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.