In an interview about his foolish and insulting new movie, "A Day without a Mexican," Director and native Mexican Sergio Arau said he wants to "make the invisible visible. It's like a car. If you take away a tire, you will notice." [Reel grim look at U.S. life without Mexican workers NY Daily News May 16, 2004 By Tamer El-Ghobashy]
The premise for Arau's film—labeled a "comedy" by the Internet Movie Database—is that if all the Mexicans in California took a hike, the state would grind to a halt.
If all the manual laborers—most of them hired illegally—were to vanish as a group, there would of course be a temporary glitch.
But if the illegal aliens were deported (or encouraged to deport themselves) in an orderly manner—say at the rate at which they arrive, about 1,000 a day—then the California economy would carry on just fine, thank you very much.
A more important point about Arau's mindless movie: he did not portray California without the many Mexicans who drain our social services and disrupt our quality of life. For further details, read my VDARE.COM friend and colleague James Fulford's commentary on A Day Without A Mexican [Bring It On!].
But I'll play along with Arau (with a twist or two of my own) by imagining a highly visible Mexican vanishing.
Accordingly, I offer "A Day without Ruben Beltran."
In March 2004 Beltran, the newly-appointed Mexican consul-general in Los Angeles, kicked off his career by announcing that the government of Mexico had entered into an agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District to form "a joint outreach program targeting Spanish-speaking families." (Mexico Joins Hands with LAUSD, Los Angeles Daily News, March 17 2004)
Among the things Beltran pledges to do is increase the number of Spanish-language books it donates to the district and develop more campus-based community plazas made up of computer banks and homework stations. Mexican companies will be sponsors.
Finally, the "agreement" promises that Mexico will work with the LAUSD to build a pool of potential credentialed Spanish-speaking teachers in Mexico who will come to Los Angeles over the next few years.
The Mexican Consulate recently gave 1,200 Spanish-language books to the Glendale Unified School District of Los Angeles County. Titles include "Estado de Mexico" [The State of Mexico] and "Ciencias Naturales" [Natural Sciences] -suggesting Mexico is assuming some pretty basic responsibilities. [GUSD gets gifts from Mexico By Gary Moskowitz, Glendale News-Press, May 27, 2004][VDARE.com note: Of course, history books imported from Mexico will teach history from the anti-American point of view. This is not only subversive, but displaces native-born leftist historians who are just as anti-American as anyone in Mexico.]
Naturally, all of this touchy-feely stuff is done under the guise of "We must help the children."
Said Beltran, "We want to lower the dropout rate [23.6%] in three or four years. We want to produce a better environment (for) the Mexican children here."
Beltran really loves to pile on the insults. To suggest that the California Department of Education needs Mexico to "produce a better environment" for learning takes the cake!
An LAUSD teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, tells me:
"If LAUSD, and the U.S. for that matter, had any guts at all we'd be asking Mexico why, with their so-called academic expertise, so many of the illegal Mexican adults and children flooding into our country are barely literate in their native language. The underperformance of Hispanics in L.A. schools is a symptom of their lack of participation in the educational process. This is compounded by the district's social promotion policy…The District will continue to go the politically correct route by treating the symptom (no basic academic skills) by 'working with Mexico' rather than addressing the cause of the problem... Addressing these realities is the kind of thing that will get a politician or school administrator tarred and feathered."
And when I contacted retired LAUSD teacher Betty Cordoba about Beltran's meddling, here is what she told me:
"I am absolutely appalled…we have a CA State Department of Education and a syllabus of study formulated for LAUSD schools. There is such a plethora of expenses related to illegal immigrants that it seems to me to be extremely brazen for a foreign consulate to be advising any of our state educational systems.."
Cordoba, who during her career as an LAUSD educator was a Master Teacher, a demonstration teacher and an in-service teacher, concluded:
"I hope this practice will soon be put to an end. It should be. If more American citizens knew about this, I am sure there would be a large outcry! Please notice I have a Spanish surname. I am anti-illegal immigrant, not anti-legal immigrant, at all."
The Imperial Valley Press recently published the first two parts of a three-part series that compares Mexico's disgraceful public school system to K-12 education offered in the U.S. In Mexico, the wealthy children are given all the advantages. (In Mexico, Education Carries a High Price Tag; 5/29/2004 and In Mexico, Wealth Defines the Level of Education, 6/5/2004)
If Beltran really wants to "produce a better environment" for Mexican children, then let him return to Mexico where the children really need help!
Mexico is short on government officials with his degree of compassion.
And not to worry—we'll get along just fine in California without Ruben Beltran.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.