's the chairman of the California Democratic Party, Art Torres:
"Californians of all backgrounds are living the California dream while maintaining their culture, customs and languages... It is not the governor's place to dictate to new Californians how much of their language to speak, how much of their culture to keep or how quickly to assimilate."It isn't enough to simply live the "California dream". As a country, we have a duty to demand that those who come here do assimilate. Without that, we're simply a territory. (Torres' quote comes from a Los Angeles Times blog from one Robert Salladay discussing the "controversy". Needless to say, he can't find America with both hands.)
"[Proposition] 187 was the last gasp of white America in California."This page has more quotes:
"It is not the governor's place to tell immigrants to abandon their culture and language," declared LA Congresswoman Hilda Solis on a conference call hosted by the Democratic Party. Solis insisted that Schwarzenegger is trying to "appeal to his right-wing base."Here's an earlier quote from her:
"We are all Americans, whether you are legalized or not"Back to the Democratic Party's conference call:
Bay Area Congressman Mike Honda said we "should forget the melting pot concept." In a comment certain to stir the "reconquista" fears of nativists, Honda declared that Schwarzenegger misunderstands "the history of the Southwest. The Southwest was part of Mexico."Clearly, many leaders of the Democratic Party do not support the concept of America, prefering instead to push corporate pluralism, irredentism, and Gramscism. While not all Democratic leaders are anti-American, many are. Until they purge themselves of their anti-American leaders, should the Democratic Party be considered an American party at all?
All prognostications about these possibilities are complicated by another circumstance that has no precedent in American immigration history: the region of Mexican immigrant settlement in the southwestern United States is contiguous with Mexico itself. That proximity may continuously replenish the immigrant community, sustaining its distinctiveness and encouraging its assertiveness. Alternatively, the nearness of Mexico may weaken the community's coherence and limit its political and cultural clout by chronically attenuating its members' permanence in the United States, as the accessibility of the mother country makes for a kind of perpetual repatriation process. We'll have to settle for this review, which says:
In any case, there is no precedent in American history for these possibilities. No previous immigrant group had the size and concentration and easy access to its original culture that the Mexican immigrant group in the Southwest has today. If we seek historical guidance, the closest example we have to hand is in the diagonally opposite corner of the North American continent, in Quebec. The possibility looms that in the next generation or so we will see a kind of Chicano Quebec take shape in the American Southwest, as a group emerges with strong cultural cohesiveness and sufficient economic and political strength to insist on changes in the overall society's ways of organizing itself and conducting its affairs.
Because of geographic proximity, [Huntington] writes, Hispanic immigrants are more likely to remain in "intimate contact" with friends and families in their home countries; more likely to enter illegally; and more likely to stay regionally concentrated in the Southwest--that is, in areas that in 1835 were part of Mexico proper. The result, Huntington argues, is that "the Southwest could become the United States' Quebec."
Immigration · Fri, 10/06/2006 - 10:30 · Importance: 1