Recently, I attended the Center for Immigration’s highly useful annual luncheon at which is presented the 2012 Eugene Katz Award For Excellence in the Coverage of Immigration. (This year’s winner: The Daily’s reporter Sarah Ryley).[See articles, videos, and a transcript of the awards ceremony, including Ms. Ryley's speech.]
I was chatting in the buffet lunch line with a white businessman, who shall be nameless. He told me a few years ago he had purchased in Texas two sections (a section is 640 acres) as a hunting ranch. He has since put in an airstrip for private planes and erected a house built with stone from the site.
He has not been overrun with transient illegal invaders, but he has had the chance to observe closely Mexicans on both sides of the border. And he came to a couple of conclusions worth factoring into our thinking about the nature of our immigration invasion.
First, this man opined that, despite the apparent self-interest of legal American citizens of Mexican descent in restricting further entry of invaders from Mexico, he has seen a strong tendency for them to want to have more and more immigrants from Mexico.
Have you ever wondered why, in the ongoing presidential campaign, we so strongly hear the pipes calling us to arms? Why the religious among us bristle at any challenge to the creation story they believe? Or even why team sports evoke such intense loyalty, joy, and despair?
The answer is that everyone, no exception, must have a tribe, an alliance with which to jockey for power and territory, to demonize the enemy, to organize rallies and raise flags.
And so it has ever been. In ancient history and prehistory, tribes gave visceral comfort and pride from familiar fellowship, and a way to defend the group enthusiastically against rival groups. It gave people a name in addition to their own and social meaning in a chaotic world. It made the environment less disorienting and dangerous. Human nature has not changed. Modern groups are psychologically equivalent to the tribes of ancient history. As such, these groups are directly descended from the bands of primitive humans and prehumans.
[Biologist E.O. Wilson on Why Humans, Like Ants, Need a Tribe, April 12, 2012] [VDARE.com Note: See also E. O. Wilson—Nationalist? by F. Roger Devlin.]
Our Founding Fathers created our unique republic seeking equal laws over tribally-dictated favoritism. This noble experiment lurched forward despite the thorny issue of slavery, and survived its consequences.
But now, with the continuing immigration invasion, the issue of tribalism re-emerges starkly.
Second, this border Texan observed that, while in his business life he strives to make deals in which both sides can win, in Mexican culture each side’s objective to be a winner, and to make the other party a loser.
Of course, that’s how it’s been through most of human history. This past month, I visited the historic Dordogne Valley city of Sarlat. My group received an excellent lecture about how the English and French fought what is known as The Hundred Years War—from 1338 to 1457! The war was ultimately lost by the English, who finally ceded their long-established foothold in that area of France. But not before some of the most bloody and senseless battles in history. No win/win in this one, folks.
The moral I see for immigration reform: our assumption that logic will prevail and people will eventually perceive their best interests and act upon them may be true—but certainly not always, and not always on a timely basis.
We can’t ignore the powerful forces of culture and the tendency to succumb to neo-tribalism, also known as “multiculturalism,” as our country is so close to doing.
All Americans must stand up and insist that anyone who comes here be legal, and can be counted on to seek to become part of the American Dream.
That Dream can only operate effectively if our precious Rule of Law prevails.
And we need to demand that all our citizens see beyond their ethnic and cultural origins and, yes, religious beliefs, to a workable vision for a strong sovereign America that can offer an acceptable social contract to all its citizens.
Otherwise, the chaos which exists in so many countries around the world will become our future too.
Our post-1965 immigration disaster is threatening all of this.
I believe my Texas businessman friend at the CIS lunch got it right—proving once again the value of being on the ground to get the story.
Donald A. Collins [email him], a free lance writer living in Washington, DC. , is Co Chair of the National Advisory Board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). However, his views are his own.