Liberal paper tars FrontPage contributor with my views on immigration

On April 4, I posted a brief item about an article that had been published the previous day at FrontPage Magazine, about an Islamic school in Hilliard, Ohio that had close connections with a jihadist and terror supporter named Salah Sultan.

This morning, May 8, I received an e-mail from Patrick Poole, the author of that article, with whom I had previously had no contact. He told me that the local liberal paper, the Columbus Dispatch, had attacked him for his article on Sultan, and that one of the things the Dispatch had used to tar him was my article, “Are We Really a Nation of Immigrants,” which had been published at FP the same day as Poole’s article. Here’s what the Dispatch wrote: is edited by conservative activist David Horowitz, known for his campaign against perceived liberal bias on college campuses. Another article in the April 3 edition said U.S. immigration policy should be shaped by the nation’s “overwhelmingly Christian” and “overwhelmingly white”’ heritage.

Here is the passage from my article on which the Dispatch based that characterization:

It is also blatantly unfair to make the factoid that “we are all descended from immigrants” our sole guide to national policy, when there are so many other important and true facts about America that could also serve as guides. For example, throughout its history the United States has been a member of Western civilization—in religion overwhelmingly Christian (and mainly Protestant Christian), in race (until the post-1965 immigration) overwhelmingly white, in language English. Why shouldn’t those little historical facts be at least as important in determining our immigration policy as the pseudo-fact that we’re all “descended from immigrants?”

In addition to being insulted that the Dispatch had used the work of a writer he didn’t know to suggest that he is a racist, Mr. Poole thought that the Dispatch’s characterization of my passage was probably unfair. He asked me to if the paper had contacted me to ask what I had meant, and if it had accurately characterized my comments. My reply to him is below. Mr. Poole’s own preliminary reply to the Dispatch is posted at his website.

Dear Mr. Poole:

I’m sorry you were attacked over your article. And of course it’s outrageous that they used a passage from my article to you attack you. No, they did not contact me.

I would say they overstated my point, but not entirely.

I meant the passage, first of all, in a rhetorical way. I was saying, here are some true facts about American history. On what basis does the false historical statement, “we are a nation of immigrants,” get to be the dispositive rule on immigration, leading to an unquestionable bias for open borders, while actual historical facts about our country—such as that it was founded by people who believe in limited government, that it has an English-based culture, that it’s always been a Western country, a white majority country, and a Christian country—are considered as being completely irrelevant to the immigration debate? I’m saying there is no basis for making “We are a nation of immigrants” the history-derived rule determining our immigration policy, while we completely ignore and even demonize other statements about our history.

But I meant it in a substantive sense as well. I’m saying that if we are to consider our nation’s supposed history (“We’re a nation of immigrants”) as the guide for what immigration ought to be, then the historical facts such as the ones I mentioned ought to be also considered along with our tradition of generous immigration. It was an appeal for balance, truth and realism. It was an appeal that we acknowledge what America has historically been, and that we not adopt policies that will simply destroy what America has been.

For example, given that we have always been an overwhelmingly Christian country with a Jewish minority, did it make sense to admit a mass immigration of Muslims, who just happen to be mortal enemies of the Christian and Jewish religions and who are required by their religion to convert humanity to Islam or subdue or kill them? When deciding on the desirability of Muslim immigration, which consideration should be more important: “We are a basically Christian or Judeo-Christian society and therefore large-scale Muslim immigration is not such a great idea,” or, “We’re a nation of immigrants, therefore we’ll let in everyone regardless of whether they are assimilable to our society or not”?

And on race, I would make a similar argument. I do not accept the liberal view that race is totally irrelevant to society. To marginalize the historic majority population of a country is obviously going to change the country in profound ways, even destroying its historic identity as a country. This is indeed what motivates the left and the globalists and the minority activists: their aim is to get control over America and change it into something else; how better to get control over a country than through the mass replacement of its historic population? It is a huge social engineering scheme. If this were being done to any nonwhite country it would be seen as a great crime. But since it’s being done to a white country, that’s fine. Which shows that the condemnation of a view such as mine is not based on morality, but on an immoral double standard aimed against the West.

People who say the things such as I’ve said here are considered “racists,” yet in fact I simply want to preserve America as a recognizable historical country. It is the open-border supporters who have a racist agenda, since they are seeking, for their own purposes, to displace and destroy America’s historic majority population and its culture.

Sincerely yours,
Lawrence Auster

- end of initial entry -

Jeff writing from England makes some excellent suggestions about how to advance these arguments:

Congratulations on your excellent e-mail to Mr. Poole regarding the use of your “Are We really a Nation of Immigrants.” No one could have put it better. I will add this:

1) Because yours is a public view new to many readers it constantly has to be repeated that you are not a “racist” nor have any hatred for members of groups you may want to exclude from America or the West. Otherwise you will be associated with the “Usual Suspects” whom I need not name.

2) Because the United States land mass had so recently (relatively) been emigrated to by white Christians when its population was Native American (what a term!), there is a need to constantly “deal” with that as it will be in the forefront of many people’s minds as a retaliation to your views. Many people might ask what’s wrong with other groups doing to whites what the whites did to the Native Americans. That is a simple but popular argument that needs repeated answering by you.

3) Another point that constantly has to be “dealt with” in these verbal exchanges is why further non-white or non-Judaic-Christian immigration may not be good for the United States, even better than leaving it mostly white. Black music and sportsmanship, Asian business acumen, even Islamic spiritual dedication, may be used as counter arguments to why the United States despite being white for so long shouldn’t take in more people from these sort of groups, in other words, the argument that people from these groups will improve the country. You have to show why this will not be so. You also may have to talk to already established immigrants from these groups to explain why further people from these groups are NOT good for America. This is a further challenge, more necessary than before as those settled non-white and/or non-Judaic-Christian immigrant groups increase their population Even if you talked about this numerous times before, it needs to be repeated every time you have a public dialogue as there are many new readers or listeners. Yours is now a public voice and your public is much bigger.

4) Though you have conclusively proved that the U.S. was not always a nation of immigrants, if enough people feel that America IS a “nation of immigrants” now, then that point too must be answered repeatedly in public communication and dialogue. It doesn’t matter to most people what America actually was or wasn’t before, it’s what it is now in people’s minds that counts. And for good or bad it is for many a “nation of immigrants.” Your task is not only to point out the historic reality which you have brilliantly done but to deal with this “nation of immigrants” mentality as it stands now. In other words, to argue why America SHOULDN’T be a “nation of immigrants” (which would theoretically include white Eastern Eirope and immigrants as well) in general. This is a separate point from talking about why certain groups should be excluded. Rather this point deals with refuting the broad concept of a “nation of immigrants” as a philosophic bedrock of the current American populace. Again this needs constant repeating and clarifying, especially to your new readers and listeners.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 08, 2006 07:02 PM | Send

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