A Surfeit of Bile
I hope the reader will be tolerant of an eruption of pent-up irritation. While I do not think that encouraging mass immigration from Mexico is a good idea, and never have thought it, I weary of seeing Mexicans unreasonably and inaccurately vilified by dweebs, literati, and minor-league thunderers reminiscent of what’s-his-name who drew pictures in Vienna. Mexicans belong in Mexico. They are, however, perfectly good people, or as good as any other–a feeble recommendation, I grant–and in several ways superior to our collapsing Caligula-by-Disney circus-tent of a country. So there.
Permit me a searing insight (the only kind this column has.) Hispanics, particularly Mexicans, are and will be a large part of America. The Fat Lady has sung. It might therefore be a good idea to know something about them, what they are and are not, and what they may do. Oddly, I encounter little interest, even–or especially–from those who excoriate them. Instead the web resounds with angry baying at everything Spanish by people who seem to be descended, though not very far, from emotionally retarded pit bulls. I wonder what purpose is served by their hostility and misrepresentation.
Chief among the bayers is John Derbyshire of Taki’s Magazine. Most people have never heard of him (or of me, which I find incomprehensible) but he is a perfect example, probably Plato’s ideal, of a hostile thunderer. John unrelentingly savages Mexicans, expressing himself with the nuanced objectivity of a prom queen who has discovered a rival. For John, there is nothing–nothing—good about any Mexican. They are stupid. They have no family values. Their music is terrible. He cannot conceive of a Mexican’s having an idea.
None of this describes the Mexico I live in. Nor does it describe the Mexicans I have met in the US. The grinding hatred reminds me of an anti-Simite I once knew: “Hey, Fred, how’s it going? Now why do the goddam Jews think they can….” On and on. And on. And on, until I wanted to scream, “Yes! Yes! The Jews poison wells. They sacrifice Christian children. It’s all true. Now can you just shut up about it?”
I question John’s standing in the matter. John, an immigrant from England, now thinks himself an American. He is no more American than I am a Mexican. That is, we are both legally present in someone else’s country. He is certainly less American than those Mexican-Americans whose families have been in the US since 1848.
I worry that he is not assimilating. Well, a little. He has learned pretty fair English. This is to be admired in someone whose native language presumably is Urdu. But…American? It is impossible to imagine him pulling a catfish out of Machodoc Creek with a cane pole on a summer afternoon. Or dancing a fast double-step jitterbug in a rural dive on the Potomac with Little Richard squalling Long Tall Sally. Or getting skinned for quarters at nine-ball in Bradshaw’s Pool Hall at three a.m. on a snowy night. You might as well imagine me trying to be a duke. As someone said, you are not a car just because you are in a garage.
See? I can be unreasoningly anti-immigrant too.
If I were to speak to John, it would be in this wise:
You will be astonished, John, (not to say disappointed) to learn that Mexicans are pretty close to human, and even competent at many things. They dress themselves, brush their teeth, and live in houses. They also run telecommunications and airlines, trouble-shoot routers, and engineer highways and bridges in wicked terrain. (There, there. Sit down. Take a deep breath. Calm yourself. You will be all right in a few minutes.)
They do other things. Let me use medicine as an illustrative thunderclap. Mexican doctors—brace yourself–do not effect cures by sacrificing chickens. They regularly handle dialysis, implant stents, perform surgery. I know somewhat of this. I have myself had locally a fluorescein angiogram, optical-coherence tomography, optical echosonogram, an MRI for a rotator-cuff problem, and the usual dentistry. John, there was not a chicken in evidence.
Puerta de Hierro Hospital, Guadalajara. It is actually an adobe hut, but has been extensively PhotoShopped.
A gringo I know recently had a pacemaker installed. He reports that the surgeon did not open his chest with an obsidian knife atop a pyramid.
Really. Honest. I swear it.
Worse and worse, John: A while ago we took a ninety-year-old friend, who had fallen and wrecked a vertebra, to the St. Javier Hospital in Guadalajara. The surgeon drilled holes in the bone, inserted balloons which when inflated restored the vertebra to the proper shape, filled the holes with linoleum cement (well, some kind of cement) and, when it had hardened properly, discharged him. Outpatient procedure. Worked fine.
St. Javier Hospital of the Linoleum Cement. The far room is used for chanting and doing things with the heads of goats.
(OK, OK, I concede that we did have to bring chickens, but only as a backup. The surgeons prefer white ones, and light little fires around them.)
A medical chicken, Guadalajara.
A million American expatriates live in Mexico, John. If it were as benighted and awful as you believe, don’t you think they might, like, you know—have noticed?
I suspect that your perturbations and uproars are genetic. (I said this column was going to ramble.) You are, I think, a believer in genetic determinism. You are also a conservative, and conservatives always growl fearfully at the twisting shadows without, and within, just as liberals squeak and gibber and say “Goo! Goo!” Such perfect consistency must be genetic.
(Since you are something of a biochemist. In conservatives the gene Ahlim3f codes for the protein 3,5-diphenyl-polywanacrakerase which in the brain acts on the medial gyrunculus to reactivate the ancestral reptilian limbic system. Consider John McCain. Liberals are protected by another protein, associated chiefly with butterflies, which prevents the synthesis.)
Next: Race. I am informed that you are on a crusade, giddyap giddyap Rocinante, to keep America white. I think this would have been a good idea, while feasible. Diversity is usually more trouble than it is worth, and often a catastrophe. Diversity is what we have, though, as a matter of deliberate and continuing American policy, and maybe we should make the best of it. Or decide how bad it really is.
I do think your personal approach to the maintenance of whiteness–you imported a brown wife to the United States and had a brood of mestizo children—seems a curious one, rather like screwing for virginity. Since I too am a race traitor, and have a brown wife and mestizo stepdaughter, I commend your choice, but it does look an awful lot like hypocrisy.
Anyway: Since there will be lots of Mexicans in America no matter how much we grind our teeth, shriek, or hold our breath and turn blue, a reasonable question might be: How well can Mexicans and gringos get along? Not how well will they get along: this depends on economics, concentrations, schooling, hostility from the indigenes and excited net-hamsters, and whether the immigrants are corrupted by the welfare system. What is the best case? How well can they get along?
Well. Or so I think. I do not have your vast experience with Mexicans, John, and so I am groping in the dark. Fortunately I had some practice with the technique as a teenager. Mayhap I can provide useful insights.
Everywhere that I am aware of in Mexico, relations are good. Everywhere I have actually been in the United States, relations have also been good. This includes Houston, San Antonio, New York City, Washington, DC and, in Chicago, Berwyn and Pilsen. On the other hand, locals returning from the States report hostility in Arizona and in many towns across the country. Friends in law enforcement tell of young Mexicans adopting the dress and behavior ot the black underclass. Bad. Very bad.
I offer for your inspection this thought: It is a question of class, not race. People of different races and cultures seldom get along, unless they are of the middle class, when attachment to refrigerators and monster TVs usually (but not always) provides a commonality precluding warfare. I deal daily with Mexicans of the middle class (many of them we would call lower middle class.) About half the country now fits this description. There is no problem.
Middle classes, everywhere that I know of anyway, have small families, school their children, wash behind their ears, and seldom rob banks or kill the neighbors. (Well, maybe on weekends.) There is nothing in Mexican culture that is inherently immiscible with Americanity. They do not genitally mutilate their daughters or make them wear funny-looking bags, and do send them to university when they can. They don’t do arranged marriages or honor killings. They are slightly Catholic (they ignore the parts about fornication, contraception, and adultery as much as everybody else) and don’t want to convert everybody else. If them pesky Messkins, beaners, and Pedros makes it to middle class, things will probably go tolerably. We had better hope.
On the other hand, if large numbers become a permanent, resentful welfare-and-affirmative-action underclass, God help the Republic, if any. The welfare system endeavors exactly that.
If I were a curmudgeonly cynic (which assuredly I am not) I might ask: How, having invited them in and put them on welfare, can the US complain that they are in, and on welfare?
I assume, John, that you, having been brought up in a castle—all Englishmen are brought up in castles, I believe—will look with practiced and well-oiled disdain upon the notion that Mexicans might not be stupid. I grant that it is a gut-wrenching idea. But sometimes we must bear up under vicissitudes. (And please, don’t do your Central-Casting lordliness. It is wearying.) But the lovingly held notion of the 87 IQ of Mexicans just doesn’t square with observtion. (Yes, yes, I know, observation has no place in IQ studies.) There are way too many smart Mexicans, doing way too many difficult things (see above) for the theory of 87 to work.
But I wander. Let us talk about crime by Mexicans. I have always had reservations about the crime business. In twelve years in Mexico I have walked without concern in a dozen cities and dozens of towns—all without incident. I do not doubt that you have had many bad experiences in your extensive travels in Mexico. (You will of course have made such journeys.) But I have not.
Even in the US, the situation doesn’t seem to me to be as stark as you would like. Certainly the cartels are neck-deep in the drug trade, in which no whites are involved. But beyond this? In middle-class regions crime is very low, which might argue for wanting them to enter the middle class as soon as possible. But that, and thus not in conformity with the national character.
I refer you to a study (which I very much encourage the reading of) by the best numerical analyst of my acquaintance—Ron Unz: you may know somewhat of him, John—who concluded that Hispanic crime is not much greater than white. There is La Griffe du Lion, probably a renegade math prof at Harvard or MIT, who did an exhaustive analysis and concluded “the data show that violent crime rates for Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites, though a bit higher for Hispanics, are in actual fact quite similar. As for blacks, their crime rate remains by any measure uniquely high.” Excluding the narcos (very low-class) that is the situation where I live.
Ah well. Supper calls and night falls. I will release the guard dogs, double-bolt the doors, electrify the concertina, arm the Claymores, set the alarm systems, and adjourn to the rooftop patio with my AR15 for a few Bloody Marys to ward off the ever-encroaching fear. I hope we will still be around tomorrow.