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December 08, 2007

Victor Davis Hanson reminisces about 'brutal but effective' acculturation of Mexican children

Victor Davis Hanson recalls approvingly how they used to "assimilate" Mexican children in his hometown:

How did the old assimilationist model work? Brutally and effectively. In our grammar schools during the 1950s and 1960s, no Spanish was to be spoken on the playground—officially at least. Groups of four and larger were not allowed to congregate at recess. When we were caught fighting, nontraditional kicking instead of the accepted punching earned four, rather than two, spankings. A rather tough Americanism in class was rammed down our throats—biographies of Teddy Roosevelt, stories about Lou Gehrig, a repertory of a dozen or so patriotic songs, recitations from Longfellow, and demonstrations of how to fold the flag. “Manners” and “civics” were taught each week, with weird lessons about not appearing “loud” in public or wearing glittery or showy clothes, and especially not staring down strangers or giving people the “hard look” with the intent of “being unpleasant.” Our teachers were at times insufferable in their condescension as they disclosed the formula for “making it in America”—but make it in America the vast majority of these immigrants did. [City Journal, Spring 2002]

Read the whole thing. It's very revealing. I especially like the part about how armed Mexican gang members stole Hanson's oranges.

Update: Victor Davis Hanson gave a similar talk at the National Press Club in October, 2007.

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I'm against spanking, and I'm against banning Spanish.

I support teaching about Teddy Roosevelt and poetry and patriotic songs and manners.

armed Mexican gang members stole Hansen's oranges.

Snerk.

There's manners and there's "Manners." "Manners" is racially charged doubletalk:

“Manners” and “civics” were taught each week, with weird lessons about not appearing “loud” in public or wearing glittery or showy clothes, and especially not staring down strangers or giving people the “hard look” with the intent of “being unpleasant.”

In the essay, Hansen talks about how Mexican Americans are allegedly ruining the American culture. In his opinion, today's immigrants and the American children of immigrants are uppity because they haven't been taught better for their own good. By implication, these untutored little savages are going around looking hard and being "loud" and wearing flashy clothes. A litany of stereotypes about Mexicans.

He can't just come right out and say, "You know what I hate about Mexicans? They're loud and they're always giving me the evil eye." Even the folks at City Journal would have called him out on that. So Davis Hansen takes the roundabout route: "Poor things, they haven't been taught not to do [all the things I hate about Mexicans]."

It's a complex, interesting essay. But there's no question a fat part of it is -- "Hey, I had to become a fake WASP, what's the matter with making these new little wogs do the same?"

Brutality- and its alleged effectiveness in "getting things done"- seems to be the favorite theme amongst conservatives these days. (Or as Goebbels put it, "Compassion is the deadliest enemy of civilization.") If this were more than an expression of accumulated rage and hunger for power, we'd expect them to test this proposition against reality every once in a while; as it is though, we pretty much know Hansen and his fellows will go to their grave without ever admitting to themselves their faith was misplaced.

Here's example of the outcome of the Majikthise brand of assimilation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7YrkpKNB7M

Check out the comments at the sites linking to it too, just to get the full flavor.

>Here's example of the outcome of the Majikthise brand of assimilation:

Yep, that certainly looks like the end of Western Civ to me.

>Check out the comments at the sites linking to it too, just to get the full flavor.

Naw, I don't wanna hear from people who stretch their budget by cooking little bits of their brains for dinner every week.

Now that I think of it, Mr. Podhertz famously thought the "Negro male" had stolen his oranges. I wonder if there's a connection?

Cass -

What are you referring to re Podhoretz?

But Dock, Davis Hansen doesn't say that he went through any kind of hazing process to rid him of a penchant for glittery clothes or hard looks.

Hansen presents multiple false dichotomies, including the fallacy that schools can teach multiculturalism or the classics, but not both. He makes wild claims about the California public school curriculum, which he doesn't support.

His attitudes about Mexican culture are so negative that he assumes that there's little or nothing of general interest to an academic curriculum. In his mind, schools are just teaching about Mexico out of political correctness. It doesn't occur to him that that stuff might be worth knowing for its own sake. You'd think that all California students would need to learn a lot about Mexico in order to understand the most basic facts about their own State's history.

Davis Hansen blames liberals for the shortcomings of CA's public school system. He should remember that it was his hero Ronald Reagan who de-funded it.

So LB disagrees with Davis HansOn on the details, but agrees on the restriction part, right? The alternative to the acculturation Hanson favors is the Canadaization of the US, where we have large ethnic and language block that wants its own territory.

Thin edge of the wedge here.

http://www.laweekly.com/news/features/the-town-the-law-forgot/15731/

Wow. A veritable museum exhibit of right-wing anxieties.

I would remind Mr. Davis that we in the sophisticated Anglophone North usually try to cite our sources, or at least provide a bibliography if we make more than a couple score broad claims.

That quibble aside, I think it very noble of him to shoulder, as described in his penultimate paragraph, the white man’s burden.

"What are you referring to re Podhoretz?"

Norman wrote an essay in the early 60s ("My Negro Problem-- and Ours") in which he talked, amongst other things, about his fear and envy of the superior manliness of the Afro-American male: an early classic statement of neoconservative sexual anxiety.

I wonder which "large ethnic and language block" (sic) that wants its own terrritory here that commenter is talking about... The Quebec separatists, who are a tiny minority even in their own province (hint -- the BQ keeps getting elected because they run and govern way, way to the left, and people like state-funded daycare and all that good stuff); the Alberta separatists (god knows what language they speak there, since it's impossible to talk to them), or the political West Coast Indians?

Country's still here, and in a damn sight better shape than the US. 1/5 of our population is immigrants, not too much assimilation pressure anymore, it's glorious. I don't know about you folks, but I like leaving my house in what used to be one of the whitest, most old-line WASPy, stodgily conservative cities in the country and hearing seven languages on the street. To me, that's evidence that we're doing something right.

bjk is just an example of the paranoid mind set.

What are you talking about? You can't put an english sign up in PQ. And if Canada is such a multicultural paradise, how come every attempt to write Quebec into the constitution has failed? The reason Canada's multiculturalism works, to the extent that it does, is because Canada has a very selective and diverse immigration policy. It certainly wouldn't let in 15 million spanish speakers to create another block like the francophones. Plus, the one thing that unites Canadians is their hatred of the US. The US doesn't have that kind of glue to hold it together.

>Plus, the one thing that unites Canadians is their hatred of the US. The US doesn't have that kind of glue to hold it together.

Paranoid? This person? No way.

You know all those billions of invisible bacteria that are crawling all over your walls and the keyboard you type on and the clothes you wear? They are really out to get you. Each and every one of their billions. I have it on good authority. Get to spraying and scrubbing.


(The very concept of petty hatred unifying and motivating a nation is scummy, btw.)

bj(K)yourself - if your afraid of different languages, what else are you afraid of besides everything?

I really like how you used the terms selective and diverse as meaning the same thing in the same sentence. Slick. Not.

My apologies to Lindsay -- a re-reading of the source article confirms that the attitude is: "The wogs of my day were made to be fake WASPS, why shouldn't the wogs of today be made to do the same?" I somehow stupidly missed that the author was not a member in any way of the group he was so sternly scalding. I guess because I thought that would make it a publishable piece.

Once again, this is where the Majikthise brand of assimilation leads:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7YrkpKNB7M

If you support that, fine. However, you aren't thinking of the best interests of the country.

And, when I suggested checking out the comments at the sites linking to it, I was refering to the sites that *support* the kids' chants: last I looked there were no critical sites linking to it shown in the list underneath the video, only links *supporting the chants*.

I'm not aware of any other country (that was around for a while) that would allow situations to develop such as that shown on the video.

I agree with VDH. Multiculturalism is bunk. Assimilate, or leave.

I agree with VDH. Multiculturalism is bunk. Assimilate, or leave.


Yeah, leave, scram.

All you Puerto Ricans, you got 48 hours to learn English and pitch the arroz con pollo in the trash, or you’re off the island. Same with you Native Americans: those that still use your old languages, you’d better shut up or you’ll be deported to Mexico where you can live with your Mestizo amigos. (Yeah, Navahos and Hopis, I’m talkin' to you.) And no more treaty rights: you lost, get over it and get with the program. You Chinese had better quit eating squished duck and fish guts and stop yapping China-talk, or Chinatown will be office towers by this time next year, and you’ll be panhandling in Shanghai. And you black people: no more ebonics or jive-talk, or whatever you call it. And no more hip-hop, blues, funk, jazz, or any other jungle music. Also, we’re shutting the soul-food restaurants down. (I hear they actually serve pig-guts in those places – can you believe that shit?) You can go to Africa if you want to eat that crap. Southern whites: you talk just like your black neighbors and eat hog guts just like them. Straighten up and fly right or we’ll fly your cracker asses right back to the U.K.

>And, when I suggested checking out the comments at the sites linking to it, I was refering[sic] to the sites that *support* the kids' chants: last I looked there were no critical sites linking to it shown in the list underneath the video, only links *supporting the chants*.

One the greatest, most fundamental fallacies of our times -- that someone would only disparage outlooks because they clash with what that someone believes.

No.

The basic problem is letting screaming pinheads define the issues and arguments.

"He can't just come right out and say, 'You know what I hate about Mexicans? They're loud and they're always giving me the evil eye.' Even the folks at City Journal would have called him out on that. So Davis Hansen takes the roundabout route: 'Poor things, they haven't been taught not to do [all the things I hate about Mexicans].'"

The Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch, in the news last year for an ordnance banning landlords from renting out to illegal immigrants, recently followed that action up with another proposed ordnance that would ban "inappropriate" colors in the painting of your house. (Full disclosure: I spent some of the tender years of my childhood in that town, and found it quite bland.) Since there's a lack of interesting eccentrics in FB, the targets for this were pretty clear. Twenty years ago, by the way, the town was lilly white; now there's Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese business signs on every other corner.

--The Quebec separatists, who are a tiny minority even in their own province--

The internet howler of the 21st Century.

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