Stephen Webster, American Renaissance, October 2003
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration and the Disintegration of American Culture, Samuel T. Francis, Americans for Immigration Control, 2002. 215 pp.
Few critics of mass immigration write as knowledgeably or forcefully as syndicated columnist and frequent AR contributor Samuel Francis. America Extinguished is a collection of columns written between 1998 and 2000, and a quick review of the titles — “GOP Can Win Without Pandering to Minorities” and “Language Anarchy May Fracture National Bonds,” etc. — shows many are as timely as if they had been written yesterday.
What sets Dr. Francis apart from so many other critics of mass immigration — aside from his acerbic wit — is that he writes with a realistic understanding of race. Mass immigration is a crisis not so much because of the numbers (33.1 million from 1970 to 2002), but because the overwhelming majority of immigrants are non-white. Many do not speak English and most are ignorant of, if not hostile to, American history and culture. Left unchecked, mass non-white immigration will forever alter the character of the United States.
Race matters, Dr. Francis notes, because “race carries and parallels culture. The different colors that are going to shade the flesh of future Americans come from different countries and different cultures, where different tastes, patterns of behavior, ways of thinking, and varying norms prevailed.” The mainstream immigration debates of the 1980s and 1990s ignored the consequences of the impending racial transformation. Race came up only when a supporter of mass immigration was losing an argument, and accused his opponent of “racism,” or “xenophobia.” Assimilation was to be thought of in strictly economic terms — unemployment rates, household income — and never in “the less tangible and quantifiable truths about the acceptance of distinctively American values, norms, and institutions.”
Dr. Francis points out that these “less tangible and quantifiable truths” mean nothing to supporters of mass immigration, either on the left or the right. Leftists are openly hostile to traditional America, and welcome the displacement of whites as a cure for racism. Those on the right who support mass immigration are almost exclusively neoconservatives or libertarians, and are generally indifferent to traditional America as a “distinct, historically articulated” society and culture. To them, America is an idea, an abstraction — a “credal nation,” a “proposition nation,” the “first universal nation” — open to anyone. Dr. Francis quotes from a 1994 statement written for William Bennett and Jack Kemp: “[T]he American national identity is not based on ethnicity, or race, or national origin, or religion. The American nation identity is based on a creed, on a set of principles and ideas.”
Dr. Francis points out that this view ignores the central facts of the founding of our country. “Throughout American history,” he writes, “the vast majority of immigrants have been of European stock and culture. They brought European languages that were not too different from each other. They brought religious beliefs that were historically connected. They brought social institutions, manners, and customs rooted in the same traditions, ethics and world views. And they were all of essentially the same racial stock. Since they were largely homogeneous to begin with, it’s not all that surprising they formed one nation that has retained homogeneity until recently.”
Dr. Francis notes that today’s immigrants do not want to assimilate and no one seems to expect them to. Our rulers have even begun to act as if Spanish had the same status as English. “[B]usinesses and politicians will do nothing to stop the transformation of our language,” he writes. “They refuse to do so precisely because Hispanics are a bloc and because the bloc doesn’t want to learn or use English, and the politicians and businessmen are more scared of the Hispanic bloc than they are of the American, English-speaking bloc. That’s because there is no such bloc.”
The Stupid Party
A solid majority of Americans wants to halt mass immigration, but special interests thwart its wishes. Big business wants cheap labor. Unions want bodies to prop up declining membership. Churches want to fill empty pews. Democrats see non-whites as future supporters. And much to Dr. Francis’s disgust, the Republican Party is also part of the immigration lobby. Mass immigration will doom the party at the national level well before the white majority is displaced, and Republicans’ persistent inability to comprehend this self-evident truth is one reason Dr. Francis refers to the GOP as the Stupid Party (the Democrats are the Evil Party).
The Stupid Party drew precisely the wrong conclusion from the 1994 fight over California’s Proposition 187 to withhold state benefits from illegal immigrants. Although Democrats, liberals, and the national media denounced 187 as racist and bigoted, it passed with 60 percent of the vote. Embattled Republican California Gov. Pete Wilson seemed headed for defeat until he embraced 187, and several Republican congressmen who endorsed it were also reelected. That same year, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. But rather than rally to immigration control as the winning issue it obviously was, the Republicans were too afraid of being called bad names in the Washington Post and New York Times. It was after the victory of Proposition 187 that Republicans began to woo the Hispanic vote.
“The brute fact,” Dr. Francis notes in a 2000 essay, “is that Mr. Bush would not be in the lead at all [or subsequently elected] if it were not for the same white male voters who have kept the Republicans in power for decades. The Republicans — the smart ones anyway — know this, and they know treading on the toe of the white male voter . . . is political suicide.”
What most Republican strategists ignore, Dr. Francis writes, “is that Hispanic voters in the United States tend to be liberal regardless of what they think about immigration, and that is the real reason they don’t vote Republican very much. . . . It’s not so much the conservative opposition to immigration that alienates Hispanics from the Republican Party; it’s conservatism in general.”
Republicans believe white men have no place else to go. This may be true for the time being, but as Dr. Francis’s discussion of Patrick Buchanan’s presidential campaigns suggests, the GOP’s steady sacrifice of traditional Republican policies, and its misguided appeal to Hispanics and other non-whites could bring new political movements to life.
Dr. Francis’s final diagnosis: “The Republicans can follow one of two strategies. They can keep pandering to the Hispanic bloc and wind up turning their party into a carbon copy of the Democrats . . . or they can remain what they are, purge themselves of panderers, and rally real Americans to a real conservative banner that swears friendship to no nation, and speaks no language but our own.”
Dr. Francis points out that Mexico plays a deliberate and corrosive part in America’s ongoing crisis. “Mexico’s immigration policy is and for the last 30 years or so has been to dump as many of its people on the United States as it can,” he writes. “By doing so, Mexico exports excess people, ne’er-do-wells and criminals, helps relieve internal political and economic pressures and, in recent years, has actually developed a fifth column of its own nationals inside the United States that it manipulates for its own political purposes.”
“What is going on here,” Dr. Francis concludes, “is a vocal and transparent effort by the Mexican government simply to reoccupy a large part of the United States that it claims was stolen from it and to use its own illegal immigrant fifth column here to manipulate the internal politics of what it doesn’t or can’t yet take back.”
Dr. Francis details how changes in Mexican laws encourage Mexicans in the US to vote in Mexican elections, and make it easier for their political parties to organize Mexicans living here to pressure the US government to adopt policies favorable to Mexico. Should a real attempt be made to halt Mexican immigration, it will no doubt be greeted with mass demonstrations orchestrated by Mexico City. Dr. Francis rightfully characterizes these policies as “very close to being an act of war.”
For years, Dr. Francis has been trying to alert Middle America to the threats to our race, culture and civilization. America is not yet extinguished, but Dr. Francis tells us the writing is on the wall: “As the population figures . . . suggest, the time when Americans can mount any resistance to immigration is short. The day is soon coming — Mexican revanchists remind us of it all the time — when the immigrants will simply be too many for any sitting politician to call for immigration controls without inviting political suicide. Americans who read these columns and agree with their drift cannot afford to wait for sitting politicians to stop sitting and take action. If we ourselves are not willing to do what is necessary, we have no right to expect anyone else to do it for us.”