Opinion

Immigration and lessons learned from the Klondike

Liberal orthodoxy holds that culture, religion and ethnicity don’t matter. Sure, most of the major conflicts of our time center on these three things, but the United States is different. The U.S. is free society, built upon the idea that humans of all backgrounds and creeds can come together and build their own destinies.

Yet there are limits to the notion that “diversity is our strength.” Firstly, it is not entirely clear that the U.S. always has been what the American Civil Liberties Union makes it out to be. As the Rockford Institute’s Paul Gottfried points out, “Up until well into the twentieth century, wide popular support and even Supreme Court decisions favored the view that the U.S. was a Western Christian country” (or perhaps Judeo-Christian) in character and culture.

Secondly, culture and ethnicity can be more divisive than one might expect, even in a free society. As immigrants from Southeast Asia pour in, Asian Americans, once thought among the best integrated of minorities, are slowly beginning to form their own spaces in society. Counter-assimilative forces are even more noticeable when language is a factor. The sheer number of Spanish-speaking Mexicans to (legally or otherwise) to southwestern U.S., plus its close proximity to Mexico, makes that group difficult to assimilate.

The potential this creates for ethnic tension should not be underestimated. One need only look to our bilingual northern neighbor, where francophone Quebec functions largely apart from Anglophone Canada and has on occasion sought full independence. Keep in mind that, apart from language, British and French Canada have much in common: Both are European and Christian and their peoples could, at least at a glance, be mistaken for one another.

At least, they were European and Christian. Canada, like the U.S., has begun to witness a massive surge in levels of third world immigration and, except for language, is not even trying to assimilate its newcomers (if they did try, they would fail due to numbers alone). It should also be pointed out that, after several decades of trenchant secularization, Canada – especially Quebec – boasts a severely depressed birthrate and distressingly high abortion and suicide rates.

Americans should not ignore the message here, as we are also relinquishing enough of our identity to endanger our survival as a coherent nation. For the sake of our posterity, and ourselves, let us decide once and for all who we are and form our policies accordingly.

Nicholas G. Moses can be contacted at n.moses@umiami.edu.

November 2, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Hurricanes have become part of college football’s national conversation, and the more wins they ...

Kicker Michael Badgley will soon become the University of Miami’s all-time field goal leader. In the ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt called Darrell Langham’s amazing, 28-yard catch on fourth-and-1 ...

Darrell Langham is 6-4, but might as well be 8-4 — that’s how much he has grown in stature for the M ...

The Miami Hurricanes have done it again. For the second week in a row, the Canes rallied to win in t ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Hurricanes legends Michael Irvin, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Warren Sapp and Sean Taylor were officially ad ...

University of Miami wide receiver Darrell Langham and kicker Michael Badgley were among those recogn ...

University of Miami redshirt setter Haley Templeton was named ACC Player of the Week, the conference ...

Freshman Bojan Jankulovski highlighted Day 2 competition on Saturday for the University of Miami men ...

The University of Miami's football game at North Carolina on Oct. 28 will kick off at noon ET o ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.