July 19, 2005

Muslim immigration vs. Hispanic immigration

In the wake of the London bombings, lots of Americans are patting themselves on the back because, unlike those suicidal Europeans who let in tens of millions of Muslims, we sensible, hard-headed Americans lets in tens of millions of Latin Americans. Everybody knows that Muslims are maniacal hotheads while Latinos are happy-go-lucky little people who will be perfectly content to wash our cars for minimum wage for all eternity, right?

What is overlooked is that back when Europeans were letting in lots of Muslims as guest workers, it seemed like a good idea at the time. The Muslim immigrants appeared dutiful and submissive. Indeed, Britain's first generation of Pakistanis were easy to push around because they were physically small. But now their grandsons are strapping big louts who don't take no crap from nobody.

The point is: The future is unwritten. But there are certain patterns in history. They aren't sure things, but we ought to take them into consideration. One is that peoples change over time. Their expectations change. Just as African-Americans were considered such naturally content servants up through about 1960 that two major consumer packaged goods brands were named after black cooks (Uncle Ben's rice and Aunt Jemima's syrup), a people can get tired of being on the bottom of the pecking order, and their young men can lash out violently. As I wrote in "The Wind from the South" in June, a wave of anti-white populist activism is sweeping South America and headed for Mexico. Eventually, it will probably arrive in the U.S.

A reader writes:

It often seems to happen that second-generation immigrants, or rather, the homegrown children of immigrants, are more frustrated and angry than their parents. I can think of two reasons for that:

1- They have more identity problems. The immigrants themselves may have adaptation difficulties, but they know who they are. For instance, a Turk who settles in Germany knows that he is not German but Turkish. His son may not know what he is, Turkish or German. Such ambivalence can be frustrating and frustration can easily lead to anger.

2- The father may be poor but he is more likely to compare his economic situation with what he had in the old country. The son compares his situation with that of the other people in the new country, and if he is poorer than most, he may resent it. American blacks don't compare themselves with sub-Saharan Africans or Haitians but with other Americans.

The problem with stopping the inflow of Muslim immigrants is that it will be perceived as discriminatory by the Muslims that already in the country. For instance, if the Netherlands were to forbid the entry of new Muslim immigrants into the country, but not the entry of non-Muslim immigrants, then the 1 million Muslims who already are in the Netherlands will feel that as a slap in the face and argue that they are treated as second-class citizens and victims of religious discrimination. In light of this, it is preferable to drastically reduce all immigration, or else use criteria which cannot be construed as discriminatory, such as geographic proximity or linguistic similarity.

I doubt if such steps would assuage Muslim anger. They'll see right through such stratagems. And, anyway, they're angry right now.

I suspect that the key is to show strength. Trying to assuage them just arouses their contempt.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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