Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A note to one of my many anti-Trump friends

Michael L.

I just received an email from a buddy of mine highlighting Donald Trump's alleged racism.

The note pointed to this recent comment by the Donald:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
I am not an advocate for Trump and have no intention of becoming one anytime in the near future... not if I want my marriage to survive! Nor have I ever spoken-up concerning Latino immigration into the United States.

This is my response to my friend:
Trump's foot is permanently wedged in his face.

I am continually amazed at how thoroughly stupid intelligent people can be.

Immigration is a big issue in this country and it needs to be addressed in an intelligent fashion. We have to acknowledge in our conversations around this issue that there are different kinds of immigrants and, frankly, some are friendlier than others.

For example, many immigrants into the US from India or the Far East tend to be students or professionals. We welcome these people with open arms because they are usually good and productive citizens. This is not about "color" or "race" or "ethnicity." Now, I have never been opposed to Latino immigration into the US because they're basically just poor people trying to improve their living standards. Nonetheless, I understand why conservatives in places like southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas are very concerned about Latino immigration because while it brings benefits, like inexpensive labor and good food, it also brings crime and gang activity.

In fact, one thing that most Americans have no idea about is that some Latino gangs that are formed in the US actually establish themselves in their countries of origin much to the dismay of the local authorities. But much of the US is Latino land to begin with and, just as importantly, their kids assimilate.

I, myself, am only a second-generation American. My father was born in the Ukraine, but we are both fully assimilated Americans and damn happy to be Americans, I tell ya. My old man actually fought in World War II in the central Pacific against the Japanese in places like Kwajalein, the Marshall Islands, and Enewetak. Although, in truth, it might be a bit more accurate to say that he handed out warm cokes and cigarettes to the guys as a corporal in the supply chain.

{Of course, that does not mean that Japanese snipers in trees weren't trying to shoot him dead in his fox hole at night. As far as I know he never killed anyone in the war, but he does not speak about it.}

What worries me, though, as you know, is the current wave of Arab and North African immigration. The reason that I look with disfavor upon that immigration is because Political Islam is a widespread and growing violently anti-Semitic political movement that I have absolutely no interest in having get near Jews anywhere in the world, particularly my own home. Polling has shown that rates of anti-Jewish racism in the Middle East runs from the upper-70s percentile to the mid-90s percentile among Palestinian-Arabs.

One thing that Trump said, in his typically blunt fashion, is that Muslim entry into the US should cease, or be highly limited, until we figure out just who is coming into the country, or something along those lines, because he wants to keep Jihadis out of the United States. I found that statement difficult because nobody wants to keep some Muslim grandmother from Great Britain from visiting her grand-kids in Michigan. Nor do we want to prevent a Muslim surgeon in Toronto from travelling to Manhattan for the purpose of conducting an operation, nor does Trump. He was simply lacking in nuance.

But I don't want Jihadis here any more than I would like to see additional Klansmen or Nazis. All one has to do is open one's eyes to what is going on in Germany and Sweden - not to mention Paris or San Bernardino - to make a reasonable assessment of what the great wave of Arab-Muslim immigration into that part of the world means to the indigenous population.

The Swedes and the Germans - in their self-flagellating white guilt - often blame themselves for the behavior of their guests.

I think that is a mistake.

Much like Jewish people they tend to think that if only they were nicer then these folk would be nicer to them.

But as anyone who went to an American high school can tell you, it doesn't always work that way.


  1. Fleeing for one's life should be a matter of geographic proximity and not a choice stacked upon choice because it looks like the most attractive option. Or, it can be ONE OR the other but not both. Hordes of filthy miserables streaming out Syria and Iraq into Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are one thing. Transferring them into the Balkans and then into western Europe is another. And going that extra feel-good effort to send them to Canada and the US (why not Mexico?) is something entirely different. Giving the Arabs yet another crutch so they can continue on with another century of failure and misrule isn't our problem to solve. At some point the infinite pipeline of people becomes an enablement.

    Lest we forget that in the 1950's and 60's Egypt decided it had a 'palestinian' problem. Too many of those underclass people, too querulous, too violent. So what did Egypt do? That's right, they shipped them off to Gaza to get rid of them and then after the 6 Day War cut them all loose. Did you know that no IDF troops were in Gaza during the war and there little to no fighting in an around Gaza? Did you know that Israel didn't ask for Gaza or demand control of it or brought it up with the Egyptians? Did you know it was never discussed at all and Egypt simply cut it off. They internally deported a few hundred thousand people and walked away so that they could not return to Egypt.

    Which idiots are living the delusion that these people are 'migrants'? A migrant eventually goes home or moves on. These people are never leaving. Never ever. And their population will grow and grow. And if their willingness to welcome these people outstrips their ability to manage them then one by one they will all reach Peak Muslim. And it doesn't matter who they are. It's to bigotry. If 30 million Poles decided they didn't want to live in Poland anymore it would still be a catastrophe for western Europe to manage. If 3 million Libyans arrived in France it would still be a catastrophe. If 15 million South Koreans showed up in the US its as catastrophic as 15 million Mexicans if they show up illegally and decide that laws and assimilation aren't for them. No I'm afraid the permanent depopulation of the Mideast is not the solution. It's a delaying tactic.

    1. Well, one thing is certain.

      The current immigration crisis out of the Middle East and northern Africa will go down as one of the most significant events in twenty-first century world history.

      We are witnessing the cultural and political alteration of Europe with our very eyes, in real time, and this will make for a very different world in general.

      This is a big moment.

      But what astonishes me is the near total disinclination of Americans to even speak of the issue out of fear of being labeled racist or Islamophobic.

  2. "But much of the US is Latino land to begin with and, just as importantly, their kids assimilate."
    I don't understand this. I don't know what "latino land" is or how 2nd generation immigrants assimilating makes massive waves of illegal immigration o.k., (unless you're just contrasting it with certain 2nd generation Americans with Arab or Muslim backgrounds who go all jihadi). The United States and Mexico have a binding treaty which spells out where the border between the two countries is. And, no I'm not anti-immigrant, but the government has been dilly dallying for decades on this issue. I meet a lot of Trump supporters here in FL who don't hate anyone, they are just seething about the policies of our government which they see screwing them. They believe it's all rigged, and the establishment is right now proving them correct to their satisfaction. It's going to be a long hot summer.
    Beware the politics media complex.

    1. Jeff,

      I don't know what "latino land" is...

      That's not an entirely unfair question, but I think that you do know what I mean.

      I know with certainty that you do not need me to remind you of the Mexican-American War and Manifest Destiny.

      As for assimilation and illegal immigration, I would not argue that the former justifies the latter.

      It's just that it's not one of my issues.

      It's going to be a long hot summer.

      That's a reference to Watts in '65.

      You may very well be right because things are looking ugly.

      The disruption of the Trump thing in Chicago was an upleasant reminder to me of how pro-Israel advocates get it on the campuses.

    2. Mexico became independent in 1821. Mexican-American war ended in 1848. "Latino land" was tecnically Mexican for just 27 years.
      It was sparsely populated, still largely unexplored, and belonged to Native Americans. Whatever newly minted Mexicans lived there at the time, their descendants have been US citizens for the last 168 years. Oaxaca native jumping the border has no more claim on California than a Ukrainian immigrant. Less, if immigrant is legal.

    3. Jacob,

      that's an interesting point.

      This thread actually puts me to mind of Ryan Bellerose and the indigenous question.

      You and I both know that after the Spanish conquest, with Cortes and his buddies in the early 16th century, that there was much miscegenation going on. By the time the US beat the holy crap out of the Mexicans in the mid-19th century the people who made up that society were largely mestizos.

      They were often - although not always, I am sure - the children of both Europeans and indigenous Americans and they are the people today that we refer to as Latinos.

      This will probably make me sound racist, as well, but I have a definite fondness for Latino culture, although I do not know nearly so much about it as I would like. I love the food and the music and the high-spiritedness and the fact that Mexico has a little something that we call the Day of the Dead.

      Mexican culture is fascinating and crazy and fun.

      Y'know, I was at the Hotel Majestic in the Zocalo in - jeez, a long time ago now, probably around the early 90s, early Clinton years. I was a kid. - and there was a huge protest against NAFTA. Hundreds of thousands of people poured into the Zocalo beneath my balcony.

      I felt like fucking Il Duce, or something.

      I told my wife that, hey, I'm going to go down into the street and she thought I was nuts. She thought it was potentially dangerous for this Jewish gringo, but the people gathering in the square were, at least to me, nothing but nice. I even ended up hitting a bar with some guy because he wanted to work on his English.

      The question of native American rights, tho, is a question for others, but as someone who tries to stand up for the indigenous rights of the Jewish people, I believe it is necessary to acknowledge the rights of other indigenous peoples seeking justice, as well.

      Watcha say?

    4. Mike,
      First, thanks for your response.

      Yes, of course I remember Manifest Destiny. I just don't think anyone is jumping the border to recover lost ancestral lands. They just want a better life in the U.S. I think you would agree with that.

      re: Chicago - Yes, you and me both.

      re: Your response to Jacob
      I don't see how having a fondness for Latino culture would make you racist. How would that argument go !? (It puts me in mind of that Seinfeld episode with the cigar store indian.)
      Or is this to do with the recent "tiny sombrero incident?"

    5. The tiny sombrero ( cultural appropriation) story is part 521796735401 of why Western civilization is doomed.

      Btw, it's now considered culturally insensitive to use the word "Latino."
      Check it out online. The "correct" word is "Latinx."


    6. How, if I at all cared, would that be pronounced? And who would I need to get permission from to wear a tiny sombrero?
      I don't believe I've ever used the word "latino" in speech. I tend to use words like Cuban, Mexican, Hispanic, etc.

    7. Jeff,
      I believe it's pronounced as in "inks" at the end. It's to do with gender. Latino is considered sexist and exclusive of people who are trans, gender neutral, gender fluid etc., etc. It's quite a thing.
      As to wearing a tiny sombrero, only a very "bad" person would give *you* permission to wear one. ;)
      Alternatively, you could choose to ignore this drivel and consign the dottiness about cultural appropriation to the dustbin of lunacy it belongs in.
      What you say about not using the word "Latino" in speech: I'm amazed that it is considered reasonable to lump people from a whole host of different backgrounds and countries together as if they should be thought to be a monolithic block. It's like saying "European" and not distinguishing between someone from Poland and someone from Portugal. Bonkers!
      I do think, however, that "Latino" was introduced to replace "Hispanic." I think some professor somewhere, probably in California, came up with that. It was supposed to be better for some reason. I'd have to look it up to remember why.
      Going back to the tiny sombrero fiasco, the fact that a faculty endorsed "Cold War" party was going on on campus at the same time, in which people came dressed up in big Muscovite fur hats etc, and even as Stalin, is indicative of how utterly ludicrous and hypocritical all this stuff is.
      It doesn't matter, by tomorrow there will be another campus story that is even more daft and mindboggling.

    8. k,
      I don't see how the gender thing is a responsibility of "Anglos," after all English gave up gender inflections a long, long time ago. Let the Spanish dictionary committee work it out.
      I'm sure the reason I don't say Latino, has more to do with the time period when I grew up than anything. But when a Berkeley leftist friend informed me that the correct thing to say is Latino, Latina, while she affected a faux Spanish accent I was thoroughly turned off, and remember stating to her what you just stated to me about it being quite a large category. I also resented her, a big Edward Said fan BTW, informing me that I am an "Anglo." (Would that make her an Angla? or Anglx?)
      I'm a Jew whose ancestors came to America from Poland, Romania, Russia, and I speak English. Is anyone going to call someone whose ancestors came here from Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, an Anglo? No, because what she was saying was that I'm white. That exposed what was being portrayed as linguistic to actually be some sick racial categorization. I find such slippery euphemisms disgusting.
      As I've mentioned before, language is all we've got.

    9. Jeff,

      Language is all we've got.
      Couldn't agree more. And that's precisely why everyone is trying to make it meaningless.

      You are a member of the White European Patriarchy ™
      ( h/t David Thompson)
      And I hereby denounce you.

      You're obviously not taking this stuff seriously enough.

  3. I suppose the Mayans and Aztecs have a claim on Mexico then. In fact the Oaxaca region of Mexico is the last vestige of pre Colombian ethnicity and culture. Few of them speak Spanish as a first language or at all. Whereas the Mexican elite have always been Spanish speaking and ethnically European. Let's foment civil war in Mexico to return it to the indigenous peoples.

    BTW many of the illegals in California are Oaxacan Mexicans who left Mexico because it's a racist to them and denies them most opportunities.

  4. Joseph,

    This may sound a little vapid beneath your considered comment, but I envy you. I wish I had some relatives in Mexico because then it would give me a reason to get down there more often.

    And you are in Chiapas?

    Shoot. Now you are making me jealous. I've been in and around Mexico City a few times, but that's pretty much it. Deep sea fishing off of Baja is on my bucket list. And I literally prayed at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun at dawn in Teotihuacan when I was in my twenties.

    That was a beautiful moment, indeed.

    See, I told you guys that I am a hippie at heart!


    In fact, to this day one of my favorite books of all time is The People's Guide to Mexico by Carl Franz.

    But I have to tell you, Joseph, rereading your comment makes me understand that you are a potential resource on news and analysis for Mexican and / or Latino Jewry.

    Most Jews in the US, including me, are almost entirely clueless of about Latino Jewry.

    You should write some front page material or hook me up with someone who will.

    I mean that, sincerely.

  5. No politics, pure travelogue. Chiapas is real Mexico, the fish is cheap, restaurants are cheap (though I have to keep telling the waiters that I am a gringo and don't want the salsa) and the tv stinks. But it is fascinating here. I'm in a little town called jiquipilas, about 60 kilometers from tuxtla, the capital. My son-in-law, who is from around here, says the town was founded by conversos. There is a woman's clothing store on the way to the center of the city called, 'shalom' and the sign under it informs us that the word means "paz" or peace in Spanish. There is a grocery store named "canaan" and my son-in-law is from a tiny town near here called "palestina." There are two beaches a couple of hours away, boca de cielo and puerta ariste. The must see city though, is san cristobal de las casas. It is an old Spanish colonial town with huge churches that date back to the 1600s. It is also where amber is sold. Amber is a resin, not a stone and the women tell me it is quite beautiful. Coffee is grown in san cristobal and rompope is made there. A cappuccino with rompope is one of the few alcoholic drinks I will have. There are mayan villages nearby and palanque is about 6 hours away, but the locals tell me it is worth the effort to go there. The history of the conversos in Mexico, well all over the Americas is quite interesting. I know that some have attempted to reach out to them and some have sought to reclaim their lost heritage. A group of about 45 left Vera Cruz to go to Israel a while back and apparently were accepted there, whether that was a journey of faith or economic desperation I don't know. My mother heard a lecture and bought a book by a Cuban woman who was descended from conversos and chose to reclaim her Jewish identity, but I don't know where the book is or the author's name. Anyway, hope that helps.

  6. So Bernie has declined to appear at the AIPAC conference. Hmmmmm......

  7. When I was a student back in the seventies I was a member of a secret society called "The South America Club ".

    I still can't divulge its purpose or rituals but they involved sitting around a table in the corner of a bar of the nearest licensed premises to the university every Sunday afternoon between 4pm and 6pm drinking 10oz beers in one swig while wearing Sombreros and singing "La Cocaracha".

    I suppose that would be considered politically incorrect these days.

    1. Most of its other members are now respected medical doctors.

      If only their patients could have seen them back then.

    2. ...drinking 10oz beers in one swig while wearing Sombreros and singing "La Cocaracha".

      I suppose that would be considered politically incorrect these days.

      Ya think, Geoff?


      On some American campuses students have insisted that other students wearing sombreros and drinking margaritas on Cinco de Mayo is "racist."

      At a university, I think in Colorado, there was a bit of an uproar because the cafeteria started serving "ethnic" food like General Chos Chicken and Ban Mi Sandwiches and some of the students got upset that it wasn't real ethnic food... whatever that means, exactly.

      The thing is, of course, they're right. General Chos Chicken is a Chinese-American dish and Ban Mi Sandwiches are a combination of French and Vietnamese.

      But this, as Mr. Carson might put it from Downton Abbey, is rather small beer.

    3. I don't follow Downton Abbey, so I am unfamiliar with Mr Carson.
      However, I disagree that all this stuff is "small beer." I think it sounds utterly bonkers but it's actually quite serious. I think identity politics and intersectionality etc are really insidious. And that what is happening on college campuses - yours and ours - is dangerous. In all sorts of ways. Universities are in a terrible state. Stunning, really.

      I watched a video someone recorded at one of our universities. The guest was an Islamist who was being fawned over by the students union. And the university feminist society. One student actually questioned him on his position on stoning women to death for adultery. Asked him whether he would condemn it. He wouldn't answer the question properly. The feminists were laughing during this. Laughing - on his side - while he would not condemn stoning women to death. They fetishize him. He's anti-western and anti-American imperialism. Anti the British government. So he's permitted to possibly thinking that women should be stoned to death. And these young "feminists" laughed. Their solidarity with women around the world counted for nothing. It doesn't exist. They are blinded. And morally bankrupt.

      But they probably would get very upset about the wrong person wearing a sombrero. Or something of that kind.

  8. trump's aipac speech was sound. his approach might beenfit israel more than the traditional, blind, toeing-the-line approach (which ultimately results in a PC vision - of moral equivalence between israel and their aggressors). rather, he demonstrates common sound values rather than washington affiliations and financial bases.