A friend recently sent me the following in an email. I found it unsettling and provocative – it is indeed a galvinizing topic – but I post it here for your thought and consideration. WC
We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Last week there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of America’s finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, “Mexifornia,” explaining how immigration – both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California. He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.
Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, “If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let’s destroy America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that ‘An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.'”
“Here is how they do it,” Lamm said:
“First, to destroy America, turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: ‘The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.’ Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, and Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans.”
Lamm went on:
“Second, to destroy America, invent ‘multiculturalism’ and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. Make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal; that there are no cultural differences. Make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.”
“Third, we could make the United States an ‘Hispanic Quebec’ without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: ‘The apparent success of our own multi-ethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricity and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.’ Lamm said, “I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities.”
“Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school.”
“My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of ‘Victimology.’ I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population.”
“My sixth plan for America’s downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other – that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy, Persia, threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. “E. Pluribus Unum” — >From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the ‘pluribus’ instead of the ‘Unum,’ we will balkanize America as surely as Kosovo.”
“Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits. Make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of ‘diversity.’ I would find a word similar to ‘heretic’ in the 16th century – that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobe’ halt discussion and debate. Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of ‘Victimology,’ I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them.”
“Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis’s book ‘Mexifornia.’ His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don’t read that book.”
There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference. (I edited, all but this line of the narrator’s editorial comments – as I am more interested in your comments at this point. WC)
(Origins: Richard D. Lamm was a Democrat who served as governor of Colorado for twelve years from 1975 to 1987. Of the above quoted third person account regarding his speech on the perils of multiculturalism, he told us (snopes.com) in mid-June 2005: “Yes, it is a speech I gave a year and a half ago in Washington D.C. It was a five minute speech, and I am amazed and gratified it has received so much coverage.”)
If you are interested in checking out the snopes page on this topic, you can find it here
If you are interested in the book Mexifornia, you can find it here
An article by the author of Mexifornia can be found here
And finally, I leave you with what I think is an appropriate quote about the great melting pot, America.
” …whence came all these people? They are a mixture of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Germans, and Swedes… What, then, is the American, this new man? He is neither an European nor the descendant of an European; hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country. I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have now four wives of different nations. He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds. . . . The Americans were once scattered all over Europe; here they are incorporated into one of the finest systems of populations which has ever appeared.” – Hector St. Jean de Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer.
18 thoughts on “The Great Melting Pot?”
These are very provocative and thought-provoking statements. We can certainly see how divisive our country has become over the past few years, but I preferred to think of that as a mostly political split. I think the governor makes a good point. If we’re not bound by our similarities and dedicated to one cause, we’ll never be able to move forward. This was a really interesting post. I suspect I’ll be thinking about it for quite some time. Thanks WC.
Yes, this is the kind of thing that gets people thinking in a good way and in a bad way. I hesitated to post it but I believe he made some good points and I really try not to be politically correct here – so I was willing to take the chance. What’s really interesting about posts like these (to me) is that usually people won’t comment on them because they are hot potatoes (for lack of a better term) and I think they worry what others might think of them if they state their views on the topic. I can totally understand that – it is hard to state something you feel is unpopular. Anyway, thanks for reading.
i think if we want to truly destroy America, we must keep finding scapegoats, using race and language as a smokescreen to the real issue- the growing emphasis on getting rich no matter what. Destroy anything that is not condusive to and does not maintain the privilege of “the majority”, keep large segments of society impoverished, working check to check, do not discriminate in this, then huff when they complain or have no faith in this goverment and watch the rage and violence ensues.
Keep steam-rolling other cultures out of existence- except have sex with their women, eat their food and steal their resources so a few can line their pockets.
We are americans and we are not that special, still just folks. i don’t have a solution to this problem. i am a person who is multiracial, many races within one body so i have my own crap to deal with, however i must say that it is definately gutsy for a nation such as ours, which began by immigrants coming to this land and destroying its indigenous peoples to make it their own, to be so outraged.
i do agree about language. It would save time, paper and just make life easier for everyone if we stuck with english- the national language. i also agree with is his view of “political correctness”. This has damaged any kind of honest communication and growth between people in this country. Nothing gets accomplished because the ACLU is waiting, drooling like pitbulls. Everyone’s offended, so sensitive. It’s creepy and it doesn’t change people’s thinking, rather it fosters contempt. And at least this guy was honest enough to express his opinions, even though i disagree with just about all the rest of it.
This is my knee-jerk reaction and probably rash, perhaps offensive. i probably should’ve thought it over first. But then, i probably wouldn’t have commented at all. : )
First of all – your response didn’t offend me – and it’s totally okay with me that you say what you feel. So, no worries there, okay?
I’m intrigued though by the first para of your comments -‘the growing emphasis on getting rich no matter what’ do you mean Americans in general are this way? Or are you talking about large corporations? Or?
As to whether or not Americans are special – I dunno, I’m not sure what context you mean that in – but I do think America is special – not in a condescending way – but I think as a culture we are more open, always the first to help any country in trouble, give more money and aid to other countries and have more personal freedoms than any other country. And there must be something to that, otherwise, why would so many millions of people risk life and limb to get here and to live here? I heard a news story the other day that a Chinese man had somehow ensconsed himself in the wheel well of a plane in order to get into the country – sadly he died. And I was in awe that someone would want so badly to come here that they would attempt such a dangerous action to do so. Obviously, I love my country and I wouldn’t want to live in any other country in the world because of that. It doesn’t mean though that I look down on other countries – just that I love mine.
Are there prejudices and injustices here? Absolutely. Is it perfect? Definitely not. Is there a lot of room for improvement? You bet your boots. But to me, the article wasn’t about that. It was about how promoting diversity destroys unity. Though he was speaking about America, it could be said of any country. Good or bad, a country and its citizens must thrive on their similarities not their differences – those things that bring them together, not tear them apart. To me, that was the point.
Anyway, there you have it.
As always, thanks for voicing your opinion – I always appreciate your frank and honest voice.
Haven’t had time to read the whole thing, but just to Lamm’s first comment re bilingual, hm, I know Switzerland for one has survived since 1291 and they’re still sticking to their 4 official languages…..
wonder what his time frame for destroying countries is……
Will be back, for now am busy putting in drip irrigation system in the back yard….. sweat!
No worries, I already knew you’d give me a hard time about it – I can hear you talking in my head as I’m typing this now. 😉
Ooooh, irrigation system! Fancy! What are you irrigating?
It’s not that i hate America. i am an American and can imagine living few other places in the world. Well, Ireland perhaps. And i’ve seen individuals behave generously, courageously and with integrity. What troubles me is how big corporations appear to have so much control over our government and our people.
And it’s not that i think that our government should give a free pass to incoming immigrants. People who migrate to the US should enter legally and follow our laws. i guess what bothered me about the man’s statement was its exclusivity. If diversity were to become intolerable, where would i be? My children? How would we be treated? Total unity may lead to uniformity. Where is the freedom in that? Total unity is frightening and can be used against us. Mr. Lamm did not mention total unity, but one thing always leads to another.
We can not regulate individual behavior. There will always be something not right with this person or that one. And who decides what is right behavior or wrong? Acceptable or not. Condusive or not? Harmonious or not? i wouldn’t trust any human being to make those calls and i guess that terrifies me- the fact that his statement could lead to terrible things in the wrong hands.
i’m probably still lumping. i am not good at this but i’m done at least.
I didn’t mean to infer that you hated America, I never thought that, nor did I mean to convey that. I do agree with you about the corporations, money does breed privilege – it’s a sad fact of life, and one experienced in every country in the world. And they along with countless other interest groups have large sway over our government and it’s disturbing to me as well.
I think his point about diversity is that it is a politically correct term that says not being a citizen is okay. I don’t think he meant that families could not or should not celebrate family traditions or traditions of their heritage. I also don’t think when he said unity he meant uniformity. By unity I think he was talking about the big picture, such as we’re all Americans. I doubt he meant we would toss the Constitution and no longer have the right of free poltiical speech. In fact, I think he meant just the opposite. That political correctness is killing free speech – that people must always be so careful of what they say and how they say it and that they must filter their thoughts so not to offend anyone.
Again, I don’t think he was talking about behavior either. You’re right, people will behave however they want – and I don’t want anyone telling me how I can behave either – but again we go back to the core, which I think sources at the politically correct garbage.
Anyway, I’m sorry if this has upset you – I certainly didn’t want that to happen. And I sometimes have to throw this sort of t hing out there to get people talking and thinking and debating. It’s my thang. Know what I mean jelly bean?
I really don’t buy into the governor’s premise at all. Switzerland has had 4 cultures and languages for centuries. If a few Swiss who speak French get into a fight, it’s not ascribed to ethnic tension, but if some guys who speak Italian get into a rhubarb with some who speak German the next thing you know someone calls it ethnic tension.
I’ve been to Belgium. Sure, there are cultural differences, but how recently did they ever get as violent as the US did in our civil war?
Soon after our independence there was a multicultural issue in American schools. The predominant culture didn’t want “those” kids admitted to the schools. They were rough, uncouth barbarians from the backwoods, ate with their hands, spoke funny, and were considered savage and uncivilized. Dealing with them dragged down the education the majority were getting.
Who were the ineducable kids, emperiling American civilization?
The Scots-Irish. The kids went on to become the pioneers who blazed trails across the west. We now consider them the backbone of America, right down to their Celtic-roots inspired country-western music.
So you tell me, did they wreck American culture as predicted in the 1790s?
I think you are confusing the issue – this isn’t a discussion of racism. The Civil War and ‘multicultural’ issue in schools way back when, I also believe had to do with racism (though I’m not sure on the school issue) – That notwithstanding – those you speak of were not illegal immigrants, they came through Ellis Island just as all the others had before them. But your argument seems to validate the governor’s the Celts (of which I am one, by heritage) became the backbone of America. That indeed, to me, was his point. The Irish, the Italians, Poles, Russians, whomever, came to be Americans. Did they suffer hardships and bias, absolutely. But did they fly flags from the old sod or American flags? Did they consider themselves citizens of America or Ireland?
This article in my mind is not about divisiveness, it’s about unity. His point was that if we as Americans, no matter where we or our ancestors came from, do not act as Americans but choose partition off the country into sub-countries within the borders of America, then we are doomed as Americans.
Personally, I don’t have anything on anyone wanting to come here – I don’t blame them. I think it’s the best country in the world – but if they come then I want them come because they want to be Americans – not because they want me to change my culture to theirs. I don’t want to wear a burkha, or celebrate Bastille Day, or speak another language or to be forced to. If however, I moved to France, then I would become a french citizen, and I would celebrate Bastille Day, speak french. Make sense?
“…I don’t want to wear a burkha, or celebrate Bastille Day, or speak another language or to be forced to. If however, I moved to France, then I would become a french citizen, and I would celebrate Bastille Day, speak french. Make sense?”
It’s the whole “when in Rome” thing. If you’ve chosen to live in a particular place, you need to get on their team, so to speak. It’s like people who move from one part of the country to another, then complain about how it’s not like “where they’re from (originally)”.
Sorry, a little off-topic here…
Nah, you’re not off topic – I think your analogy is good. Works for me, anyway. Thanks. 🙂
I’ve always thought of America as an idea, an ideal, as much as a nation; the value of freedom, which has spread throughout society. Whatever America is as a nation, that ideal always survives. So I’m not sure if comparisons with Greece or Rome are entirely valid; American values have been spread in other ways, through Hollywood and music, passed on to all of us. American power may recede, but I think those values have already changed the world more than any power.
Interesting thoughts, though, particularly on multiculturalism. In Australia, multiculturalism is really something we’ve tried to embrace over the last 20 years. It’s enriched our country in so many ways, but there’s no doubt it’s divided us as well. I believe in dual citizenship, but at the same time you have to pledge loyalty to the country you live in or there’ll be no respect for laws. But a lot of people would rather create their own communities, their own laws, so perhaps multiculturalism is an outdated concept now. I hope not…
Thanks for posting this. I love your blog, and I’ll be thinking about this all day! 🙂
And welcome. I’d agree that America has become a symbol for the things you mention – though I’m not sure that American music and films have really passed on those values at large – at least not of late. I’ve met many people from other countries who had false ideas about America and Americans because of our films and music – but perhaps that is another post.
After the comments on this post, I’m wondering if the term multiculturism doesn’t mean different things to different people. Certainly in America we have people from just about every country in the world who live here and have made an impact on our culture in a great and positive way. And I have no problem with that at all. I live in the L.A. area and it is a melting pot of hundreds of different cultures which I find exciting and interesting. But as the term is used politically (which may be the problem as it always is) the term seems to take on a more ominous meaning. It seems to mean that other cultures can swallow up the existing culture and replace it with their own – that they have special rights to speak their own language and enforce their own rules (such as making schools afford prayer breaks in a Seattle school recently) but that those ‘rules’ don’t apply equally. To me, it has become an excuse for groups who feel they’ve been wronged (real or imagined) to force those whom they feel have wronged them to acquiesce and experience the role reversal of oppressor becomes the oppressed.
Anyway, this post has been interesting and while I don’t regret posting it, I am a little disappointed that there was not much interchange about it.
It’s a great post, and I’m going to put up a pointer to it.
As to your statement:
Keep steam-rolling other cultures out of existence- except have sex with their women, eat their food and steal their resources so a few can line their pockets.
Other that Native Americans and Nazis, could you give an example? Of course, the spat with the Natives started long before we were a country. Oh, and while we do import food, we also export more than we bring in, and a fair bit of that is given away as emergency supplies to disaster areas or as aid to poor countries. I would also point out that we, as a nation, don’t steel anything, we buy it. This goes for food and natural resources, and most countries are mighty happy to have a market. Really, Saudi Arabia is sitting atop a bunch of oil, but without a market for it, they’d have to return to a life as nomadic herders. I’ve seen few indications that this is their desire.
Thanks – glad you liked it. Certainly it’s a thought provoker, since apparently many were provoked. Although that isn’t always a bad thing – sometimes you have to step out of the comfort zone. I guess I did with this one and got some bruises in the bargain. Such is life.
No, race and the Civil War would be the point if it it had been fought between people of different races.
The fact that the Civil War wasn’t fought between people of different races is precisely my point.
Belgium was his/your example of a country with strife on ethnic or cultural lines, yet they’ve muddled along for a few centuries without anything like our civil war, or England’s or France’s or Russia’s revolution.
Yes, indeed, there were blacks who did fight with the North in the civil war – and in fact, the issue was race as well as cessation, which race (and the slavery of a particular race) was the inciting issue that brought it about. I think you’re parsing issues now, Ben. For you to make a statement that the civil war was not about race is like saying Ben and Jerry’s isn’t about ice cream.
It’s really okay with me for you to disagree with the article – I don’t mind at all. Whether or not Belgium is a good example for the man to make his point is for you or anyone else who reads the article to decide. But, I think the problem here is that many are reading this article from a rather literal point of view. If someone says, “I’m running on empty” you wouldn’t take that literally, you’d glean from that statement the concept which was trying to be conveyed. Which I think would be a good approach to take with this article/speech. In my mind, he is not talking about raping and pillaging or taking over the world, but rather talking about what it takes to destroy the unity of a country. Not what behavior is unacceptable, not what to believe, not that one group of people is better than another. His point is that American society is eroding into a bus stop for any tom, dick or harry who can make their way into this country and divide it.
Anyway, that was my take on it. Thanks for sharing yours.
First, just as an aside: there was no immigration station on Ellis island when the Scots-Irish came in the 17th and 18th century. That’s much, much later.
Second, there was a huge cultural gap and much animosity between Americans of English heritage and the Scots-Irish.
The Scots-Irish were backwoods, more on the frontier, the English were more in the towns and on the eastern seaboard.
Even after the revolution, you can find evidence of how violent it got with the Whiskey Rebellion, after which many of the Scots-Irish left for the frontier in Ohio, Kentucky, and beyond.
But we had a frontier then, where “outcast” cultures could go.
The point is that mainstream American culture hated the fightin’ feudin’, drunken so-called “backward” culture of the Scots-Irish, including their music, and now that very music has morphed into country-western, which many good, conservative Americans consider to be the most authentically American of musics.
My point is that those cultures which people like the governor you mention (who seems xenophobic to me), become part of the fabric if American culture.
Back to Ellis island and the 19th century: many Scandinavians immigrated in the late 19th century and settled in the upper midwest.
There was a very strong, earnest debate among many of them, particularly the Norwegians, on whether they should keep speaking their native languges or learn English.
But so long as there was economic advantage for the 2nf generation kids to become bilingual and then their kids to learn only English, that’s what happened.
The same dynamic applies now.
Our backyard here in Alameda, CA (not “Mexifornia,” catchy as the name may be) has fences with three neighbors; none of the adults speak English as a first language, they speak Spanish and Tagalog.
But the kids all speak English.
Final point: the Filipinos just west of us love karaoke. It cracks us up to listen to them doing their out-of-tune singlalong. And the music they sing to is always: western pop/rock tunes. Sung in English.
And they all celebrate the Fourth of July, just as we do.
Again, I have to say I feel you’re missing the point. The point is not about different cultures coming to America and embracing it (celebrating the 4th of July as you point out) – but about coming to America to divide it by forcing different language and observance of other cultures, rather than becoming Americans. All of the examples you sight are of groups of people who came to America to be Americans – so in my mind, it’s a moot point.
Let’s just leave it at this: We disagree on what the article means and/or how we are interpreting it. Okay? Thanks.
WC: the point is that the civil war was fought primarily between white people.
At the beginning of the war it was almost entirely white people, mostly of northern European extraction, of the north fighting white people of the south, mostly of northern European extraction.
Black regiments weren’t even formed until the war was well along. It was not a war fought between armies of diferent races.
So what? The issue was still about race and intolerance thereof.
“For you to make a statement that the civil war was not about race”
WC: I never, ever wrote that.
It was *about* race. But it was not fought primarily *between* different races.
i just want to say as far as the food, i meant cuisine, which may sound stupid, but cuisine is a big part of most cultures. It’s like the things we like are okay, but the minute we feel uncomfortable then we don’t want to see it, hear it, acknowledge it. Food though, is harmless enough so it seems to be okay.
And instead of “steal” i should have said attempt to take over. The fact that there is a demand for oil does not give more powerful governments or corporations the right to come in and exploit a people or dominate another land.
i am thinking about the peoples we’ve homogenized- Indians, Africans would probably be it for the US and that seems horrible enough to me.
i mean, is this about white people feeling forced to embrace others? Because i think most agree that people coming to this country should come legally.
i don’t know if i really answered you at all. i wish i could express myself better. i guess what i should have said initially is that i agree that political correctness is a poison and a lie, people should immigrate legally into this country and that english should be spoken as it is the language of the land. And left it at that.
Actually, since you can hear me talking in your head as you write things like that, there is no further need to for me to comment (mission accomplished! 😉 ) .
Whenever I hear debates on whether everybody should stick to their boarders or the opposite, I always send this silent prayer to the sky:
Aliens, it’s about time you guys showed up, for that’s the only thing I can see that would truly unite the world, and even then I have my doubts 😉 .
On another note – we landscaped our front and the back of the yard with new plants but are already tired of the watering….. and since it’s also water efficient, we’ve decided to dig trenches and put in an irrigation system….. it’s not fancy, we are just lazy and prefer sitting on the patio with a glass of wine. 😉
I’m pretty sure that everybody prefers to sit on the patio with a glass of wine. I know I do. 😉
Lamm Speech is shocking and right on. It sounded so cookie cutter that I had to go over to check it on Snopes where it checked out in total. Thanks for writing this post……steve
I never publish anything like this on the blog if I haven’t snopes’ed it first. I also included the link to the Snopes page that discusses it, as well as a link to an article by the author mentioned. Glad you found it informative.
Editorial quibble: He’s “Victor Davis Hanson.” Linked, and thanks for posting.
Yes, I know – but I posted the article as it appeared. One of the links in the post is to that author’s article.
i’m with spaz ~ its definitely time for the aliens to show up, lol …
as a french speaking metis with an american mother living in a bilingual multicultural country i could likely say a lot but i start my vacation in one more sleep and my brain, she just won’t cooperate 😉
an interesting read though ~ thanks for sharing 🙂
enjoy your vacation. Hope you have a great time and meet lots of friendly aliens. 😉