Mayor Lou Barletta, the rare elected official who actually seems to care about his constituents and his country, is speaking out about a class called “War in Hazleton” at Temple University. Professor Lori Zott has formed a multi-disciplinary class which looks at the immigration battle in Hazleton, Pennsylvania — from a multicultural perspective of course. Judging from the syllabus, the class hammers away with the usual brain dead narratives – but includes some heretical ideas at the end, for those who want to hear it.
The class syllabus begins with the inevitable poem from Emma Lazarus, which unfortunately for America was attached to the Statue of Liberty. As with just about every issue in American “higher” education, this is a sign that “huddled clichés” are about to substitute for serious thinking about a policy problem. Week One, for example, tells us that America is a nation of immigrants. It states, “Although every resident of the United States is either an immigrant or the descendent of an immigrant (except the indigenous people) this country has a long history of “nativist movements” in which one group of immigrants brands another as ‘alien.'”
Already, the class is in liberal fantasy land. Of course, America is not a nation of immigrants, it is a nation of pioneers and settlers, characterized by an identifiable core culture of British settlement. The indigenous people are not the “First Americans,” they were not considered Americans at all for many years (see our Declaration of Independence and its description of the “merciless Indian savages” for more on this view). This is also why we consider the American polity to have truly begun with the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth and the settlement of Jamestown.
What “nation of immigrants” really means is that America has no identity and belongs to no one, or, it belongs to everyone except actual Americans. It reduces the country to a geographic expression, which of course, is the point. “A nation of immigrants” can also be said about any nation, as no group of people simply sprung out of the ground and lived exactly in the same place since the dawn of man. It is inherently a cliché used as a weapon in bad faith, designed explicitly to deconstruct the identity of any national identity. Sure enough, England, France, and even Germany are now defined as “nations of immigrants” by apologists of national suicide.
Let’s move on. Week two begins with chronicles of “nativist violence” that characterizes much of American history, as well as the inevitable contention that arguments for restricting immigration were solely a product of racist ideology. This implicates much of the American labor movement of the time, because a tight labor market is an obvious precondition to any serious effort to improve working conditions, wages, and labor saving technology. For this reason, leaders such as Samuel Gompers were leaders in patriotic immigration reform.
Weeks Four and Five helpfully inform us that “the United States has interfered in Latin American politics in ways that perpetuate oppression and encourage violence.” You’ve got the reconquista coming, gringo.
The class does move onto interesting territory as it goes on, however. It talks about how globalization has de-industrialized the United States and is driving mass immigration from developing countries. It points to the Wall Street Journal’s attitude that “labor is a commodity” as a key factor in the “no borders” ideology that is taking shape among corporate elites. Dick Armey, somewhere, is nodding in approval. The class concludes that globalization ultimately is a system that rewards developed countries at the expense of developing countries and that reforms are necessary to redress this imbalance.
Here is where contemporary leftism implodes in upon itself. Leftists define their heroic self image by a militant resistance to privilege and elitism. However, it is precisely what Mark Krikorian calls “post-American” elites are the real motivation behind mass immigration. They are the ones who benefit from the deconstruction of the American nation. Latin American elites benefit in the same manner, transferring the politically troublesome unskilled working class into the United States and creating a safety valve to prevent any social reforms that could potentially jeopardize their own power. All the radical leftists campaigning for amnesty, from Students for a Democratic Society to MEChA, might as well serve as lobbyists for the Fortune 500. This is perhaps one reason why companies like Coca-Cola and WalMart will donate to the National Council of La Raza, but won’t be donating to Youth for Western Civilization anytime soon.
It is the American middle and working classes that is being threatened with dispossession and cultural destruction by the economic elite of this country and the world. If the victims were Peruvian peasants, or Congolese farmers, the campus left would be occupying buildings, but because the American people are the ones being attacked, the campus left shows their real motivations and joins society’s powerful in the attack. The campus left is a paper tiger. They are but the militant wing of the system, and their antics are tolerated because the privileged members of our society favor their agenda. Their self righteousness is matched only by their corruption.
What Temple University students should learn is that the only people who are truly standing up against privilege are men like Hazelton Mayor Lou Barletta, who has received overwhelming public support because he put his community first. Mayor Barletta is the real voice of the oppressed, standing with the working men and women of America. Hopefully, these students will get to hear his perspective soon. It’s a voice of common sense and patriotism that has been all but abolished from American higher education.