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-   -   Immigration Nation (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2029)

Wonderment 08-14-2008 05:30 PM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
Quote:

I don't think the important question about assimilation is whether one continues to identify with one's country and culture of origin or not, but rather whether one also comes to identify with the culture into which one has immigrated.
Yes, but what does that mean? Mexicans (like Israelis) already identify with the culture of their neighbor. Half their television programs and 80% of their movies are American. They follow US music culture and they ALL take American English in school. They are Christians, like most Americans and they come from a Constitutional democracy like Americans. Their biggest cultural hurdle is usually going from the metric system to feet/yards/quarts and switching from soccer to football.

But even if they didn't, I don't see what cultural expectations Americans could have of their immigrants.

Quote:

It's fine to continue caring deeply about India and Indian culture (and ditto for other countries and cultures of origin, of course), but will Indian immigrants to the U.S (or to Britain, France, etc.) also adopt many of the main features of American (British, French) culture, internalize them, care about them, etc?
Again, like what? What features?

Quote:

I find it striking that many people who don't particularly care about preserving and protecting such cultures which in recent years have been dealing with massive immigration -- and I'm not saying that's your view, Wonderment; I don't know what your view is on this -- themselves identify strongly with other cultures that are flourishing elsewhere on the globe and are not in the least threatened.
The dominant culture of the USA is not threatened in any way, shape or form by immigrants. US culture is not that of an isolated Amazonian tribe that will be wiped out by foreign missionaries bearing gifts of guns and transistor radios. On the contrary, US culture dominates the planet. It has nothing to fear from the Mexicans, Indians or Chinese. As Roosevelt would say, We have nothing to xenophobe over about except our own xenophobia.

Exeus99 08-14-2008 05:32 PM

Re: Mr K No Way
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by twin2jeremy
[Dalmia] is very much justified in putting a sock in the mouth of such ignorance

So shouting down opponents and talking over a fellow 'vlogger are justified 'cause Kirkorian's just so wrong? It's legitimate to use force (weakly defined) to win political arguments...this on behalf of someone working at a libertarian advocacy magazine?

Mr. Mayhem 08-14-2008 05:42 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
More immigration-related diavlogs, please.

I didn't find Ms. Dalmia as abrasive in her style as some of the other commenters did, though I agree more with Mr. Krikorian than with her. Aside from the bristling at the term "foreign born," she was mostly engaging with his arguments on his own terms. That lead to a lot of disagreement about statistics and a fair amount of misunderstanding, but it was a genuine engagement. Some of the other libertarian bloggingheads engage in a kind of spurious argumentation that I find much more exasperating and difficult to watch than Ms. Dalmia's passion. I particularly enjoyed her anecdote about her son in France.

TwinSwords 08-14-2008 08:41 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SteveD (Post 87324)
The problem with complaining about Dalmia's indignant tone and occasional interruption is that she was clearly provoked.

I know that there is a taboo against saying in public that anyone, short of an open Klan member, ever says or does anything racist ("the Race Card"). However, let's be honest. His views on immigration are racist. The point about "foreign born," which superficially seemed like a dead-end or a side-issue, is crucial. John McCain is "foreign born" (in Panama). Does that make him less "American"? Does that make him a threat to anything important (setting aside that very real risk that he may come to occupy the Presidency)? Does Krikorian even think so? No. He is clear. It's those Hispanics that he's worried about. Not because they are "foreign born," in the literal sense, but because even if they become citizens, he doesn't think they can ever really be Americans. He concedes that once they becomes citizens, there's "nothing we can do about that" (or some words to that effect), but he still defines them as a problematic category. Taboo or no taboo, I'm willing to call that racist.

And how can one expect a person of color, and a "foreign born" citizen, to sit and listen to this guy calling for a moratorium on immigration in order to protect America from being flooded by the onslaught of foreigners, without getting upset and expressing indignation?

The real question is, why aren't all the rest of us just as upset?

One last thought, why does Bloggingheads always have people with extreme positions (abolish public education and public roads in favor of market totalitarianism, or impose a moratorium on immigration), but always from the far right, never from the far left? Why so many libertarians, but never a socialist or other radical leftist? Just wondering.

Beautifully said. And good question about BhTV's fetish for libertarians, who seem sort of liberal to some people, but should properly be understood as in many ways more extreme, more conservative, and more dangerous than the Republican Party. Sure, libertarians don't favor torture, murder, and racism the way Republicans do, but they also want to abolish government, and would be happy to let millions of people starve under "free market efficiency." Libertarians would let you smoke pot, but they'd also let the elderly die homeless on the streets if they didn't arrange for their own retirement income -- or if, heaven forbid, it was looted by the likes of Ken Lay. Libertarians would be glad to let you rent porn, but they'd also be happy to let you die of untreated cancer if you don't have medical insurance.

Libertarianism and Republicanism are two heads of the same hydra, both evil, both ultra-conservative, and both enemies of humanity.


.

Drew 08-14-2008 08:59 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 87413)
Libertarianism and Republicanism are two heads of the same hydra, both evil, both ultra-conservative, and both enemies of humanity.
.

That's an ugly sentiment and extremely unfair portrayal of your opponents' position. It seems you think disagreement is a casus belli, not a cause for debate.

TwinSwords 08-14-2008 09:07 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Drew (Post 87414)
That's an ugly sentiment and extremely unfair portrayal of your opponents' position. It seems you think disagreement is a casus belli, not a cause for debate.

I think you're probably right in your conclusion, but honestly, I'm not in the mood today to debate the Republican virtues of murder, torture, and racism, as justified as Republicans believe those things are, and as worthy of debate as they may believe them to be.

And likewise, I have no interest in debating the merits of letting the elderly starve or the sick die of untreated disease. There are a lot of smart people willing to debate with you about those wonderful conservative principles, but it's not how I care to spend my time this evening.

I just think it's repugnant. Conservatives are always talking about the value of shame. Well, fine. I think conservatives should be ashamed of their barbaric worldview, devoted as it is to the increase of human suffering.

stari_momak 08-14-2008 09:09 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Ooooh, he's 'Racist', run away, run away.

In fact, Krikorian is too race shy. Here we have a perfect example, I highly ethnocentric Indian woman (I don't care whose passport she has, she ain't American like me or George Washington) who obviously cares about getting more of her kind ('highly skilled' Indian H1-B's) into the country my ancestors built. We'll, I'll tell you what Shikha, and SteveD , I like my country. I like its demographics, though they were better 20-30-40 years ago. I am not ashamed to say I like white folks. I don't want my country turned into a Brazil north, not for any so-called economic benefit (which, BTW is illusory -- no study has ever found that immigration benefits the native population more than a small fraction of a percent of GDP -- and such studies exclude externalities). There are plenty of non-ethnic, non-racial reasons to oppose immigration, from income inequality to local environmental damage to the 'brain drain' (not Shilkha's obviously) . But screw all that, I like my own people and see no reason to surrender the country we built to third worlders.

Oh, and Shilkha ought to take a look at here own country's immigration policy -- it has become progressively tighter, they are building a wall on the Bangladesh border, and its also explicitly racist (people of 'Indian Descent' down to four generations can pretty much move there and work without any hassle, not so the real Brits, Americans, Canadians, and Australians that have had the 'honor' of being swamped by this hostile and arrogant population).

Drew 08-14-2008 09:16 PM

"Libertarianism In One Country"
 
Any libertarians in the house? I would like to get their reaction to this article. It's a bit long, but the crux begins at the section beginning: "The affection of liberals for mass immigration..."

It's basic points:
- Only 13% of Americans lean libertarian
- Libertarianism is not attractive to immigrants, since they largely come from protectionist, paternalistic, or theocratic countries.
Thus, libertarian support for mass immigration is suicidal to their cause.

What do you libertarians think?

TwinSwords 08-14-2008 09:27 PM

Re: "Libertarianism In One Country"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Drew (Post 87418)
Any libertarians in the house? I would like to get their reaction to this article. It's a bit long, but the crux begins at the section beginning: "The affection of liberals for mass immigration..."

It's basic points:
- Only 13% of Americans lean libertarian
- Libertarianism is not attractive to immigrants, since they largely come from protectionist, paternalistic, or theocratic countries.
Thus, libertarian support for mass immigration is suicidal to their cause.

What do you libertarians think?

For a libertarian, especially, the idea that ethnicity is ideology seems rather strange.

Drew 08-14-2008 09:50 PM

Re: "Libertarianism In One Country"
 
Yes, but it is quite familiar to much of the world, just ask a Shia, a Wahabbi, a Bolivian mestizo, a Hutu, a Tutsi, an Ijaw, a Banda etc.

Wonderment 08-14-2008 10:56 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

I like my country. I like its demographics, though they were better 20-30-40 years ago. I am not ashamed to say I like white folks. I don't want my country turned into a Brazil north.

Would you be open to Negros who use skin whitener and try really hard to be white people? Doesn't Obama's mom from Kansas count for anything? Maybe not 50%, but something? What if the Brazilians had 1/16 Aryan blood from back in Portugal?

SteveD 08-14-2008 11:15 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stari_momak (Post 87417)
I like my own people and see no reason to surrender the country we built to third worlders.

At least you spew your racism right upfront, rather than concealing it behind dubious statistics and a 'policy wonk' persona, like Krikorian. Either way, racism is racism.

Of course, one good thing about Krikorian's approach is that he can't just brazenly falsify reality, because he does feel he needs to cite a study now and then. So he can't go around denying what everyone knows to be the case, namely, that the U.S. was mainly built by slaves and racialized immigrants, after it was stolen from indigenous people. White people just pointed the guns at everyone else and, on that basis, extorted enormous wealth from the people doing the real work.

Wonderment 08-14-2008 11:19 PM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
Quote:

I'd say that what's missing (aside from legal stuff) is something like a voluntary, self-conscious decision to throw one's lot in with the American people, to identify oneself as an American. (I can't help thinking of Christopher Hitchens here.) One needs to feel American like Shikha feels Indian (and for all I know American too). Or at least aspire to that.
Well, aside from how intangibly subjective such a quality is, my intuitive take on it is that first generation Americans almost never have it even in a weak form, and I'm not sure most non-immigrants have it in a strong form. (Republicans always attack Dems. for being weak on patriotic values because it's true, we are. We tend to question the flag-waving and the displays of exceptionalism.)

My Mexican-born spouse certainly doesn't have even the weak identity, even after 20 years here and citizenship. My grandparents never had even the weak form either. But second generation Americans almost always have it, as my own kids do and as all my grandparents' descendants do. You go to American schools, you speak English as your native language, and bingo, you're plenty American.

Quote:

But you make it sound as though [American identity] it couldn't be threatened, no matter how many immigrants there were, and no matter what immigrants' attitudes were about seeing themselves as Americans, fitting into the American way of life, etc. But that seems obviously false. (I hope you agree.)
Theoretically false, but pratically true. I can envision no conceivable set of circumstances under which immigration would reach such heights as to threaten American culture. I know you can, in your country and culture. It's easy to conjure up the specter of a few million Arabic-speaking non-Jews moving in. But America faces nothing remotely like that.

Suggesting it does, as Mickey Kaus routinely does on Bheads, is where the Xenophobia comes in. It may not be a paranoic delusion in all countries at all times to question the effects of immigration on culture, but it certainly is paranoic here and now in this country. Nothing is happening beyond tacos competing with hot dogs.

When Shikha told the story about her son in France, she said something like, "as every immigrant will understand, the problem for us is in reverse -- i.e., maintaining the Indian identity" (I'm paraphrasing very liberally)... She's right. That rings immediately true for all of us with bicultural kids. My grandchildren are going to lose Spanish, even though my kids are fluent. Every immigrant parent worries about that kind of thing because assimillation is so wildly successful and because the dominant culture is so omnivorous.

Ocean 08-14-2008 11:42 PM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mvantony (Post 87409)
I don't see what xenophobia has to do with it essentially. Surely lots of people who would like to restrict immigration highly value cultural/ethnic/racial diversity in their country (and so don't at all fear others who are "different"; quite the contrary). They just don't want a culture that is dominant in other countries to become dominant in theirs too. Nor do they want immigrants (when their numbers get large enough) to repeatedly push for cultural changes in the direction of their culture of origin.

I read your posts and I realize that you are indeed struggling to define what it is that bothers you. However, after reading, I must say, it sounds like typical xenophobia. The fact that it's so difficult to articulate, makes it the more likely. Since you deny this is the case, can you tell us, why you think the above is not xenophobia?

r108dos 08-15-2008 02:48 AM

Re: Death by Dalmia
 
It was impossible to listen to her! Lot of her arguments didn't make sense. They seemed to be on the junior high level. And then she just got shrill on top of it! Not much of a Diavlog dialog.

Wonderment 08-15-2008 04:11 AM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
Michael, I thought it might help to illustrate a little bit what my world looks like here in California.

My dentist is an Iranian immigrant. My optomotrist is a Chinese immigrant. My tax preparer is an immigrant from Bangalore, India. My pharmacist is a Jordanian immigrant. My convenience store guy is Syrian. My gardener is Mexican (undocumented). Except for the Mexican, they all vote.

All of them have American children who are indistinguishable culturally from their "white" age peers.

How can this be an assimilation problem? And even if it were, why would we care in a globalized economy? Diaspora communities are often a win-win for both countries.

graz 08-15-2008 04:50 AM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mvantony (Post 87505)
Wonderment and Ocean,

I'll respond to your posts some time soon. I need to be away from the computer for a while. In the mean time I've posted something else that's likely to horrify you and others here.

I hope you don't mind my interjection, but context counts. I have a fairly good recollection of your postings. And because of that, I am not horrified, rather inspired to rethink my assumptions. I hope to hear from all of you on this subject.

Wonderment 08-15-2008 05:57 AM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

As I said, I myself have such reactions (one reason for that presumably being that many whites who say such things also say nasty things about Jews, while few Japanese and Indians do). Still, I believe the issue cries out for closer examination. Am I missing something obvious?
Yes, I think you're missing the cultural and historical context.

Let's take a simple example.

CASE 1: An old German former Nazi Party member meets you in Berlin and says, "You know, Michael, I've always felt very creepy around Jews. There's something about you people that bothers me. I prefer living in my own country without Jews. You personally are an exception, of course. You're unlike most Jews."

CASE 2: An Israeli Holocaust survivor meets a nice German man on a visit to Berlin.. "You know, Hans, I've always felt very creepy around Germans. There's something about you people that bothers me. I prefer living in my own country without Germans. You personally are an exception, of course. You're unlike most Germans."

According to what you have previously stated, these are equivalent situations. Both the German and the Jew are equally ethnocentric (or not).

I would argue that -- given the historical context -- the German's attitude is completely contemptible, while the Jew's attitude is imperfect, but quite understandable.

We are all naturally (biologically) xenophobic and ethnocentric. But to live in harmony we have to learn from history.

manmat 08-15-2008 10:13 AM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
I am trying to make up my mind on immigration. I lean somewhat in the pro direction but would like to hear some good arguments against it. But I must say that Mark is as ineffectual and unprepared a debater as I have ever seen. I don't care about demographic arguments, but he had, it seems to me, no comeback to Dalmia's numbers showing that both the US and other countries have endured far greater rates of immigration. The 3 or so per 1000 immigrants we admit right now just does not seem like a huge deal to me. In any case, I am more interested in economic and cultural arguments. On the economic side, it seemed like just a slam dunk that immigrants benefit us -- because Mark had no research showing that they consumed more than they contributed to our economy. As for cultural arguments, Mark's only point was that immigrants don't assimilate these days, which strikes me as dubious.

If you have another debate on this subject, please arrange for someone smarter on the con side. I really would like to hear a good argument against immigration.

twin2jeremy 08-15-2008 10:52 AM

Re: Immigration Nation (Mr. K No Way x2)
 
Quote:

It was impossible to listen to her! Lot of her arguments didn't make sense. They seemed to be on the junior high level. And then she just got shrill on top of it! Not much of a Diavlog dialog
You must be death or so blindly conservative that you can't think straight. Listen, Im not calling this guy a racist or a bigot, but there has to be something said about someone who dedicates an entire book to anti-immigration propoganda. So if it walks and talks like a duck: it must be a duck. I am just allergic to eggregious intellectual dishonesty.

Why listen to Mr. K talk for an hour when it's painfully obvious that he will forfeit all reason. He has no credibility. And YES, people who promulgate such tenuous nonsense should be not allowed to carry on....

It's offensive (lightly stated), especially to immigrants (who are gigantic contributors to American society) to hear such pervarication against their ancestrial livelihood and cultural history.

rgajria 08-15-2008 11:18 AM

Re: Immigration Nation (Mr. K No Way x2)
 
Barring her shrill voice and combative manner, Ms. Dalmia was well prepared to handle Mr. Kirkorian's arguments. His arguments are completely subjective. I remember the organization mentioned here in earlier comments. I saw an interview with one of their speakers on the Christian channel. Channel 30 that is. And in that interview, the talk was about Mexico taking over the United States. So you can imagine the conversation.
I think Ms. Dalmia read through Mr. Kirkorian's paranoia disguised under statistical reasoning.

rgajria 08-15-2008 11:20 AM

Re: Immigration Nation (Mr. K No Way x2)
 
If Ms. Dalmia shows up in some future diavlog, I would advice her to speak softly, not be so shrill, and let the other bloke make his/her point.

Ocean 08-15-2008 11:27 AM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mvantony (Post 87503)
But must such statements be racist and immoral? Must white people who utter them be racist and immoral? If the answer to these two questions is 'yes', then must it also be the case that a (racially) Japanese citizen of Japan who likes Japanese people and Japanese culture, and Japan's demographics, is also racist? Must a racially Indian citizen of India who cares about Indian people and likes India's demographics be racist? (Analogous questions can obviously be asked about lots of other peoples in other countries.)


--- Still, I believe the issue cries out for closer examination. Am I missing something obvious?

mvantony,

I'm not horrified about what you posted. You are just articulating what lies underneath a more subtle form of discrimination by race and culture.
I agree with Wonderment that "discrimination" is biological coded. It allowed us, for example, to recognize the enemy in case of war between different groups. Once you understand and accept the fact that there is a genetically determined predisposition to discrimination, you have to do a little more work to understand the full implications of this. The next step is to think what characteristics define our affiliation to one group versus the other. If you are raised in a very homogeneous society: one race, one religion, one language, one code of conduct, etc., you will have a strong tendency to identify with that group and see people who are different from those norms as different, or "alien". If you are raised in a diverse society, the tendency would be very weak, unless you are being indoctrinated otherwise by your family or immediate social group.
If, you hold the moral principle that discriminating,(which in this context includes the idea of seeing someone as a potential enemy), is wrong, then you have to counteract that natural tendency if you recognize that it's present in you. Unfortunately and with the exception of the more obvious racists or xenophobes who are fully aware and don't think it's wrong, for many people discrimination operates subconsciously. It's an internal discomfort triggered by the "other" which can't be defined very well. And that's what you described before.
Now, you bring up the issue of "liking" your own group or culture. On surface, you could argue there's nothing wrong with that, and also say that white people liking whites (race) is the same as, say, Japanese people liking Japanese (culture). Both sets of preferences are based on discrimination as defined above. You endorse your preferred affiliation with a group with which you identify. You are not saying you hate all others. You are just saying you prefer your own. What's wrong with that? Well, it all depends on where it could lead you under certain circumstances. In other words, what other beliefs and actions will stem from that apparently innocuous "preference". Will it lead you, for example, to discourage your children from socializing with the "others"? Will it lead you to move out of a neighborhood? Will it lead you to vote against a more permissive immigration law? Will it lead to prefer your own as opposed to one of the "others" when you decide about employing someone?
Another idea to be challenged is lumping everybody in one group or the other regardless of their individual characteristics. So, I would ask, do you like "all whites"? What is more important to you, being white, or some other individual characteristic that you value, such as honest, intelligent, trustworthy or whatever else you choose to look at? Can those characteristics be present in members of the other groups?
Discrimination operates also through stereotyping. The unconscious belief that all members of a group have the same characteristics.
The special issue about white people discriminating others, is relevant in the context of cultures where white people are a privileged majority, and where historically, this form of discrimination has created abuse and mistreatment of minorities. Because of that, the standard is different. It would be legitimate for a non-white person to feel suspicious of a white person who discriminates. It is a reaction to a real potential threat, validated by historical facts. When a non-majority person, in this case let's say, a non-white says they like members of their group, although it represents, technically a form of discrimination, it doesn't contain a real, historically validated, threat.
And lastly, or perhaps it should have been the first point, when you say what you like, you imply what you don't like, i.e. the rest. If you were to soften the statement and say I like X more, you are still saying you like non-X less. As long as you keep those likes and dislikes applied to aspects of life that aren't relevant to others, that don't cause direct or indirect harm to others, you and all of us are entitled to them. But we need to be extremely careful and aware of the possible ramifications.

I don't like red-haired men, for example. But I wouldn't deny them employment, immigration, or friendship. It's just a personal choice irrelevant to the rest of humanity.

rgajria 08-15-2008 11:53 AM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Stari Momak,

"highly ethnocentric Indian woman (I don't care whose passport she has, she ain't American like me or George Washington) who obviously cares about getting more of her kind ('highly skilled' Indian H1-B's) into the country my ancestors built."

"I like my country. I like its demographics, though they were better 20-30-40 years ago."

"But screw all that, I like my own people and see no reason to surrender the country we built to third worlders."

Bravo, Blogginheads commenters are a diverse lot.

"people of 'Indian Descent' down to four generations can pretty much move there and work without any hassle"

This is a very recent development. Infact inspired by American immigration law and dual citizenship policies of other countries. India used to be really closed barely over a decade ago.

Ocean 08-15-2008 01:09 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mvantony (Post 87540)
I don't think it follows from anything I wrote in my post that the two are equivalent, equally ethnocentric. I allowed (and believe), e.g., that many, or even most, whites who utter statements like "I like white folks" are in fact racists. I was just asking whether it must be the case that any white person who utters such a statement is a racist -- i.e., whether it would be possible for such a statement by a white person not to be racist, to be morally unobjectionable, just as it apparently can be for Japanese, Indians, blacks, etc.

I apologize for interjecting here, but did you read my post earlier today?

It does address your question. Although on surface, it may seem that statements about liking white people are "neutral", these positions don't exist outside a context. When you put them in context and scratch the surface, you start to find the root of discrimination and its "potential" consequences. Trying to examine this in a technical, theoretical manner, separate from a historical context, is just an intellectual exercise, from which you can't draw any conclusions that can be applied to the real world. And it doesn't sanitize the public expression of this form of discrimination. It is plainly the kind of thing, that if you want to be morally unobjectionable, you just should not say.

Exeus99 08-15-2008 02:36 PM

Re: Immigration Nation (Mr. K No Way x2)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by twin2jeremy
Why listen to Mr. K talk for an hour when it's painfully obvious that he will forfeit all reason. He has no credibility. And YES, people who promulgate such tenuous nonsense should be not allowed to carry on....

I like that "will forfeit," now your'e defending the PRE-EMPTIVE use of force to "win" political agruments--the other guy's so bad that we shouldn't even wait to shout him down, we should start shouting before he can start to spew his hate! That's certainly a different take on the bloggingheads formula. Really, though, why even use a taped video feed of the other person, why not just put up a picture of their face with a large red "no" circle drawn over it? Then your favored side could deliver their monologue in peace.


Oh, and for
Quote:

Originally Posted by twin2jeremy
It's offensive...to hear such pervarication against [immigrants'] ancestrial livlihood and cultural history

do you happen to have a dingalink-cite handy? I don't remember Kirkorian doing this...but it's possible I just didn't, you know, hear him.

grits-n-gravy 08-15-2008 04:31 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Ten or so minutes into the conversation I'm hearing Shikha engaging in a bit of obfuscation over the meaning of "foreign born". Once it became apparent that Mark is excluding children of foreign born parents living on their own Shikha's real concern surfaces, which I gather is her personal umbrage at being called "foreign born" even though she is a naturalized citizen. My advice for her is to just 'get over it'.

twin2jeremy 08-15-2008 04:47 PM

Re: Immigration Nation (Mr. K No Way x2)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Exeus99 (Post 87547)
I like that "will forfeit," now your'e defending the PRE-EMPTIVE use of force to "win" political agruments--the other guy's so bad that we shouldn't even wait to shout him down, we should start shouting before he can start to spew his hate! That's certainly a different take on the bloggingheads formula.


Oh, and for do you happen to have a dingalink-cite handy? I don't remember Kirkorian doing this...but it's possible I just didn't, you know, hear him.

I will defend my earlier assertions by clarifying them. It is not ok to "shout..down" some one in a political dialogue, that defeats the point.

On the other hand, I have a low tolerance for offensive language, euphemized as intellectual discourse. A brillant professor told me, "You don't debate your [people's] humanity." What does he mean by that...when Mr K. announces that immigrants have no place in our society, when the fruits of their labor is manifold, perpetual, ubiquitous and, in no way, inconspicuous...

....He undermines and challenges their value as people. To debate him would assume that he has legitmacy to claim that a certain people aren't fit for our way of life, when they were fundamental to its development.

All people are an autonomous centers of value and deserve to have the story told truthfullly. Ignoring what they have to offer and what they have already offered is DEEPLY OFFENSIVE. Dalamia should be applauded for even listening to him.

I wouldn't have yelled, I would have just put the phone down.

grits-n-gravy 08-15-2008 04:59 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eric (Post 87256)
I wish I could have heard Krikorian's argument ... she belabored points endlessly, and didn't let him speak much. Not very informative.

I totally agree. Beside a couple of good points she made-that were sufficiently address by Mark-she was an emotional basket case.

Ocean 08-15-2008 05:03 PM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
Wikipedia definition:

Xenophobia is a fear or contempt of that which is foreign or unknown, especially of strangers or foreign people.

As with all phobias, a xenophobic person is aware of the fear, and therefore has to genuinely think or believe at some level that the target is in fact a foreigner. This arguably separates xenophobia from racism and ordinary prejudice in that someone of a different race does not necessarily have to be of a different nationality. In various contexts, the terms "xenophobia" and "racism" seem to be used interchangeably, though they can have wholly different meanings (xenophobia can be based on various aspects, racism being based solely on race and ancestry).

For xenophobia there are two main objects of the phobia. The first is a population group present within a society that is not considered part of that society. Often they are recent immigrants, but xenophobia may be directed against a group which has been present for centuries. This form of xenophobia can elicit or facilitate hostile and violent reactions, such as mass expulsion of immigrants, or in the worst case, genocide.

The second form of xenophobia is primarily cultural, and the objects of the phobia are cultural elements which are considered alien. All cultures are subject to external influences, but cultural xenophobia is often narrowly directed, for instance at foreign loan words in a national language. It rarely leads to aggression against individual persons, but can result in political campaigns for cultural or linguistic purification.


Having established a basic definition, I will tell you what I have problems with:

You say:

Quote:

I think it's morally OK to desire that a culture which is dominant in a particular society remain dominant, and to be concerned about threats to such cultural dominance. I do think those things are morally OK, and don't entail that anyone with such wants and concerns is xenophobic.
I respond to that: Unless you are talking about an endangered "mini culture", it is not OK, and it is not morally OK to talk about dominance.

You also say:

Quote:

Well, to decide whether such an attitude is immoral or not, it's crucial to look at least the following two things: (1) the morality of the population growth of the minority (e.g., was it legal, or at least morally justified? ); and (2) to what degree are the cultures of the minority and majority expressed in other countries on Earth?
And I respond: What do you mean by the morality of the population growth of the (illegal) minority? Do people need to belong to a certain cultural group to be able to reproduce? Perhaps you should propose massive sterilization of illegal immigrants... Does that remind you of other historical events in the past century? Who gives you the right to decide who can reproduce "morally" or not?

Furthermore you say:

Quote:

I had in mind a case in which (a) a minority increases in population within a society by means we can assume to be moral;
Thank god you discounted the "illegals" reproducing!

Quote:

(b) the minority demands greater cultural representation within the society to an extent that begins to threaten the continued existence of the dominant culture;
Don't you see the xenophobia here?

Quote:

(c) the minority identifies with a culture that happens to be flourishing (e.g., dominant) elsewhere on the globe; and (d) the dominant culture in the society is not represented in any significant way (e.g., dominant) elsewhere on Earth.
This is extremely irrelevant, except for endangered cultures, which implies that they exist in such limited numbers, and are unable to procure their own legitimate survival that, if not protected, they would disappear.

And then you finish:

Quote:

And not wanting the minorities to grow too much isn't xenophobic either. It's simply a matter of valuing your own culture too. And not wanting to see it destroyed by minorities whose culture is dominant, and hence under no threat, in other countries on Earth. What's moral or noble or non-xenophobic about willingly allowing one's own culture be swallowed up by other cultures whose existence on Earth is under no threat at all? Nothing I can see.
If you can't see it... I guess your eyes are closed. Or your are looking the other way. It is clear to me.

Wonderment 08-15-2008 05:10 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

But it still doesn't answer whether it's possible for a white person to make a statement like the commenter did that's no more objectionable morally than comparable statements made by Japanese or Indians. Nor does it give us a very good idea of what the probabilities are here. Is it 80% likely such a white person is a racist? 95%? 99.99%? Is it possible that one out of every ten white people who say such things aren't racist? If it is possible, should we automatically brand white people who say such things as racists? These sorts of questions, I think, are still left open by what's been said so far.

Well, it's best not to use terms like "racist" at all, if we want to approach an analysis of the attitudes scientifically. It's problematical shorthand, I will certainly concede.

But we can look at examples. Here is one. If we have a Japanese infant and a white infant, both of whom want to play exclusively with dolls that look like them and their kinfolk, I think it would be absurd to call them racist 3-year-olds.

However, in a society that has racial conflict, it would be a very good idea to encourage them to grow up playing with dolls that also represent "the other, " lest they become racist 30-year-olds.

I agree with Ocean that in the quick assessments we do of people, it's always based on a knowledge of context, history, human psychology and some guesswork.

Sometimes we are hypersensitive and that needs to be taken into account to in the guesswork. For example, my take on Mickey Kaus is that he is extremely biased against Mexicans and (perhaps to a lesser extent) blacks. But when I notice that most of the rest of the community (Bob and the posters) don't share my views, I may have to reassess.

In the example of the poster who boasted of loving white people and white culture, he is likely racist because he fails to take into account racial sensitivities -- i.e., what such comments suggest here in the USA. Our post civil-rights societies has decided that such comments are unacceptable. It's a PC rule, but it's a good one. It shames most people into relinquishing a bit of the ethnocentrism and xenophobia that have been so toxic here.

Wonderment 08-15-2008 05:28 PM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
It may (or may not) be helpful to put the cards on the table and talk about Israel and Palestine. I would dispute some of your assumptions, if we apply your principles on the ground.

Quote:

I had in mind a case in which (a) a minority increases in population within a society by means we can assume to be moral; (b) the minority demands greater cultural representation within the society to an extent that begins to threaten the continued existence of the dominant culture; (c) the minority identifies with a culture that happens to be flourishing (e.g., dominant) elsewhere on the globe; and (d) the dominant culture in the society is not represented in any significant way (e.g., dominant) elsewhere on Earth.
"A" seems clear. "B," however, carries the loaded term "threaten" and implies and grave existential threat ("continued existence..."). C and D are carry questionable premises.

This all seems predicates on the assumption of perpetual conflict. Just as people predicted "race wars" in the USA if integration were tried, people in Israel foresee all kinds of doom and extinction if power is shared with Arabs.

But here in the USA no "race war" materialized because conflict was defused through compromise, redress of grievances, reconciliation and integration (still very much a work in progress).

Quote:

Here, it seems, it may be at least reasonable, and certainly not necessarily xenophobic, for members of the dominant culture to see it as immoral that the cultural demands of a minority whose culture is flourishing elsewhere on Earth threaten the existence of the only case on Earth in which the majority's culture finds expression within a society.
Again, big assumption that Palestinianism is flourishing elsewhere ("There's no such thing as a Palestinian?") and that Israeli culture would be subsumed in a power-share arrangement with Palestinians.

Israel should look to successful models of binational or multicultural societies. If you build the field of dreams, they will come.

If, however, you are convinced that only the status quo will prevent your extinction and it must be defended to the death with everything from Apartheid to nuclear bombs, you can self-fulfill that prophecy as well.

Ocean 08-15-2008 05:42 PM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 87563)
It may (or may not) be helpful to put the cards on the table and talk about Israel and Palestine.

Israel should look to successful models of binational or multicultural societies. If you build the field of dreams, they will come.

If, however, you are convinced that only the status quo will prevent your extinction and it must be defended to the death with everything from Apartheid to nuclear bombs, you can self-fulfill that prophecy as well.

And now that "the cards are on the table" (thank you, Wonderment for the clarification), I can add, although as a total outsider on this topic, that the Israeli-Palestinian situation has many more levels of geopolitical implications, well beyond the discussion of culture, race, religion or ethnicity. I wouldn't even try to go there. Too complex for me. I do agree with Wonderment's general sentiment, though.

Wonderment 08-15-2008 05:58 PM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
I do not mean to suggest at all that Michael was trying to conceal this.

He just probably thought a hypothetical discussion might be fruitful and less emotional. I agree.

But we also shed some light on the issues by discussing a geo-political reality.

Ocean 08-15-2008 06:34 PM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 87568)
I do not mean to suggest at all that Michael was trying to conceal this.

He just probably thought a hypothetical discussion might be fruitful and less emotional. I agree.

But we also shed some light on the issues by discussing a geo-political reality.

I guess we would have to let Michael tell us if that's the case. I was wondering what the "agenda" was. The problem with hypothetical discussions is that you are not presenting all the arguments that may be relevant. Trying to neutralize the topic, you omit aspects that can be, in someone else's opinion very central to the issues at hand.

As you may have noticed I think it's extremely important that we challenge all our assumptions, particularly those subtle tones that go unnoticed underground. Because they aren't all that obvious we tend to neglect them and not challenge them. Unfortunately, they can come up full-force when elicited by the appropriate triggers. It's very difficult to notice our own contradictions. It's a constant struggle, but a worthy one! :)

Ocean 08-15-2008 07:27 PM

Re: Cultural/emotional assimilation overrated
 
Michael,

You said:

Quote:

...the minority demands greater cultural representation within the society to an extent that begins to threaten the continued existence of the dominant culture;
minority: you are referring to another culture (foreign people), and your previous examples included race as well, non- "white"',

threaten the continued existence: it denotes fear

dominant culture: the one you seem to "defend" and believe to be endangered. "Dominant" used as predominant, and for the time being, in this country, "white". Whatever meaning you are giving to that.

Again definition:
Xenophobia is a fear or contempt of that which is foreign or unknown, especially of strangers or foreign people.

As with all phobias, a xenophobic person is aware of the fear, and therefore has to genuinely think or believe at some level that the target is in fact a foreigner.

If you still don't see it, in this extremely simplified form, I give up. It must be because I'm foreign born, and perhaps my ideas are to be feared.

stari_momak 08-15-2008 07:32 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Steve D
"So he can't go around denying what everyone knows to be the case, namely, that the U.S. was mainly built by slaves and racialized immigrants, after it was stolen from indigenous people. White people just pointed the guns at everyone else and, on that basis, extorted enormous wealth from the people doing the real work."

Well, first we see where Steve D is coming from, i.e. a white folks hating background. He seems especially angry at 'old stock' white folks, the kind that gave him this country. Indeed, he's so brainwashed I suspect that 'SteveD' might actually be 'Uncle' Tim Wise in sock puppet form.

And of course SteveD's comments have exactly zero to do with Krikorian's argument, just as this Hindu woman's comments had nearly nothing to do with his argument. But error must be corrected. No, Americans didn't 'steal' from the 'native Americans' , we conquered it. Yeah, it sucks, but that is the way every single nation in the world (except maybe Iceland) has come about. And indeed, archeology is finding that maybe the 'native Americans' stole it from some other group. Plug Kennewick man into your favorite search engine. Nor does 'everyone know' that slaves and 'racialized' immigrants built America. Surely the African slaves helped, but hardly crucial (look at Australia -- prospered in a much harsher climate without Africans -- that's why its the 'happy country') And the US went through huge periods of very very low immigration, and during must of its history the bulk of immigrants were from northwest Europe, i.e not racialized). (and please, none of this 'Irish not being white bs', its been debunked , heck, just read Gone with the Wind')

As for rgijia's comment about India's openness, its economy has been opening up -- I'm all for that. But at the same time its immigration policy has become more restrictive for *non Indian* people as time has gone on. The 'Person of Indian Origin Visa" is explicitly racist. The vast majority of people of Indian descent in the US would qualify, but not their non-Indian fellow citizens.

Most interesting has been nvanthony and wonderments dialog, precisely the kind of thinking I hoped to stimulate. MVanthony asks why indeed is any sort of white, esp. white American self interest taboo. Why indeed. Wonderment all but admits same-racist preference is natural for 3-year olds, but worries about 30 year olds. Well, for one, you are fighting nature. And two, it is in whites and only in whites (worldwide) that this tendency is deemed threatening and the target of much government activity. With other groups it is positively encouraged. Both Obama and McCain visited 'La Raza's' shindig recently, to give one example. Eventually whites are gonna get it, America is now an ethnic/racial spoils game.

To conclude this ramble, I'd ask wonderment, who seems to be a Jew, whether he thinks that letting, say, 10 million Mexican Catholics settle in Israel might change the very nature of that state, and whether if that occurred whether something would be lost.

Ocean 08-15-2008 07:58 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stari_momak (Post 87577)
....Nor does 'everyone know' that slaves and 'racialized' immigrants built America. Surely the African slaves helped, but hardly crucial (look at Australia -- prospered in a much harsher climate without Africans -- that's why its the 'happy country') And the US went through huge periods of very very low immigration, and during must of its history the bulk of immigrants were from northwest Europe, i.e not racialized). (and please, none of this 'Irish not being white bs', its been debunked , heck, just read Gone with the Wind')

... Eventually whites are gonna get it, America is now an ethnic/racial spoils game.

To conclude this ramble, I'd ask wonderment, who seems to be a Jew, whether he thinks that letting, say, 10 million Mexican Catholics settle in Israel might change the very nature of that state, and whether if that occurred whether something would be lost.

What a collection of racist crap!

What are you afraid of losing exactly?
What advantage do you find in being a non-racialized northwestern European creature?
What great accomplishments could you attribute to this non-racialized group that you talk about? Be careful, don't start mixing races and ethnicities in Europe.
How many European groups do you consider to be non-racialized? Can you name them?

Where in history would you like to start to comment on such standards of purity?

When you refer to the Australian "happy country", are you attributing the same to the obvious superiority of its settlers? Do you know how Australia was settled?

Can you answer any of these questions intelligently?

Wonderment 08-15-2008 08:04 PM

Re: Immigration Nation
 
Quote:

And of course SteveD's comments have exactly zero to do with Krikorian's argument, just as this Hindu woman's comments had nearly nothing to do with his argument.
How do you know she's Hindu?

Quote:

it is in whites and only in whites (worldwide) that this tendency is deemed threatening and the target of much government activity.
Sort of a white man's burden, you might say.

Quote:

To conclude this ramble, I'd ask wonderment, who seems to be a Jew, whether he thinks that letting, say, 10 million Mexican Catholics settle in Israel might change the very nature of that state, and whether if that occurred whether something would be lost.
Well, proportionately that would be like roughly 400,000,000 Mexicans moving to the USA. Since there are only about 100,000,000 Mexicans living in Mexico, the scenario is a bit unlikely.

But if you're asking would something American be lost if we had another say 20,000,000 Mexicans here in the US, the answer is no. I'd worry about the economic integration, of course, but I wouldn't give a moment's thought to cultural consequences.

As for Israel, the equivalent of 10,000,000 Mexicans (roughly 3% of our population) would be 180,000 non-Jewish immigrants. Hopefully, Israel will welcome many more Palestinian refugees than that. They would be easily absorbed with zero impact on Israeli culture.

Ocean 08-15-2008 08:08 PM

Re: A solution to what was puzzling me (I think)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mvantony (Post 87567)
My reason for choosing Japanese and Indians for my examples (as opposed to Swiss or Syrians, e.g.) is that racial characteristics line up pretty closely with national/cultural ones (though more in the case of Japan than India). So it's arguable that a Japanese person who expresses positive feelings for his or her people is saying something with more racial content (and not merely cultural content) than would be a British or Swiss person saying something comparable. Certainly an African American expressing positive feelings toward other African Americans would be.

That said, I think the fact that race and culture are mixed up in the Japanese/Indian/African-American cases, in a way they often aren't in the white case, may be key to answering what was puzzling me.

A way to see this is to notice that although it doesn't seem bad for a Japanese person to express positive feelings for (racially/culturally) Japanese people, it would seem pretty racist (if one can imagine such a thing) for a Japanese person to express positive sentiments toward Asian people (in the sense in which 'Asian' is used in US -- i.e., as including Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Thai, etc., but not most Russians, Arabs, Persians, etc.), no matter what countries they live in. Similarly, while it seems OK for African-Americans to express care and concern for other African-Americans, to the extent that the focus turns to Black people anywhere on Earth, regardless of nationality, living conditions, etc., the view begins to look much more racist.

So identifying with a race-culture seems morally OK, but identifying with, expressing a preference for, etc. a group that's characterized entirely in racial terms (Asian, Black/Negro, White, etc.) is morally objectionable, i.e., racist. That seems right, and it fits with our common view of what moral people should believe. This seems to me to be the obvious thing I was missing.

Now what about whites expressing positive feeling toward whites? I'd guess that such preferences are pretty much invariably wholly racial, and have little or no essential connection to culture. While questions about "white culture" could be raised here, I'm not going to bother. I'm sufficiently convinced that the basic line of thought I've been following here solves what was puzzling me to leave it at this for now.

You misinterpreted what I said and went off the tangent. I'm also sufficiently convinced that you are xenophobic. Sorry if you don't like it.


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