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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Friday, January 26, 2018
When It’s Something OTHER Than RACE
Illustration on un assimilated immigration from impoverished nations by Alexander Hunter Daniel Oliver
In 2015 approximately 17 percent of people in the United States married someone of a different race. Putting it ever so slightly differently, in 2015 approximately 83 percent of the people in this country married someone of the same race. What are we to make of that?
If you listen to the left-wing media and most Democrats, you’d expect them to say that those figures indicate that 83 percent of the people who got married in 2015 are racists. They haven’t said that — yet. But we don’t know they don’t think it.
President Trump has been accused, but only by a Democrat, of calling some unfortunate countries “sh-holes,” which by any objective standard they certainly are. The countries weren’t named, but they appeared to include Haiti and a number of African countries, probably the five poorest: the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Liberia and Niger.
How many people do you know from those countries? How many times have you vacationed in one of those countries? With the children? Are you ashamed?
Mr. Trump was immediately called a racist by twice the number of usual suspects, who would probably also call him a racist if they caught him reading “Snow White and Her Seven Vertically Challenged Friends.”
A more charitable, and objective, view of Mr. Trump’s comment is that he didn’t have race in mind at all but was focusing only on the poverty of those countries, and what the typical immigrant from any one of them would be likely to bring to the United States.
Of course there is always the exceptional immigrant from, say, Guinea-Bissau, inevitably located by the media, who has rescued small children from a burning building on a wintry night while holding down two jobs that support a family of nine, several of whom through no fault of their own are disabled. But those heroes tend not to be representative of Guinea-Bissauan immigrants, or of immigrants from, say, the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Burundi, Liberia, Niger or Haiti.
People who bring little with them other than poverty and disease are nevertheless entitled to government services, even if they are here illegally. Under the Supreme Court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe, which held that the plaintiffs (illegal aliens) could claim the benefit of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, no State shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Paying for those services won’t affect everyone: only slightly more than half the country pays any income tax at all. But the people who pay no income tax are precisely the people most likely to be thrown out of work by low-skilled or no-skilled immigrants. And they might reasonably ask, “Whose country is this, anyway?”
Citizens not afflicted with Antitrumpomania might ask the same question. But a lot of them, perhaps some of the 83 percent married to someone of the same race, might also ask how many people who are seriously different from us do we want to let into our country?
Is that racist?
In a 2006 paper, “Do We Prefer People Who Are Similar to Us?” two sociologists, Avner Ben-Ner and Amit Kramer at the University of Minnesota, came up with an astounding conclusion. In a series of experiments with approximately 200 students, they found that the students favored “those who are similar to them on any of a wide range of categories of identity over those who are not like them. Whereas family and kinship are the most powerful source of identity in our sample, all 13 potential sources of identity in our experiments affect behavior.”
The 13 sources of identity were: family and kinship, gender, occupation, ethnicity, culture, nationality, race, religion, political philosophy, dress style, community type, interests, hobbies and leisure, knowledge, sentiment, generation and age, socio-economic status, musical preference, and sexual preference.
Identity, they say, has genetic, cultural, and neural bases grounded in an evolutionary process, which, translated into the political vernacular, reads: America First.
A preference for people like ourselves is as much a part of who we homines sapientes are as our gender is. And so the left and friends are entirely consistent when they seek to delegitimize both the concept of gender and nationality.
The left is crazy, of course, and probably evil. But that doesn’t justify racism — properly understood: Western Civilization, which the left no longer subscribes to, commands us to do good unto all men. But Galatians 6:10 adds the qualification, “especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
What is now at stake in the Time of Trump is whether America will remain America. It is an epic struggle we have been losing. Until now.
• Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of Citizens for the Republic.