Working for logical immigation reform based on a stable population, a recognition of the finite nature of our natural resources and the adverse impact of continued growth on our quality of life, standard of living, national interest, character, language, sovereignty and the rule of law. Pushing back and countering the disloyal elements in American society and the anti-American rhetoric of the leftwing illegal alien lobbies. In a debate, when your opponents turn to name calling, it's a good sign you've already won.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mexifornia – A State of Becoming, A Book Report

Victor Hansen’s book on this subject is one we should all pay attention to as a harbinger for our country’s future. Hanson is in a unique position to provide an authoritative opinion on this subject because he went to school with mostly children of Mexican descent, many perhaps with parents who were illegal aliens. Part of his credentials for writing on this subject comes from his intimate contact with Mexicans and Mexican Americans throughout his life. Another part comes from his academic work teaching and observing Mexicans and Mexican Americans at the college level. He also points out that his two daughters are dating Mexican-Americans. A revealing quote from his book is, “The people who jumped me as an eight-year-old from the blind side were often Mexican. Those who threatened to knife me at fourteen for no reason other than because I was white were Mexican. The three youths who tried to break into my home and assault my family when I was forty were all Mexicans. But then so were all the friends who helped me fight back in grade school; who have lived on our farm for forty years; and who as sheriffs and police come out to protect us today when there is a problem.”

Hansen makes little distinction between Mexicans and Mexican Americans because there is no way to do so and because they are part of the same community, sharing a common cultural heritage. Some folks take umbrage at the lumping together of Mexican nationals and U.S. citizens of Mexican extraction. And indeed many of the latter are indistinguishable in behavior from other mainstream Americans. Others, of course, have not made that transition and, if Hansen is correct, may never do so.

Hansen makes no attempt to make his book a scholarly thesis with extensive footnotes, bibliography and other documentation. In some sense, his work relies on his first hand experience in the context of today’s California and its burgeoning population of Mexican illegal aliens, their children, as well some of the older generations who may be somewhat ambivalent about the whole situation. He neither believes that California must become a de facto colony of Mexico nor that the future course of events in California is inevitable. Instead, his main argument is that the future of the state and the nation, as regards the immigration conundrum, is in the hands of its current residents. Hansen believes that both the business community and the “…academic elite whose capital remains largely separatist identities and self-interest have escaped accountability for the harm they have already done.” In the end, Hansen is hopeful that our traditions of assimilation, integration and intermarriage may yet remedy a predicament that politicians and ideologues have allowed to get out of hand. This will not be easy. We will have to do almost everything right from this point on to succeed and to preserve the America that has served us so well for more than 200 years through all forms of internal strife and international wars.

32 comments:

Lupita said...

This Hansen dude of yours reminds me of Dee - superficial, cheesy, and bourgeois.

ultima said...

Easy to post, hard to prove. Where are your OpEds so that we can do some sniping of our own?

Actually, if you read the entire book , you would see that Hansen has a good grasp of all of the elements of this problem. You would even find something to agree with such as his characterization of a farm worker at 50, who looks like 60, and walks like a 70 year old because of the hard work he has done for 30 years.

Can you be more specific about your criticisms of the book? I am very interested in your point of view but cannot get much out of "superficial, cheesy, and bourgeois" without some elaboration and specific examples from the book.
Have you actually ready from cover to cover?

Dee said...

I can visualize this Hansen dude “observing Mexicans and Mexican Americans.”

And “his 2 daughters are dating Mexican Americans.”
I agree with Lupita in this regard. “What a dufus!!”

This whole line reminds me of Revenge of the Nerds “A revealing quote from his book is, “The people who jumped me as an eight-year-old from the blind side were often Mexican. Those who threatened to knife me at fourteen for no reason other than because I was white were Mexican.”


PS: I miss my mijita! I wish she would post on my blog! I am so jealous!

Dee said...

PS Ulty, Like I said on my blog,
Lupita wants your Bod.
I just want your mind!

Dee said...

PSS: If you can convince Lupita to visit my blog, I promise you don´t owe me any more nickels for stealing my cartoons!

Tweety can come over too, but she is probably still mad at me.

Gregorio too but he probably has given up on all of us!

Lupita said...

I have not read Hanson's book, I just googled his name and found an article by him.

Do you want superficial?

“Pensaban que se iban a ir patria”

The guy does not know Spanish. More superficial?

even the most pro-Mexico Mexican native in America never chooses to forgo the Western emergency room for the herbalist and exorcist in times of acute sickness or gunshot trauma

Emergency rooms in Mexico have exorcists?

Cheesy?

the sanctity of private property and free markets

Bourgeois?

it is entirely in the material interest of aliens to integrate and assimilate as quickly as possible into the general culture of California: they will eat better and have nicer houses

ultima said...

Thank you for your comments, one and all. I haven't finished Hansen's book either but what I have read seems an articulate discussion of the Mexifornia conundrum. Admittedly more anecdotal than scholarly, he strikes a good balance between outright condemnation of Mexicans and a recognition of the hard life they have in America, even though it is so much better than what they had in Mexico.

If I give my bod to lovely Lupita and my mind to Dee, what will be left? My spirit?

ultima said...

"Pensaban que se iban a ir patria

The guy does not know Spanish. More superficial?"

Probably makes him as fluent in Spanish as I am in English. It would be better not to quote foreign phrases unless you know they are correct. For us poor English speakers, explain the problem with the Spanish phrase.

"Emergency rooms in Mexico have exorcists?"

You are taking this all too literally. I believe there is an element of truth here just as some of the Indians in the Southwest still use "Sings" to cure ills or chase away bad spirits. Surely this is not so different among the Indians of Mexico. I don't think he was suggesting that there are no modern hospitals in all of Mexico. It might just be a question of access and who pays.

"the sanctity of private property and free markets

"Bourgeois?
...it is entirely in the material interest of aliens to integrate and assimilate as quickly as possible into the general culture of California: they will eat better and have nicer houses"

Unquestionably middle class America bourgeois. I love it the way you use the word bourgeois with such disdain since your salary is paid by these same people. The Marxian distinction between those who work with their hands and those who work with their brains, like you, is a false one. But we understand that you like to disparage America's middle class at the same time as you strive to become a part of it.

ultima said...

"“his 2 daughters are dating Mexican Americans.”

Here's another even more revealing quote, "In some sense, I know Mexican-Americans perhaps better tan I do so-called whites. I confess--not out of any racialist feeling but simply because of habit and custom--that I feel more comfortable with the people I grew up with, a population of mostly Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and whites who were raised with nonwhites. I have Mexican-American nephews, nieces, sisters-in-law and prospective sons-in-law as well as neighbors. My older brother married a Mexican-American; my twin brother married a high school friend who was divorced from a Mexican illegal alien. ...The people I eat lunch with, talk with and work with are all either Mexican or Mexican-American. And so I have come to the point where the question of race per se has become as superficial and unimportant in my personal life as it has become fractious and acrimonious on the local, state and national levels."

Some of this sounds very familiar. It reminds me of another Mexican-American who married an Anglo and lived happily ever after.
Beyond Hansen's objective observations, if there is any bias in what he has written, one would expect it to be favorable toward those he associates with in his community.

ultima said...

Dee and Hansen -- make a good couple.

ultima said...

I keep looking for OpEds on MATT from Dee, Lupita, Gregorio, Tweety and Bob Schmidt. Are you all "chicken"?

ultima said...

Lupita will probably jump for joy when she reads this article from "Der Spiegel".

http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,520700,00.html

ultima said...

"Lupita wants your Bod."

Maybe, but she would probably try to make a Marxist out of me while we are making love.

Lupita said...

even though it is so much better than what they had in Mexico.

For the meanwhile, querido. Remember most of are as transient as your county's claim to world supremacy.

For us poor English speakers, explain the problem with the Spanish phrase.

Hanson translates "return" as "go homeland" which has a distinct "Me Tarzan, you Jane" quality to it on top of being unintelligible.

some of the Indians in the Southwest still use "Sings" to cure ills or chase away bad spirits

So are Indians migrating to escape exorcists in US emergency rooms? That is what Hanson claims Mexicans are doing. In essence, he is making up things because it is too painful for him to acknowledge foreign workers come for the money and not to be part of a "superior civilization". Indeed, most foreigners consider US society quite decadent.

It might just be a question of access and who pays.

Are the 43 million uninsured Americans leaving for that reason? Then why assume Mexicans are? Again, most Americans have the need to proclaim their superiority, perhaps to justify their global protection racket scheme.

But we understand that you like to disparage America's middle class at the same time as you strive to become a part of it.

I do not strive to eat frozen, microwavable goo, inhabit a soulless McMansion in an ossified suburb, nor bury myself in useless Chinese knick-knacks bought on credit.

ultima said...

"This whole line reminds me of Revenge of the Nerds “A revealing quote from his book is, “The people who jumped me as an eight-year-old from the blind side were often Mexican. Those who threatened to knife me at fourteen for no reason other than because I was white were Mexican."

Bullying, as we all well know, is not a laughing matter. I'm sure it can be very hurtful physically and mentally and sometimes can completely destroy a life. Hansen is no dufus for pointing out his own experiences in this regard. We forget he is a professor of classics and an articulate writer who is able to make his arguments much more cogently than we can. Read the book!

ultima said...

Dee and Victor, now there's an odd couple.

Lupita said...

she would probably try to make a Marxist out of me while we are making love.

First, I am not a philosophical Marxist but a real socialist. Second, I would never try to convert you since you are hopeless.

ultima said...

"Do you want superficial?

“Pensaban que se iban a ir patria”

The guy does not know Spanish. More superficial?

even the most pro-Mexico Mexican native in America never chooses to forgo the Western emergency room for the herbalist and exorcist in times of acute sickness or gunshot trauma

Emergency rooms in Mexico have exorcists?"

Surely there is a certain amount of sarcasm here that you have not recognized. It is unlikely that you are suggesting that all of the poor Indians in the back country of Mexico have access to first class hospitals and never use herbalist or witch doctors.

I don't think either is a good illustration of "superficiality" in Hansen's writings. I like the article link you provided. I am looking forward to a more substantive critique from Lupita.

Lupita said...

Hanson's knowledge of Mexico is superficial since it is based mostly on conversations held in English with fellow monolingual Gringos from his hometown (albeit "Mexican-American"). The rest is derived from talking, in English, with Mexicans who also live in his hometown and who were surely trying to be gracious. The gap in his knowledge of Mexico is filled with American exceptionalism.

ultima said...

Fill in the gaps in Hansen's understanding of Mexico. Here's an interesting quote from a Mexican friend of Hansen's in a rare moment of candor:

"If you let us make California into Mexico,we will just go to Oregon. If we turn Oregon into Mexico, we'll stampede our way into Washington. If we turn Washington into Mexico, we'll sneak into Canada."

Tells you all you need to know about Mexico, doesn't it?

ultima said...

"The gap in his knowledge of Mexico is filled with American exceptionalism."

I guess Mexicans voting with their feet is ample testimony to the justification for that exceptionalism.

Lupita said...

Go, stampede, sneak... nice rhetorical use of synonyms. How long has this Mexican been in the US? Since kindergarten? He/she sounds like a cartoon version of what a paranoid Gringo thinks Mexicans believe, or something Hansen would make up.

Lupita said...

I guess Mexicans voting with their feet is ample testimony to the justification for that exceptionalism.

Nah, just of an overvalued currency and an open border. Your exceptionalism will crash with the dollar.

ultima said...

"For the meanwhile, querido. Remember most of are as transient as your county's claim to world supremacy."

Me Tarzan, you Jane!

In his book Hansen translates "Pensaban que se iban a ir patras" as "They thought they would go back to their home."

The original quote came from an article written by a columnist for a local newspaper.

ultima said...

Class presentations "...wereMexican -inspired pinatas, lore about Pancho Villa and Joaquin Murietta, the glories of the Mexican saints--and thus just as brutally reinterpreted by our teachers as interesting artifacts of a foreign culture, but hardly the building blocks of a truly lawful and humane society such as our own.

Again the paradoxical mentality of the immigrant was not politely ignored and certainly not assuaged, as it would be today but rather directly assaulted. The unvoiced assumption--a formulation of classic know-nothingism--resonated...: If it is really so good over there [back in Old Mexico], why don't you go back? Was this an exercise in American exceptionalism? Absolutely. Did this lay the foundations for later chauvinism that might manifest itself collectively in what is now derided as American unilateralism on the world stage? Perhaps. But did the relegation of cultural diversity to realm of the private and familial rather than the public and official encourage divisiveness and tension? Hardly at all."
---Hansen

ultima said...

What are the key elements of Mexican culture, politics, economy and life that Hansen doesn't appreciate or understand?

He at some point seems to fully comprehend the two class system in Mexico and the oligarchs at the top.

ultima said...

"So are Indians migrating to escape exorcists in US emergency rooms?"

No, in fact, they do the logical thing and go to a modern emergency room if the "sings" don't work. That's easier to do here than it is in the backwaters of Mexico.

ultima said...

"Remember most of are as transient as your county's claim to world supremacy."

Doesn't sound like it in Mexifornia, Mexizona, Utican, Mexichusetts, and Mexas. How about in Chicago? Are they all transient?

ultima said...

"Are the 43 million uninsured Americans leaving for that reason?"

No, they are staying at home and trying to fix the system through the normal political process without further bankrupting the country. The latter is becoming an important consideration since Medicare and Social Security are already underfunded and billions are being wasted in Iraq. Iraq should have the oil revenues to do its own reconstruction. We shouldn't spend another nickel on that given our precarious financial condition. If they step up to that challenge, maybe they would begin to step up to the military or police challenge.

Although my family did not have health care coverage when I was growing up and although most of the time there wasn't even a doctor in time, I understand that people feel differently about that now.

ultima said...

"Nah, just of an overvalued currency and an open border. Your exceptionalism will crash with the dollar."

So we can expect a reverse flood of illegals as soon as the dollar crashes? I guess we better not secure the border because it might interfere with the reverse flow.

Lupita said...

So we can expect a reverse flood of illegals as soon as the dollar crashes?

The reverse flow seems to have commenced. According to the October labor statistics, the labor force shrunk that month while unemployment remained the same. The statistics were indeed weird, nothing like that had ever happened before. The thought that popped into my mind was that foreign workers had split the country.

I have read a couple of articles on this phenomenon and both presented the same hypothesis (illegals leaving) as the only reasonable explanation.

We will see what the November statistics say.

tweety said...

Wow Ultima, good to see so many posts in your blog. Looks kind of like a MATT reunion.