America's Never-Ending Shame: Importing Inequality
Americans must feel ashamed forever for the wicked inequalities that we maintain, especially racial inequalities. As if to fuel that shame, we are rapidly importing economically poor, poorly educated, low-skilled immigrants: the building blocks of more inequality, and more mandatory guilt.
These challenges are intensified because assimilation is almost nonexistent while multiculturalism essentially guarantees that immigrants maintain historical grievances and loyalties to a home nation other than America. These historical grievances, especially the notion that America stole the southwest from Mexico, have frozen the melting pot.
No sensible person with an appreciation for cultural differences would expect identical outcomes from different groups under these circumstances. Yet we persistently admit into this nation the human basis of racial inequality, and then force the majority to suffer the inevitable results. Those results include impulsive social engineering, highlighted by affirmative action.
And what does a society look like when it imports massive numbers of poorly educated, low-skilled immigrants? A “crisis” develops:
Ultimately we will face a crisis where a majority of the U.S. population will be economically disadvantaged, which will reduce their spending power and contribution to taxes and Social Security, impacting all segments of society and our country’s economic health.
This awful image was drawn by the provost of Antioch University, Los Angeles, Luis Pedraja. Segments of our society already bear resemblance to that image. As the graph of Census data (below) shows, poverty, low wages, and lack of health insurance are all higher for immigrants, even those who have been in the U.S. for over 20 years.
Source: Center for Immigration Studies
Note that welfare use is perversely higher for immigrants who have been in the U.S. for over 20 years than for recent arrivals. To take one important example, Harvard economist George Borjas notes that Hispanics are “[a]ssimilating into the welfare system.”
Source: Samuel Huntington, "The Hispanic Challenge," Foreign Policy
In short, we’re taking “disadvantaged” immigrants into a racialized political system that has an unhealthy obsession with economic inequalities. Those immigrants enter a nation that preaches multiculturalism – the opposite of assimilation – and even encourages historical ethnic grievances. The “crisis” described above is the natural outcome. The only mystery is why this “crisis” is allowed to worsen.
The Stain of White Privilege
To understand the impact of today’s immigration, it is necessary to acknowledge a radical change in the way American society integrates immigrants.
Many of our elites, especially those whom we allow to teach our children, openly condemn the American majority. Every moderate, libertarian, or conservative should be familiar with “white privilege” and “Critical Race Theory.” A left-wing professor named Peggy McIntosh coined the term “white privilege” and defined it as “an invisible package of unearned assets which [whites] can count on cashing in each day” . McIntosh wrote:
White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, assurances, tools, maps, guides, codebooks, passports, visas, clothes, compass, emergency gear, and blank checks.
White privilege is the core of Critical Race Theory (CRT), which is itself the heart of modern liberalism. As everyone on the political spectrum understands, modern liberalism has a grip on immigrants, so it would do some good for us to know what modern liberalism is made of.
The late Derrick Bell, a Harvard and NYU law professor with close ties to the president, founded CRT. As Bell describes it, the unifying theme of CRT is “that racial subordination maintains and perpetuates the American social order” . Kimberle Crenshaw, a UCLA law professor and co-originator of the dogma, claims, “[T]he social experience of race creates both a primary group identity as well as a shared sense of being under collective assault” . CRT treats Hispanics as sanctified “People of Color,” and there is even a branch of CRT called “Latina/o Critical Theory” or “LatCrit.”
CRT would be a silly fad if it weren’t for the fact that it successfully fosters animosity toward American society, particularly whites. The influence of CRT is widespread. For example, the Omaha, Nebraska public school system spent $130,000 in federal stimulus funds to purchase “white privilege” training manuals, which were given to every employee in the entire school system, even janitors. The manuals claimed that advantages in American society “channel wealth and power to white people” and prescribed that educators should “take action for social justice.”
Some professors, if not the majority of them, in humanities and social science departments buy into CRT in one way or another, and they present the theory as sacred insight. Disturbingly, CRT has a growing foothold in teacher education programs .
All of this matters for immigration because assimilation will be almost nonexistent if we’re teaching that life’s setbacks are actually racial slights. The new civics lessons are that the Founders and the free market are to be condemned, not revered. CRT has a tremendous influence within elite circles, and it manufactures shame for America’s sins – both real and imagined.
For instance, Justice Sonia Sotomayor reminded us all recently of America’s endless shame in her alarming dissent in the Michigan affirmative action case. She wrote that “[r]ace matters because of persistent racial inequality in society – inequality that cannot be ignored and that has produced stark socioeconomic disparities.”
Every knee is supposed to bow at the invocation of “racial inequality.”
And we know what “society” means in these discussions: ours is “a largely white society,” and if the “largely white society” doesn’t magically produce equal outcomes among racial groups, then we know whose fault that is.
It is probably inevitable that a belief in generalized white guilt will eventually morph into a conceited belief in minority virtue. In 2001 and several times after, Justice Sotomayor herself offered the ultimate expression of racial supremacy, which should have immediately disqualified her from serving on the Supreme Court:
I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.
We’re going to need an army of Marco Rubios to get past that degree of tribalism and anti-white resentment, which is deeply rooted in a part of American history that pro-amnesty Republicans seem oblivious to.
The pro-amnesty wing of the GOP is unaware of what minorities think of them, and why. It’s good politics to have a “big tent,” and “better optics,” but “immigration reform” won’t win over Latino voters. The problem is that conservative views of government and society fundamentally conflict with deeply rooted ideas and interests among Latino immigrants – ideas and interests that were vigorously expressed by Justice Sotomayor.
Those ideas and interests are driven by a constant influx of the “disadvantaged.” This influx forms the basis of the Democratic majority among Latinos: the constantly replenished ranks of recently arrived immigrants. The recently arrived are often the poorest, least educated, and most likely to support left-wing policy, and they enter a country where assimilation is decimated while multiculturalism is sacred dogma.
A Constant Influx of the “Disadvantaged”
When it comes to education, 62% of Mexican immigrants over the age of 25 have less than a high school diploma. Central American immigrants over 25 have similarly low education levels.
Source: Mexican and Central American Immigrants in the United States, Migration Policy Institute, June, 2011, Figure 4, Page 8.
Of all households headed by an illegal immigrant, 50% are headed by a person without a high school degree.
Source: The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer, The Heritage Foundation, 2013, Table 3.
Plus, the foreign-born percentage of the Hispanic population is rising. “In 2004, nearly 57 percent of the 16- to 64-year-old Hispanic population in the United States was foreign-born, up from 46 percent in 1990,” writes the nonprofit organization Educational Testing Service. Immigrants will continually replenish the ranks of the “disadvantaged.”
As these “disadvantaged” immigrants enter our society, they find a nation where assimilation is decimated. There is every indication that a sizable part of the foreign-born population maintains national loyalties to a home nation, rather than assimilating to American national culture. This is especially true given the popular belief in Mexico that America stole the Southwest. Evidently the passing of time has blurred the distinction between stolen land and land won through mutual open conflict.
To summarize, we currently have a growing “disadvantaged” immigrant population, assimilation is passé, and radical multiculturalism reigns. Any form of legalization will guarantee that the GOP never gets ahead with Latinos, because GOP gains will be quickly offset by a constant influx of “disadvantaged” immigrants. The admission of large numbers of poorly educated, low-income immigrants will increase racial inequalities, fanning the flames of resentment toward “white privilege” and the people who supposedly benefit from it. Historic ethnic grievances will be fostered, along with ethnic chauvinism. American society will be powerless to reverse these trends, because there is no counter to the left’s appeal to racial loyalties, class interests, and raw resentment.
For many Americans, following Justice Sotomayor’s perspective, racial inequalities will be proof of America’s never-ending shame. The outcome is a crisis. The only viable alternative is to stop purposefully admitting “disadvantaged” immigrants.
John Bennett (MA, University of Chicago, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences '07) is a writer whose work has appeared in The Daily Caller, Townhall.com, World Net Daily, Human Events, Liberty Unyielding, Accuracy in Media, and FrontPage Magazine, among others. He has been a featured guest on the Laura Ingraham, Jerry Doyle, and Lars Larson programs. Follow @Jthomasbennett
1. Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies, in Leslie Bender & Daan Braveman, Power, Privilege, And Law: A Civil Rights Reader 23 (1995).
2. Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2005). The Derrick Bell Reader. New York: New York: University Press, 80.
3. Kimberle Crenshaw, Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race & Sex: Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, Antiracist Politics, U. Chi. Legal F. (1989) 140, 162.
4. CRT has a growing influence in schools of education and the field of professional education. See, e.g., Gloria Ladson-Billings, Race… to the Top, Again: Comments on the Genealogy of Critical Race Theory, 43(5) Conn. L. Rev. 1439, 1444-1447 (2011). As one proponent of the doctrine admits, “much of the teacher education research that uses CRT” does “frame the pre-service teacher as an ultra-powerful entity that must be re-programmed through an understanding of Whiteness and the prevalence of racism before he/she is allowed to teach children.” Thandeka K. Chapman, Critical Race Theory and Teacher Education, Myriad (2011) 9.
Professor Wanda J. Blanchett claims, “[T]he mainstream curriculum… and pedagogical practices in use in American schools are inappropriate for use with African American learners and are purposefully employed to maintain White supremacy.” Wanda J. Blanchett, Disproportionate Representation of African American Students in Special Education: Acknowledging the Role of White Privilege and Racism, Educational Researcher, Vol. 25, No. 6, (Aug./Sept. 2006) 24, 26.