I just heard that interview with Old Tom Brokaw in which he exhibited that common disease in the journalism profession, that attempt to sympathize with bad people to the point you lose sight of the fact that they are, in fact, bad, and you begin to share their views (see also Jonathan Haidt, who is not a journalist, but has acquired a terminal case).
And a lot of this, we don’t want to talk about. But the fact is, on the Republican side, a lot of people see the rise of an extraordinary, important, new constituent in American politics, Hispanics, who will come here and all be Democrats. Also, I hear, when I push people a little harder, “Well, I don’t know whether I want brown grandbabies.” I mean, that’s also a part of it. It’s the intermarriage that is going on and the cultures that are conflicting with each other.
I also happen to believe that the Hispanics should work harder at assimilation. That’s one of the things I’ve been saying for a long time. You know, they ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English, and that they feel comfortable in the communities. And that’s going to take outreach on both sides, frankly.
If you don’t want “brown grandbabies”, that’s simply racism. No matter what shade their skin is, they’re still grandbabies, and still your grandbabies.
If you don’t like intermarriage, that’s simply racism. Don’t pick who you love by their skin color, and don’t demand your children share your weird racist color preferences.
Demanding assimilation is just another way of rejecting differences. That’s simply racism. I see Hispanic people moving into rural Minnesota, and while they may initially struggle with the language, they’re adapting quickly and their children are fluent in English. How fast do you expect them to “assimilate” anyway? Are you expecting them to abandon pride in their family and their heritage, too?
I’ve looked into my family history, and I see a series of Norwegian farmers who settled in Minnesota, and then kept bringing in Swedish mail order brides every generation, almost as if they were refusing to assimilate and insisted on Scandinavian families, rather than melding with the American mongrels. My great-grandparents’ house was full of yellow and blue and knick-knacks in Swedish and Norwegian, and they spoke with a heavy accent that was the result of a lifetime in exclusively Scandinavian-American communities. Were they bad assimilators? Am I unamerican because I still like the Nordic foods of my childhood and still celebrate Swedish/Norwegian traditions?
I don’t even know what “assimilate” means in the minds of these people. Liquify and blend? Because that doesn’t happen. We are who we are. Hispanic people are adding a new strand to our communities, and the only reason they might tend to vote Democratic is because Republicans think like Tom Brokaw. He can go back to celebrating his “Greatest Generation” while ignoring how awfully racist and sexist that generation was.