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Old 03-11-2009, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
Not a 'civil war'..that won't happen. What COULD happen is a disintegration into a rough, tough, divided society of mutually-hostile 'interest groups', each group jealously looking out for its own, and making sure the 'others' don't 'get away with anything'.....and all of this under a suffocating set of draconian laws that WE will have insisted upon imposing on OURSELVES....in order to 'protect us from each other'.

America won't undergo civil war....it may just trun out to go the way of MOST multicultural nations around the world...Yugoslavia, South Africa, the Soviet Union, Congo, Liberia, Georgia, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Iraq.....places where 'group identity' is stronger by far than any sense of 'unity' among the populace. In time, there may be a very close parallel, for example, between what it means to be 'Hispanic', in the USA, and what it means to be 'Kurdish' in Iraq; or to be 'Armenian', in Turkey...except here in the US, we have WAY more 'groups' than most countries.

Better get it together, guys !!..
There is nothing wrong with your television set....
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
Not a 'civil war'..that won't happen. What COULD happen is a disintegration into a rough, tough, divided society of mutually-hostile 'interest groups', each group jealously looking out for its own, and making sure the 'others' don't 'get away with anything'.....and all of this under a suffocating set of draconian laws that WE will have insisted upon imposing on OURSELVES....in order to 'protect us from each other'. (Ever wonder why so many Southern Californians, etc., pay good money, and go through considerable 'hassle', to live in GATED communities? I know why...)

America won't undergo civil war....it may just trun out to go the way of MOST multicultural nations around the world...Yugoslavia, South Africa, the Soviet Union, Congo, Liberia, Georgia, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Iraq.....places where 'group identity' is stronger by far than any sense of 'unity' among the populace. In time, there may be a very close parallel, for example, between what it means to be 'Hispanic', in the USA, and what it means to be 'Kurdish' in Iraq; or to be 'Armenian', in Turkey...except here in the US, we have WAY more 'groups' than most countries.

Better get it together, guys !!..
Yes, welcome to the States of America, and goodbye to United.
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacatecana View Post
Excellent point! A friend of mine talks about how there were certain days of the week where Latinos and Blacks were not allowed to be out downtown doing their shopping in the middle of the day. There are countless examples of how unfriendly America was. People forget that in the good old days, America was only legally open to immigrants of white countries. The melting pot was only meant for whites.
What about the asian immigrants (not white) who came here legally, learned and taught their kids English, pay taxes, and are productive, law-abiding citizens?

And one thing has nothing to do with the other - illegal immigrants from 'down south' come, they take, they don't have interest in becoming Americans. I lived and worked with them...this is from their mouths - not just something we're making up.
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Old 03-11-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Benicar View Post
Yes, welcome to the States of America, and goodbye to United.
Yes, once again, thanks for listening. Does this stuff sound 'nutty'? Of COURSE it does...just like 20 SHORT years ago, '20 million illegals', and '9-11' and 'Guantanamo Bay' would have all sounded 'nutty'.

"Nuttiness" has never, as I recall, been a protection against negative events happening in a society. Tinfoil hats or not, things happen, and they're often things that 'can't' happen..until they do. And the bitterest, bloodiest 'divides' around the world aren't caused by resources or 'greed'...they're caused by ethnic and religious hatreds.

We don't HAVE to go that route....it's up to us..
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacatecana View Post
Excellent point! A friend of mine talks about how there were certain days of the week where Latinos and Blacks were not allowed to be out downtown doing their shopping in the middle of the day. There are countless examples of how unfriendly America was. People forget that in the good old days, America was only legally open to immigrants of white countries. The melting pot was only meant for whites.
I've honestly never heard of this blatant degree of segregation, here in California. I DO know several elderly Hispanic people here, who attended segregated schools 'way back when'..(and OTHER Hispanics the same age who attended 'regular' schools..depending on the area). I DO know that a few swimming pools and movie theaters were 'segregated', back before World War II. MOST of the really "old timers" in our area of ALL races, attended school among MANY different races. That's just California. Class photos from the 1930's look like a 'United Nations'.

As to how 'unfriendly' America was....that's an interesting subject. I've known NUMEROUS people who came here illegally, and while they may not have been given the 'key to the city', they seemed to ME to all be MORE than happy to be here, happy not to be 'back home', and quite resigned to their 'lot in life'. MOST of the 'old timers' I knew had children who became patriotic American citizens. SOME of these families "pushed" their children hard to learn English IN THE HOME, and went to great effort to get their kids 'into the mainstream'. My own spouse was raised by Spanish-speaking parents (Indians) who made a great effort to speak ONLY English in front of their kids.

Just how 'unfriendly' was America, then? Hard to say...but apparently it was 'friendly' enough, that more people ARRIVED here than LEFT...by a very BIG margin. People came here, and they were 'pushed' into assimilating into American life....and yes, it was often quite a 'push', and it may have caused them to have to 'go outside their comfort zone'.

Was this "bad"? Maybe, by today's standards, it was..but it "MADE" the kids into 'mainstream Americans' very quickly, in a way that the alternative would NOT have..(unless, of course, we change the definition on 'mainstream'). The question then becomes, is there ANY country, anywhere on earth, which does NOT have a 'mainstream'?. It sounds 'exciting', maybe, in a certain way...but can it really WORK? I have serious doubts....but time will tell.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
I've honestly never heard of this blatant degree of segregation, here in California. I DO know several elderly Hispanic people here, who attended segregated schools 'way back when'..(and OTHER Hispanics the same age who attended 'regular' schools..depending on the area). I DO know that a few swimming pools and movie theaters were 'segregated', back before World War II. MOST of the really "old timers" in our area of ALL races, attended school among MANY different races. That's just California. Class photos from the 1930's look like a 'United Nations'.

As to how 'unfriendly' America was....that's an interesting subject. I've known NUMEROUS people who came here illegally, and while they may not have been given the 'key to the city', they seemed to ME to all be MORE than happy to be here, happy not to be 'back home', and quite resigned to their 'lot in life'. MOST of the 'old timers' I knew had children who became patriotic American citizens. SOME of these families "pushed" their children hard to learn English IN THE HOME, and went to great effort to get their kids 'into the mainstream'. My own spouse was raised by Spanish-speaking parents (Indians) who made a great effort to speak ONLY English in front of their kids.

Just how 'unfriendly' was America, then? Hard to say...but apparently it was 'friendly' enough, that more people ARRIVED here than LEFT...by a very BIG margin. People came here, and they were 'pushed' into assimilating into American life....and yes, it was often quite a 'push', and it may have caused them to have to 'go outside their comfort zone'.

Was this "bad"? Maybe, by today's standards, it was..but it "MADE" the kids into 'mainstream Americans' very quickly, in a way that the alternative would NOT have..(unless, of course, we change the definition on 'mainstream'). The question then becomes, is there ANY country, anywhere on earth, which does NOT have a 'mainstream'?. It sounds 'exciting', maybe, in a certain way...but can it really WORK? I have serious doubts....but time will tell.
This segregation type did take place in the Napa Valley in California, as told to me by my Caucasian friends who saw it first hand. I obviously did not experience it since I was not born yet.

You are also right about the "push" toward assimilation of the past generation of Mexican Americans. I have friends who said were even spanked on the hand by the teachers when they were heard speaking a word in Spanish. Teachers even held parent meetings to let parents know that speaking in Spanish was not tolerated and they should do the same at home. If you read the book Hunger for Memory by Richard Rodriguez, he talks about this. He explains that learning english and making it his only language of use made him sucessful in this country. However, he was not able to communicate with his grandmother and the language of home...memories, family, etc...was lost. In my opinion that is very sad. There is no reason why people should give up their cultural identity. It is very possible to keep one's cultural identity and still assimilate.

I have to agree with antialphabet. I love my America today. Even with all the issues of descrimination, prejudice, etc. I see far more interracial marriages and bicultural/biracial children now then ever before. Even with all the hate groups we have today...at least we are talking about it now where as before, it was kept...hush. Even when America today has a big, huge race trauma, it is much better because at least everyone can exercise their right to freedom of speech.

With all honesty I dont think the children of these immigrants have been given a fair chance. I came from that background. In my home we only spoke in Spanish. We turned to the Spanish TV channels most of the time, except cartoons...LOL. We listened and danced to regional Mexican music. Most of us, were in a sense only accepted by people of our kind, despite the fact that I did speak English. Looking back to those that were around me, all are bilingual and work in settings where they are required to be assimulated. Most all, dont like going to Mexico and see the U.S. as their only home. Some were very happy to enroll and be a part of the service.

Looking at this new generation, the children of immigrants DO speak english as well as their home language, DO love this country...it is a misconception. Many I have seen go to Mexico and do the opposite, they show off their Americanism. It is quite interesting, I have to say. I hear the locals in Mexico complaining of these children who are Mexican and dont know what it is to be Mexican... Many have served in Desert Storm...Kuwait, Afghanistan and now Iraq. They are very patriotic and American, in my opinion. As a friend of mine put it, "The only thing that is left for me to be complete is to be certain that I will not be separated from my family. I am American as can be." If you have looked at recent studies as to why whites, blacks and Latinos enroll in the service you will find that whites do it for the adventure, blacks enroll for additional grants toward education and Latinos do it for honor and patriotism. This is not to say that these characteristics are not seen in others but that the overwhelming majority are with that particular ethnic group.

As you put it, most immigrants back then stayed as opposed to those that left by a big margin. I dont see a difference now...they want to stay. Many over time (statistics show within one generation) assimilate. I know countless immigrants of various ethnicities ( Mexican, Salvadorean, African, Dominican, Brazilian, and even Asians) who have assimilated and dont see their country of origin as their home. They dont forget their past and they are proud of whom they are, love this country, despite the prejudice they have experienced. I have a friend who's parents immigrated here from Nigeria during the time of segregation. They endured all descrimination due to their color and stayed. Sometimes there are other factors involved.

All I can say is that today, I have friends of all ethnicities. My Mexican friends of first generation are marrying other ethnicities. They have all assimilated and all love this country. They consider themeselves to be very lucky to be born in this country. I have been to the Black Baptist churches. In the last three years, I have been attending a protestant christian predominately white church. Would it have been possible for me to set foot in this church during the time of segregation? I dont think so. BTW, assimilation when it comes to religion is a major one, in that sense, we are all ready assimilated. I feel honored to be an American in this time in history where we have an African American president. Which BTW, we as Latinos and people of color, do owe a lot to African Americans for opening the path to civil rights.

L.A. county (a county which majority are Mexican or of Mexican ancestry) in 1990, intermarriage occured five times the national average. Out of that number, 2/3 were Latinos. In 1997, 2/3 multiethnic/multiracial births involved a Latino parent. I call this assimilation.

macmeal, have faith in the people. Unity WILL happen and we have come so far. It really should not matter what side of the immigration issue you, I or anyone else for that matter is on. We all have the right to fight for what we believe. This race issue...WILL cease...The minute people stop looking at their differences and focus on their similarities. The more people intermarry with other ethnicities the faster it will happen. The idea of a civil war occuring over this immigration issue is really silly...
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:57 AM
 
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zacatecana, your thoughtful replies are one of the reasons I enjoy discourse here. Your educated stance underscores your opinions, hence I think you can start to understand other points of view when they are supported. I can refute many statements made on these forums, not necessarily by yourself, with facts or my own experiences.

I too am old enough to have witnessed first hand the horrid blight of segregation in the Deep South in the 1950's. That is why I am saddened by the deja vu aspect I see daily in my Los Angeles locale, wherein so many people harbor mild to intense hatreds for anyone not from their specific foreign country. As a middle-aged Caucasian female born here, I have been spat at passersby hissing in foreign languages in my own country. That would be "mild," in the scale of what I've inreasingly experienced living amongst immigrants both legal and illegal in L.A. I won't repeat worse horror stories unless pressed.

Identification with selfsame foreign country cannot help but fuel this, even subliminally. You identify second generation, American citizens speaking their "home countries" language as well as English, the lingua franca of the U.S. (that allows everyone from all parts of the globe to understand one another here.) The U.S.A is their home country. Even referring to folks as "different ethnicities" precludes thinking of them as your fellow American citizens. In contrast, I once had no idea to whom someone on my block was referring when they tried to remember the name of, as he termed, "that Korean woman" neighbor. Days later it dawned on me he must have meant Alice, as American as apple pie to me (even if she likes kimchi more than I do.)

Given the intense push towards non-assimilation today, I respectfully disagree with your faith in a rosy future in L.A. based upon my five decade overview here seeing tolerance deteriorate since the 1980's as if by social engineering. Separatist pop culture in the foreign language media pushes Balkanization, emphasizing differences from and resentments towards gringo, and espousing little respect for those who are not exactly like one's self. I also see multi-generational lack of understanding or speaking of the English language daily.

I believe that, given a majority of a populace who are highly partisan in identification with a foreign country to the extent that mainstream American ideals (we at least try for fairness, equality, tolerance etc.) are devalued or ignored, Los Angeles eventually might rival as brutal a place as 1950's Montgomery, Alabama. Just because someone is the new majority doesn't make acting out the Ku Klux Klan's intolerance for those who are "different" correct. Macmeal's predictions will bear out.

I know many in the teaching community who are trying their best to counter this, to make all these immigrant children welcome as Americans who deserve the best education they can get (despite LAUSD's efforts to countermand!) I know many others besides myself who are reaching out to all in Neighborhood Watch to foment understanding of American laws of respect, property, and politesse so that we can all live together without bombarding others in an avalanche of gaping cultural ways that shouldn't have intruded beyond their own household's limited understanding of the U.S. in the first place. (I joined Neighborhood Watch to do something rather than just complain, as my own neighborhood suffers from 24hour noise issues, animal cruelty, trashing, vandalism, egregious safety code violations and misogyny [domestic violence.] These malfeasances increased when the actual diversity waned, and one extraction of foreign nationals prevailed.)

Nevertheless, I would highly recommend Victor Hansen's book "Mexifornia" to all who disbelieve the tragedies inherent in unlimited illegal immigration and elevating a foreign culture over American ideals. This is a wholly unhysterical book by a University professor who grew up in Central California, and he is genuinely sympathetic to both sides of the issue. But the conclusion is undeniable. Non-assimilation is disastrous for all. Read the book for his thorough documentation.

A friend stated living in a foreign country without at least trying to learn the language, entering into its culture or understanding its ways is like staying a child forever, dependent on something else for all your life. Here's to a mature America.

Last edited by fastfilm; 03-12-2009 at 10:08 AM..
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:24 PM
 
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ZACATECANA....nice post; well written. VERY optimistic..(but then, that's your right). I agree there's MUCH more 'reaching out' now than ever before....and that HAS to be a good thing. (I even have a neice who was married to a 'Zacatecano'....maybe your distant relative?) HE was a very nice guy (now on the LAPD) SHE wasn't quite as nice, and the marriage eventually failed...but I digress.

Our 'disagreement' (yours and mine) is largely a matter of perception. You see an optimistic future, because "people are GOOD, and will just NATURALLY want to get along". I hesitate to agree, because I look around, and I can see NO example in history of a nation VOLUNTARILY and PEACEFULLY 'stepping aside' and agreeing to put OTHER cultures on an equal footing with "its" culture. Call the 'American culture' white, if you must...I prefer to think of it as just 'multiethnic American'. Nevertheless, it's the 'standard culture', and it's about the ONLY thing many of us have in common. We don't share the same race, ethnicity, religion, politics, or tastes.....but until RECENTLY, we at least had some sort of cultural 'standards' that we all recognized. Take THIS away, and in MY HUMBLE OPINION, I seriously doubt we'll have anything left, except our 'good intentions' or 'happy mood'. Let things get 'tough', and we could very well disintegrate...that's my opinion. I believe Fastfilm agrees in great measure. It's NOT a totally unreasonable concern, I think you'll admit.

Meanwhile, do I HOPE your optimistic view becomes 'reality'? Of COURSE I do. I just don't see much 'track record' of human beings all 'getting along' on their own good intentions, without some commonalities. And I ALSO (as Fastfilm alludes) shudder to think of what MIGHT happen if we finally DO decimate "Standard American culture", and simply throw ourselves to the 'tender mercies' of our multicultural neighbors, and their two-dozen or so sets of 'ethics' and definitions of what's 'good and bad, right and wrong'. I REALLY don't see that working....but at this point, you COULD be right..I hope you ARE...and I thank you for your thoughtful, well-stated, and optimistic post.

THe best to you....
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:41 PM
 
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PS ZACATECANA...funny you should mention Richard Rodriguez. To ME, his story is the standard American success story...a bittersweet mix of 'give and take' in wrenching himself from his ancestral roots into the 'upper levels' of American professionals. You see the 'bitter', I see the 'sweet'...but we both agree, I'm sure, he has a lot of respect in the circles of American journalism.

Rodriguez touched on this bittersweet connection with 'his people' some years ago...he wrote an article on the opening of a new library in the LA area...decribed all the latest 'gadgets', all the 'innovations', did quite a write up on this wonderful addition to the community.

He then went on to note that because of the library's location, the 'kids' using it on opening week were just about evenly divided between Asians and Hispanics...that was the neighborhood demographics. Rodriguez THEN reluctantly noted that just about ALL the Asians were inside, taking advantage of the new computer terminals, MANY of them being 'pushed' by their mothers...while the majority of the Hispanic kids were outside 'taking advantage' of the place by 'kicking back' on the benches, and skateboarding on the steps...sort of just 'hanging out'.

Rodriguez then made the statement that this was a possible sign of things to come, and he wondered how all these 'kids' would be relating to each other twenty years in the future...who was going to be 'successful', and who was not...and who was going to be 'in charge', and who was going to be 'taking orders'.

A moving piece, and obviously it pained Rodriguez to write it....but it did bring up some very serious questions, a lot of them having to do with 'assimilation' and culture.

Don't recall the title of the article, but it was typical Rodriguez...a bittersweet look at the 'good' and the 'not so good' of his own culture....and about 'letting go' along with 'hanging on'. Something there to think about for ALL of us, IMHO.
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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FASTFILM...Great post, well-thought out; There's really NO argument with most of your points. It 'is what it is"...and that's a fact.
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