What Tom Brokaw Said Wasn’t Racist, But it Does Miss the Point
Beloved TV icon Tom Brokaw got in hot water. Why? For offering a balanced statement on immigration. He admitted that some opposition to it comes from ethnocentric motives. That is, white people not keen on becoming a racial minority. Brokaw is a journalist of the old school, where objectivity mattered. So he also opines that immigrants should do a better job of “assimilating.”
Up until about five minutes ago, that would have been uncontroversial. Indeed, far from being a racist position, it was the anti-racist stance. White racists don’t think members of other races can assimilate — the difference is in their genes. So non-racists for decades have urged assimilation as the happy outcome that made mass immigration a good idea. It was only hard-core Nordic supremacist types who denied that.
Now Assimilation Is “Racist”?
No more. As Al Perrotta and I pointed out in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration, today’s left has abandoned that ideal. Indeed, as Stanley Kurtz wrote in National Review, California textbooks now teach that urging assimilation is in itself “racist.”
Instead, leftists urge those from countless cultures that stream into America to cling to their differences. The motive for urging that’s clear: the left counts on a coalition of bitter splinter groups to pave its path to power. The government workers unions that count as some of the largest donors to Democrats depend on social pathology for their jobs. Every broken family, unemployable worker, or foreign student illiterate in any language is a paycheck for them.
But if immigrants become productive, middle-class loyal citizens, they might start to worry about the Democrats raising their taxes. If they ceased to see themselves as victims of “white hegemony” and clients of the welfare/affirmative action state, they might develop our nation’s traditional suspicion of bloated government. They might start to identify with traditional Anglo-American values, as my grandparents did. They might become … Republicans.
Weaponizing False Witness
The left has decided to weaponize the lazy charge of racism to win every political battle. They realize it’s our Kryptonite. We’re rightly ashamed of the (increasingly distant) history of slavery and Jim Crow. So Americans flinch at the slightest hint of “racism.” Afraid of the personal and career destruction such charges bring (paging Roseanne Barr), they cower. Then cave.
Sorry to see @tombrokaw catching hell for saying Hispanics need to do a better job of assimilating. This proves that any criticism of any non-white ethnic group is automatically considered racist and shows how the national consensus against racism has been weaponized.
— Brit Hume (@brithume) January 28, 2019
Except when the tactic blows up in leftist’s faces. They are overreaching wildly when they accuse as a racist every American who supports Donald Trump, or wants national borders. When a bishop like John Stowe denounces the pro-life movement for accommodating “racists” by tolerating MAGA hats, what he earns is our contempt. There’s a biblical term for making false charges that damage people. It’s “bearing false witness.” We have a whole Commandment forbidding it. In law it’s slander or libel. And thankfully it’s actionable. Look for some more bankrupt media companies, and more lefty journalists refusing to learn to code.
The Old America, Vanishing
But what’s really important here, I think, is “assimilation.” Because Hispanic and other immigrants are assimilating. They’re learning English, joining the Democratic party, and signing up for government benefits. (Almost two-thirds of non-citizen households collect such benefits, compared to 35% of citizen households.)
They’re assimilating, all right, but to the wrong America. To the Zombie America of handouts, grudges, sullen clerks, and resentment. It’s one vast DMV, from sea to shining sea. This America was founded not in 1776 but in 1965, with the Great Society.
On every significant issue, this new America negates the old one. No longer self-reliant citizens, leaning on our families and churches in times of testing. Instead we’re clients and subjects of a vast federal government. Tiny, hapless electrons whirling around Leviathan.
We once were free to hire and fire, associate or disassociate, as we pleased. Now our every decision is subject to scrutiny by a vast, impersonal bureaucracy of “anti-bias” regulators.
The Invasion of the Country Snatchers
The First Amendment, in part repealed by “campaign finance reform,” came back by a narrow vote in Citizens United. But it faces more insidious threats at the hands of vast, unregulated social media monopolies. Companies like Facebook, Google, and YouTube pretend that they aren’t publishers, to avoid legal liability for libel and defamation. But then they act like publishers by censoring our opinions.
The Second Amendment is under constant attack by state and local governments, crusading credit card companies and social media giants. Hillary Clinton ran on a platform of appointing judges who would gut the Second Amendment. Count on every major Democrat in 2020 to do the same, if elected.
So increasingly and inexorably, America is changing. Turning into the kind of bloated, rigidly stratified, static and statist country that most immigrants are fleeing. But count on the Democrats’ talent for “assimilating” newcomers. Those people are voting to transform their new country in the image of their old ones. (In much the same way, refugees from California vote to wreck their new states, too.)
That’s not how immigration was ever supposed to work. If it keeps up, we’ll have nothing left of the old America, the one that really was a beacon of liberty to all. Red and yellow, black and white, we’ll all be zombies in His sight.