May 3, 2006

The psychology of enthusiasm for illegal immigration

A reader writes:

I think I’ve figured out why the illegals thing isn’t a slam dunk, as first instincts would indicate it to be, amongst otherwise instinctually conservative whites.

Basically, they see Mexicans as much much better than blacks. They work the jobs blacks are most suited for but find beneath their ain’t-keeping-me-down-I-ain’t-your-slave dignity, they commit crime at lower rates, they are more hard working and less welfare dependant, they are not organized into racial political grievance groups (the demonstrations are a big OOPS for their side here) and don’t have an El Al Sharptono and Jesussie Jacksono, and they even score higher on average on standardized tests of all kinds. Heck, they even vote GOP more than blacks!

In short we don’t expect non-whites to act white, but those brown people really are so much better in every way, THEY are the kind of minority we’d really like to have.

The great mental block, the missing link, is that we don’t get to deport one welfare mother in the ghetto for every senorita who crosses the border, or send back to Africa one scary shiftless guy on the corner for every hard working quiet little gardener who arrives from Mexico. We don’t swap a good minority for a bad, we get MORE minorities. We may get more total GOP voters who are non-white, but we also get a total net increase in Democratic voters. The quality of the minority pool is improved, but the quality of the national pool is worsened.

I think for some reason, below conscious thought, everyone thinks of it as a swap, even guys good at math like Karl Rove. I think the block is that every one wants a swap, but because that involves wishing for the absence of troublesome blacks, nobody can let themselves SEE the desire in themselves, so that all that’s left is the pleasing feeling of getting more of the right sort of brown people. Its ok to think of improving the overall quality of the minority population, brown on black. That's not quite thought crime, but thinking that more minorities overall might bring things down ventures too close to, or right into, THOUGHT CRIME.

It’s the sub-rosa swap syndrome.

There, call me Tom Wolfe, I have figured out the great psychological puzzle. Or not...

Indeed, as I wrote in "How to Help the Let Half of the Bell Curve" in 2000:

Many establishment conservatives see unskilled mestizo immigrants as our New, Improved Poor People. The Old, Unimproved Poor People: native-born blacks. But this only makes sense if we could somehow exchange blacks for Hispanic immigrants. Without deporting blacks, immigration will only create a second undercompetitive, and thus resentful, racial group.

Mestizo Hispanics tend to suffer (somewhat) less severe problems than African Americans - but their potential numbers are larger. For example, Fox Butterfield reported in The New York Times (August 10th, 2000) that Hispanics are 1/3rd as likely to go to jail as blacks (Whites? Merely 1/10th). But by the end of the century, Hispanics may be three times as numerous as blacks. We'll enjoy equally large groups of black and Hispanic jailbirds. Quite a legacy to leave our great-grandchildren.

The essential fact about African Americans is that they are Americans. They did not ask to come here. At minimum, our nation's obligation to them is to not worsen their plight by importing competitors who are slightly more competent.

Republicans point to newly-arrived immigrants outcompeting native blacks as proof that blacks shouldn't blame us for their problems. Okay, fine. It's not our fault. But, in what system of ethics is it the average black's fault that his IQ, which is mostly determined genetically, is 85? Is he to blame for failing to choose his parents wisely?

On a subnational level, however, the affluent white residents of elite cities such as New York may, however, might rationally have a self-interest for America importing Mexican illegal immigrants because they tend to "economically cleanse" African-Americans out of a New York or a San Francisco. The black population of NYC, for instance, has fallen in recent years as the Hispanic illegal immigrant population has grown. This process lowers the crime rate in New York City, but not in the country as a whole. Of course, much of the media is based in NYC, so the rest of us get propagandized in favor of what's good for New Yorkers. Of course, that wouldn't be the first time New Yorkers talked the rest of us into doing something stupid.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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