Friday, March 05, 2010

Mexifornia: A State of Becoming

While looking for another book by Victor Hanson at PaperBackSwap, I found his book, Mexifornia: A State of Becoming. My copy was published in 2003, and I noticed that there is an updated, revised edition now available.

Mr. Hanson is a classicist professor at California State University, Fresno, and he is a California native who grew up in the Central Valley. His ancestors were Swedish immigrants to California, and his wife's family were refugees from Oklahoma's Dust Bowl. He makes the point that for decades, even centuries, immigrants to America were expected to assimilate into the existing American culture. The result was that within one or two generations, those who immigrated here, along with their offspring, were Americans, and they competed and succeeded along with everyone else without special consideration or government set-asides and hand-outs.

Mr. Hanson wonders aloud several times if the liberal do-gooders are really trying to keep Mexican and other Hispanic immigrants in subjection - because that is the result of content-poor "Chicano studies," government programs that give on the basis of ethnic heritage, and an unwillingness to teach immigrants English, but instead encouraging entire enclaves of the population to continue to speak only Spanish, and not be literate in that, either.

There was so much in this short book, but I'll close with this quote:

"Instead of offering immigrants the chance to strive for commonly recognized excellence, we tell them that the cultures they came from are all inherently equal--almost so as to deny the very reasons why these aliens arrived here in the first place. This message is cynical at its core, for we know that some other cultures and nations have not been merely different, but often far worse at providing freedom and security for their people. But to maintain the fiction of cultural equality, our schools, while harrowing up the evil in the soil of America, have waffled on the fifty million or more killed by Mao and Stalin, the existence of slavery in contemporary Sudan, and the rampant corruption and lawlessness in Mexico today. In this regard, American schools have also completely failed to note the critical distinction between a multiracial and a multicultural society. The former welcomes all races to learn one language and heritage; such a society is found only in the present-day West. The latter encourages separate but purportedly equal languages and traditions, and is a prescription for disaster--as we have seen in Bosnia, Rwanda. Sudan, Somalia, and much of India."



Blogger Cecilia said...

you read such interesting books!

12:05 PM  
Blogger Dy said...

VDH is generally well-spoken and thoughtful, and I seldom ever walk away from his writing without plenty to think on. Love him!

12:42 AM  
Blogger Rebekah Greiman said...

This is a very controversial book from what I have been told. After reading this quote, my interest has been piqued once again. I just might have to buy this little sucker. Good thing my parental units own a bookstore....

8:43 PM  
Anonymous GretchenJoanna said...

I am reading this right now. Mr Hanson is from the same Central Valley where I grew up--not an hour away.

11:41 PM  

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