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  • Back to School

    Posted by Jonathan on May 21st, 2003 (All posts by )

    In a classroom exercise tonight, the instructor in my community-college Spanish language class read to us, from a text, a couple of paragraphs in response to which we were supposed to ask questions.

    The passage the instructor read was about immigration. It asserted that immigrants come to the U.S. because life is easy here due to material abundance, and because our relatively strong economy makes for more opportunity than exists in most immigrants’ countries of origin. It also asserted that many Americans oppose immigration because they don’t like or understand the foreign ways of immigrants (or words to that effect). It did not mention that some foreigners might be attracted to the U.S. because of its freedom. Nor did it suggest that some Americans might object to immigration for reasons having nothing to do with disliking them there furriners – e.g., because they object to transfer payments generally, and particularly to taxing U.S. citizens to subsidize indigent non citizens.

    Is this kind of subtly anti-American multi-culti bullshit typical of language texts nowadays? I guess I know the answer. It doesn’t make me feel any better that the chapter from which the offending passage came is titled: “Los Estados Unidos: Un pais multicultural.” Of course it’s true that American culture is an amalgam. I just wish the multi enthusiasts would, for once, pay as much attention to such essential parts of that culture as personal liberty and representative government as they do to material wealth and the supposed provincialism of our native citizens.

    UPDATE:I don’t think the students in my class, who are mainly mature adults, or the instructor, who is an immigrant, actually believe the snake oil or even pay attention to it. I’m just taken aback by the casual attempt at indoctrination on the part of the textbook author. Maybe, to get a more balanced idea about American culture, we should ask immigrants, as Joanne Jacobs did.