Emotion At Reason
December 18, 2003, 04:00 AM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF

We regularly have to boot the writers at the Establishment Libertarian magazine Reason for being, well, unreasonable about immigration policy. We now seem to have graduated to Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie himself [e-mail himself].

Gillespie was recently touting yet another federal government scheme to subsidize immigrants, in this case illegals, at taxpayer expense—something which, absurdly, he claims libertarians ought to support. This is the so-called D.R.E.A.M. Act, a combination stealth amnesty and discounted tuition program.

D.R.E.A.M. has the support of all the usual nogoodniks and, Gillespie wrote, is

"…seen as enough of a threat to gin up an attack from the unabashed Heather Locklear fans over at the anti-immigrant site VDARE.com. (Peter Brimelow, the proprietor of the site named for the 'first' European born in Britain's American colonies, has written: 'If, through some miracle of genetic recombination, Virginia Dare is reborn in Ms. Locklear's beautiful face, [Dare's grandfather and colonial governor of Roanoke] John White might well have recognized her.") Juan Mann's piece on the legislation was cleverly titled 'Illegal Alien's D.R.E.A.M.—Patriot's Nightmare.'"

[Links in the original].

The quote, of course, is from our "Why VDARE.COM/ The White Doe?" essay, which we posted nearly four years ago. (Yes, I KNOW we have to update it.) The actress Heather Locklear is supposedly part-Lumbee Indian, the North Carolina tribe sometimes thought to be descended from the survivors of the Lost Colony.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the psychology of immigration enthusiasts. Gillespie here provides a case study.

Note the quotes around "first" in discussing Virginia Dare. Why? Simple. Gillespie can't read.

We actually referred to Virginia Dare as the "first English child to be born in the New World," and in fact she's usually referred to as the "first white child of English parents" born in America.

Perhaps Gillespie is hinting that the first "European" child should be Snorri Thorfinnson, born in "Vinland" somewhere around 1020. Or (more likely) Gillespie may be thinking of some Spanish colonial child, sired by Pizarro or Cabeza de Vaca.

But we said "English" for a reason: one of VDARE.COM's themes that the U.S. is not a "proposition nation" but an organic growth from a British root. 

I presume Gillespie is distressed by Virginia Dare because, like libertarians other than our paleolibertarian friends over at LewRockwell.com, he is allergic to the notion that liberty is culturally specific.

But what's he got against Heather Locklear?

You can tell he thinks he's scoring some kind of point.

I suspect that, like the rest of what Steve Sailer has called the "Righteous Right," Gillespie is infected with the common liberal hysteria about race and "racism." So intense is this emotion (and so careless is his reading) that he flips out when he sees the word "genetic," although it's entirely unexceptionable.

Proof of this emerges in Gillespie's penultimate paragraph:

"One of the great shames of this country is that its immigration policies have often been at best arbitrary and more often explicitly racist, designed to keep out unfavored groups. That legacy is one of the reasons it is hard to get too bent out of shape over illegals: Among those of us who lay claim to, say, Italian heritage, who wouldn't have wanted our parents or grandparents to enter the country after such people were effectively barred from entering the country in the mid-1920s?"

At VDARE.COM, of course, we think that the cut-off of 1921 and 1924, which ended the previous Great Wave of immigration, was not "racist" but nationalist legislation—aimed at preserving the American nation by stabilizing its shifting ethnic balance. 

But Gillespie isn't even trying to make a rational argument about that. Instead, he is explicitly trying to stir up a desire for revenge—against who?—among those who may have been "effectively barred" back then. (Not absolutely barred, because immigrants were allowed in proportion to each group's presence in the American population.)

In fact, it is a matter of historical record that, with the exception of the Jewish organizations, immigrants were generally quite calm about the cut-off.

"I never heard anything about it at all," says our Joe Guzzardi, whose grandfather came from Sicily.

"Reason"? Let's change the rag's name to Emotion.

Peter Brimelow is Editor of VDARE.COM and author of the much-denounced Alien Nation: Common Sense About America's Immigration Disaster (1995).