Framework Institute, United States]
America’s ‘Unamerican’ Ethnic Neurosis (El Diario
“There is nothing
more contrary to the nature of the United States than the classification of people
by race, culture or gender. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution, nor in the 85 essays of The Federalist Papers (where
Madison, Hamilton and Jay explain the reach and meaning of the document), is
there the slightest allusion to anything but the rules and institutions by
which the new republic would be governed.”
By Carlos Alberto Montaner
Translated By Douglas
May 20, 2012
- El Diario Exterior – Original Article (Spanish)
New York Times front page has announced that in the previous year, more
than half the children born in the United States (50.4%) were non-White. Of that
percentage, 26 percent were Hispanic (mostly Mexican), 15 percent were Black
and 4 percent were Asian.
Why was it on the front page? Pure ethnic
neurosis. Fear of the other. The same thing happened
a few years ago when Samuel Huntington caused such a stir with the publication
of his The
Hispanic Challenge. This type of information causes a certain anxiety
among “Whites.” They think they are losing control over and the direction of
America. They fear becoming a minority.
The first bit of nonsense is classification. Hispanics are
defined by the language they speak, or by what language they are supposed to speak,
regardless of skin color. A Chilean of Basque origin or a Cachiquel
Guatemalan are Hispanics, even if the language of the
latter isn’t Spanish. Blacks, evidently, are classified by race. Asians, by
geography, be they Chinese or Indian.
I have no idea, for example, if an Israeli-American of
Sephardic origin is Asian, White or Hispanic. Nor do I know if that brilliant engineer
called Rafael Reif, a Venezuelan son of Jewish immigrants
from Eastern Europe who was recently named President of MIT, is Hispanic,
White, or if by chance the census allows it, simply Maracucho.
[Maracucho is the Zulian
dialect in northwest Venezuela].
The second absurdity is moral and ideological. There is
nothing more contrary to the nature of the United States than the classification
of people by race, culture or gender. Nowhere in the United States Constitution,
nor in the 85 essays of The Federalist Papers
(where Madison, Hamilton and Jay explain the reach and meaning of the
document), is there the slightest allusion to anything but the rules and
institutions by which the new republic would be governed.
The originality and greatness of the United States was
precisely in this: the Founding Fathers invented constitutional patriotism. A
good American was a person who was equal under the law. It was not necessary to
be of British or Dutch blood. At first, even though they proclaimed the
equality of all people, they only included White male property owners. But
little by little, the right to participate in the nation was extended to women
and African Americans.
Nevertheless, it is legitimate to examine, as Huntington did,
the relationship that can exist between ethnicity and development. If the
performance of a society is the product of the work and the mainstream worldview
that gives it meaning, isn’t it pertinent to think that an ethnic group with
different cultural values might substantially modify the general outcome of
that society? In other words, if the United States were to fill up with Turks
or Chinese, the nation would end up behaving like Turkey or China.
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It depends. More important than race or culture are the prevailing
rules. Hindus, who in India seem unable to prosper, are the most successful and
well-educated minority group in the United States. They function stupendously
under American rules. The same can be said of Jews from the Slavic world. In
Europe they were very poor and backward; in the United States they had
extraordinary success. There are many examples: Greeks, Lebanese, Barbadians,
Iranians and the list goes on and on. Those hypothetical Turks and Chinese,
educated in the United States, should end up behaving differently from what
they would have done in their countries of origin.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
What is happening in the United States is a planet-wide
phenomenon, although far more visible in open democracies than in totalitarian
states: we are slowly headed toward a healthy mixing of all races. But the
important thing is not to try to maintain an impossible ethnic purity; rather, it
is to preserve the cultural traits that allow societies to be reasonably
prosperous and happy.
The United States became the foremost power on the planet
because of its institutions, its structure of values, which include
meritocracy, its ability to innovate and its system of education. All of those
combined created a formidable machine of production. What is needed is to encourage
the integration of immigrants into the American way of doing things.
Eventually, ethnic neurosis will disappear. It will be confirmed that, as the Founding
Fathers supposed, all men are equal. The key is the rules that govern their
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