Hmm. What's the name of Kos's site again? Daily Netroots? Daily People Power? ... [Stolen from reader C.] 5:39 P.M.
The Atlantic'seditors have hit on a way to make you hate them: Blogging to let you know what a challenging, "thought-provoking" time they're having at the Aspen Ideas Festival listening to E.O. Wilson, Alan Greenspan, Bill Clinton and Karl Rove, among others:
At 6.30am we glided out of Aspen in a fleet of silent shining limos (furnished by Lexus, one of the meeting's sponsors: I could get used to it).
This Land is Their Land:
"The Hispanic world did not come to the United States," Carlos Fuentes observes. "The United States came to the Hispanic world. It is perhaps an act of poetic justice that now the Hispanic world should return." -- from Tony Horwitz, "Immigration--and the Curse of the Black Legend," NYT, July 9, 2006
I don't understand the argument behind Horwitz's Sunday NYT op-ed essay. Sure, the immigration debate should be informed by "a full awareness of the history of the 500-year Spanish presence in the Americas and its seesawing fortunes in the face of Anglo encroachment." But which way does that awareness cut? The Spaniards were here first, Horwitz tells us. "From 1819 to 1848, the United States and its army increased the nation's area by roughly a third at Spanish and Mexican expense, including three of today's four most populous states: California, Texas and Florida." OK. But doesn't that make Mexican and other Spanish-speaking immigrants profoundly different from previous immigrants. Unlike other immigrants--Italians or Irish or Koreans--they do not necessarily think they are in a foreign land (as the ubiquitous "I am in my HOMELAND" signs at the pro-immigrant marchas try to tell us). Unlike other immigrants, Latinos have a powerful rationale for challenging, at the very least, the current common language. Do we want a common language or not? At the extreme, they have non-crazy grounds for challenging the very constitution of the U.S. within its current borders. Their land was taken by a bunch of Anglo racists!
Current pro-legalization dogma assures us that there is no reason to worry about of Quebec style separatism or Kosovo-style irredentism in the Southwest. Horwitz shows why there are plenty of reasons to worry. The stronger the prior Spanish claim the worse the danger--and the more reason to get control of the border, and of the cultural composition of the next generation of immigrants, before it's too late. Fuentes easy invocation of "poetic justice" isn't shaming so much as chilling. We want immigrants who come for freedom and prosperity, not "poetic justice," no?
Then there's Horwitz's last line:
It's an homage to our history, not a betrayal of it, to welcome the latest arrivals, just as the Indians did those tardy and uninvited Pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth not so long ago.