Tonight we're posting one of Randall Burn's Progressive Indictiments, this time of American Prospect magazine's recent "special report" on immigration. So I suppose I should comment on one of the articles, an attempt to smear the immigration reform movement as white nationalist and nativist by somebody called Leonard Zeskind.
They all merge after a while, these supposed exposes with their endlessly-recycled "paranoid scholarship", these excitable and exciteable Zeskinds. (There's an interesting article about this particular Zeskind's Stalinist past here). An accuracy gauge: Zeskind says Proposition 187 was "found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court". It wasn't.
I have to say, though, that Zeskind's article does achieve a new high in guilt by association. He concludes an account of an immigration reform meeting by noting darkly that outside the hall—across a highway—was a public billboard advertising the National Alliance.
Wow! And no doubt somewhere in the city a library had a copy of Mein Kampf. Case closed!
Zeskind attacks me by quoting my Alien Nation:
“Suppose I had proposed more immigrants who look like me,” Brimelow wrote in his book Alien Nation. “So what? As late as 1950, somewhere up to nine out of ten Americans looked like me. That is, they were of European stock … . In those days, they had another name for this thing dismissed so contemptuously as ‘the racial hegemony of white Americans.' They called it ‘America.’” These two writers [Zeskind kindly links me with Pat Buchanan] provide an intellectualized rationale for the raw, crudely white-supremacist view that America is — or once was and should now be — a white and Christian nation.
What fascinates me about this attack is its trusting faith in pure hysteria. Zeskind just assumes that it is obvious to everyone that saying America was a "white and Christian nation" is scandalous.
Apparently, he has never looked at who exactly signed the Declaration of Independence or attended the Constitution convention. Why would he?