I recently returned from a visit to my home state of Oklahoma.
I wish I could tell you that my beloved home state is somehow immune from all the immigration insanity described in a typical VDARE.com article. But of course I can't.
When it comes to mass immigration and multiculturalism, Oklahoma is pretty much following the same script as California and most other states.
We still have some catching up to do. But the signs are unmistakable.
Too many immigrants are entering the state, too many are illegal, too many are not assimilating. Hispanic activists are beginning to assert themselves, demanding special privileges and Balkanizing the culture. The next decade or two should see some real demographic change.
According to FAIR's State Report for Oklahoma,
"Oklahoma's immigrant population more than doubled during the 1990s, increasing by 101 percent….53 percent of Oklahoma's immigrant population has arrived in the state since 1990."
Most Oklahomans are simply clueless about what is happening. I sure was myself, when I still lived in Oklahoma, before I moved to Mexico.
You're not supposed to mention this in polite company, but along with high immigration, crime and poverty have increased. In fact, 23% of immigrants in Oklahoma have incomes below the poverty level, so the state is importing poverty. According to a 2000 INS estimate, there are 46,000 illegal aliens in Oklahoma, although it's likely the real figure is higher.
Immigration law enforcement? According to the FAIR report,
"Local police officers say that federal immigration officials rarely show up when police call, even when illegal aliens are arrested for serious crimes. State troopers cite recent incidents where illegal aliens arrested on criminal charges simply disappeared out into the community after federal immigration authorities declined to detain them. In some cases, immigration officials have told local police to release illegal aliens because there weren't enough immigration agents to process them."
This is a problem all over the U.S.A., where local police are impeded from enforcing immigration law. In contrast, here in Mexico, local police are required to enforce immigration law. And they do so.
Oklahomans used to pride themselves on being hard-working and self-reliant. Nowadays, illegal alien Mexican labor is gaining more and more adherents. Construction, agriculture and even the oil patch are becoming more and more reliant on it.
My brother, who has worked in the oil fields as a roughneck, once showed up at the oil rig for a new job. But he was surprised to be informed that he didn't have that new job after all. My brother had just been replaced, you see, by a Mexican illegal alien without experience.
Yes, it was that blatant.
Oklahoma City and Tulsa now have large Spanish-speaking barrios, where practically none existed before, with the typical social problems associated with such neighborhoods. The illegal alien population in rural areas is growing as well.
Immigration-induced population growth and sprawl is another taboo that can't be discussed. According to FAIR, the average commute in Oklahoma increased 12% in the 1990s, crowded housing increased 60%, and each year the state loses 35,300 acres of agricultural land and open space. At 607 square miles, Oklahoma City is already one of the biggest cities in the country by area. But, as elsewhere, immigration and urban sprawl must never be connected.
On a previous visit, several years back, I arrived to the Oklahoma City bus station and purchased a copy of The Daily Oklahoman newspaper. Lo and behold, it contained an article about a growing social problem in Oklahoma City.
The problem? Mexican immigrant women who are abused by their Mexican immigrant husbands can't communicate with social workers because they can't speak English.
Now, I can think of several sensible approaches to this problem:
1. Don't import immigrants who beat their wives.
2. If they're caught beating their wives, deport them.
3. Require all immigrants to be able to speak English.
Needless to say, none of these sensible solutions were presented in the article. Naturally, the solution was that we need more social workers who speak Spanish. All at taxpayer expense, of course.
And we have the gall to call Californians and New Yorkers liberal!
The growth of the Spanish language in Oklahoma is transforming what was formerly a nearly monolingual state. And rather than demand that immigrants learn English, the Oklahoma media/political elite is encouraging linguistic balkanization. It's just as they want to say to folks in New York and LA: "Hey, we're not a bunch of rednecks out here. We can betray our culture just like you can!"
In January of 2004, The Daily Oklahoman, considered a conservative periodical, ran a 5-part part puff piece on the joys of linguistic balkanization, entitled "Spanish in Oklahoma."
A few years ago concerned Oklahomans put together initiative petition 366, which would have declared English the official language of Oklahoma. The petition had more than enough signatures to appear on the ballot as a referendum, but was nixed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 2002. The court declared in a 7-1 decision that the petition was unconstitutional. Why? Because, according to the court,
"...Petition No. 366 would disenfranchise segments of Oklahoma citizens by interfering with their ability to access vital information necessary for a self-governing society and cause self-censorship by inhibiting communications with government officials."
You see what I mean? Out-of-control judges on the East and Left Coasts have no monopoly on judicial activism. Okie judges can play that game too.
As my California colleague Joe Guzzardi has previously informed us, agitation for in-state tuition for illegal aliens has also reached Oklahoma.
Driver's license tests can now be taken in Spanish.
And Vicente Fox has already interfered in several Oklahoma death penalty cases.
In other words, what's happening in Oklahoma is far from unique. It's the familiar litany of Mexican Invasion characteristics happening throughout the nation.
Of course, if the numbers were much more manageable, and if we really believed in assimilation and citizenship, Oklahoma could absorb a limited number of immigrants and be enriched by them. Immigrants like my Mexican sister-in-law, who speaks English fluently, is integrated into the community and is married to my brother. But the quantity of immigrants is such that more and more immigrants find assimilation less and less necessary.
On the day I departed Oklahoma, I picked up a few Oklahoma Hispanic newspapers.
"El Latino American," emblazoned on the front cover with a Mexican coat of arms, included ads for document translation, ambulance chasing attorneys and a bail bond service with the slogan "¡Salga De La Carcel RÁPIDO!" (Get out of jail quick!).
Another paper was entitled "El Nacional de Oklahoma." (Hmm, which nacion is it referring to?) This paper contained an editorial bashing Professor Huntington's able description of the Hispanization of the United States. The editorialist, Matías Menis (email him at firstname.lastname@example.org), in an article entitled "¿Qué sería los Estados Unidos sin hispanos?" (What would the United States be without Hispanics?) wrote that
"One of Huntington's fears is to know if the United States will continue as a country with one single national language and a core Anglo-Protestant culture.
The transformation of the United States into a bicultural country does not have to be the end of the world. But it would be the end of the country that we have known for the past three Centuries." (Uno de los miedos de Huntington es saber si Estados Unidos continuará como un país con un solo idioma nacional y una cultura anglo protestante central. La transformación de Estados Unidos en un país (bicultural) no tendría que ser el fin del mundo, pero sí sería el fin del país que conocemos desde hace tres siglos.)
Exactly. And Sr. Menis believes the country should be transformed whether its non-Hispanic majority desires it or not.
He continues, explaining why he believes that the new nation will be superior to the old one:
"It could happen and it could result in the formation of a new nation that is much better than the old one—a country without prejudices or narrow-minded thinking, a country without discrimination and racism." (Puede que ocurra y puede que sea para formar una nueva nación mucho mejor que la anterior, un país sin prejuicios ni pensamientos estrechos, un país sin discriminación ni facismo.)
Menis is promoting the fantasy that Latin America is some sort of color-blind Arcadia, which is of course pure bunk. Racial stratification in Latin America puts whites squarely at the top, and is one of the reasons Latin American elites promote mass emigration—to avoid a racial rebellion.
So what's the future for Oklahoma? If present trends continue, as more and more Mexican immigrants (many illegal) will arrive and pressure for them to assimilate to our culture will continue to decrease.
The middle class will be squeezed out, urban sprawl will eat up more farmland, wages will drop, Hispanic activists will gain more clout and the Mexican government will get more say in how Oklahoma is governed.
Sounds a lot like California. And eventually, the whole country.
Wake up, Oklahoma.
American citizen Allan Wall lives and works legally in Mexico, where he holds an FM-2 residency and work permit, but serves six weeks a year with the Texas Army National Guard, in a unit composed almost entirely of Americans of Mexican ancestry. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here; his website is here. Readers can contact Allan Wall at email@example.com.