Monday, February 27, 2017

Immigrants: Puppies vs Skunks

President Trump wants to build a wall to keep all those Hispanic immigrants from flooding across the border.  He talks about that illegal Mexican immigrant who raped a white woman in San Francisco, his version of President Reagan's Welfare Queen, who drove a Cadillac to pick up her welfare checks.

In Germany, Denmark, France and England there have been two specific sorts of  problems with Muslim immigrants.
1. Some young men, visually identifiable as Middle Eastern,  groped blonde German women in public squares and elsewhere, during Christmas festivities. These were more or less isolated instances. But to say they were isolated instances does not mean they were not an expression of Islamic culture. Anyone who has been posted to Saudi Arabia knows unaccompanied women are often groped at the markets there. Western European women were raped in Tahrir Square during the Egyptian demonstrations.  It is a culture norm among some Muslim subcultures that unaccompanied women are sluts and deserve anything they get. This is a problem, but a remediable problem.

 2. Some Muslim immigrants, particularly in France, have arrived from former French colonies and festered in suburban housing projects, and have refused to assimilate. Imans in London and in Paris and other Northern European cities have enunciated the belief that their religion is the only true religion and everyone else is an infidel. The value democratic institutions in Europe and America place on tolerance is simply not endorsed by some Muslims and in some Islamic centers.  So you have this curious graft vs host reaction of new immigrants arriving, building a mosque and then railing against the country which has received them. It's not exactly analogous to the man who buys a house near an airport and then complains about the noisy airplanes, but it's something like that.

Of course, some of the complaints against Muslims are pretty beyond comprehension: Muslim women  offended French sensibilitiesby refusing to strip down to bikinis on French beaches. Muslim women and girls who want to wear a head scarf to school or to work have been told no--if you want to be French, then act French.  Are Christians in France told not to wear crosses on necklaces and are Jews told not to wear yarmulkes?

President Trump has conflated the problems Europe has had with the flood of a million Muslim immigrants with the problem non problem of Spanish speaking immigrants in the United States. If you don't control your borders, you get chaos and rape and pillage he says. Muslims, Hispanics, all the same thing.

For the most part, they may be illegal, but the Spanish speaking immigrants I know are hard working, family oriented and the last people I would think would ever engage in a terrorist attack.

The Muslims streaming out of the Middle East and North Africa are more like a herd of buffalo, trampling a wide swath, causing problems by their numbers and physical needs, but not predators.

The Hispanic immigrant who I heard interviewed on NPR yesterday, was brought by her parents to America when she was two, gave birth to a daughter in Los Angeles, went to work every day, until she was stopped for rolling through a stop sign and then deported to Mexico, a foreign country to her, the country of her birth. She spoke little Spanish and would have wound up a street person, but for the intervention of distant Mexican relatives. 
Most illegal Hispanics seem more like the chocolate lab puppy who wanders into your garage.

Living among us are the occasional Muslims who are the skunk under the porch, like the Tsarnaev brothers, who did the Boston bombing.  But they have proven to be the rare exceptions, and they would not have been impeded by President Trump's executive order.

 Of course, for the most part Muslims here, unlike in Europe,  assimilate in all the important ways, and they are more like the seals who wash up on Hampton beach or the otters in the salt marshes--they are part of the great variety of fauna which enriches us all.

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