"Viva la Raza!
Viva la Radio!"
Que pasa with the Mexican immigration problem? You may not be more enlightened after reading this. But, instead of a huh, you might wind up with an aha!
If you are still with me, let�s start by explaining that vocal group of radicals who claim that the all western states once belonged to Mexico, and they want them back. They call themselves �reconquistas.� They�re easy to explain. They are loco.
Despite that, I will humor the �reconquistas� by making the point for them better than they have for themselves, thus far. They base their claim on history that is now over 155 years old. It goes like this.
Some years ago, thousands of desperate illegal Anglo immigrant squatters began grabbing land from the rich Mexican land owners. This ragged bunch had snuck across the Mexican border, into what is now California, in a quest for better times. Finally, they crowded the rich Mexican land owners out, and that was the first step toward claming the state as their own. But, enough about those American illegals and their assault on the rich Mexicans. Those 1840 California gold rush days are long gone. This only explains California. Where does the rest of the west fit into this?
In 1845, relations with Mexico officially frazzled when some culturally insensitive Mexican assaulted a Texan inside the Mexican half of Texas. The honor of this country was sullied. President James Polk ordained that Mexico be punished, He dispatched the army to fight what is now called the Mexican war. Mexico lost, and Polk sent Nicholas Trist to Mexico City to negotiate the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
"Negotiation" may fall short of describing what happened. President Polk told Trist to take not only that half of Texas I mentioned, but everything else the Mexicans had owned in what is now the western U.S..
Trist balked at Baja. By the time he returned to Washington and reported this to an enraged Polk, it was a done deal. Smitten with guilt, he only took California, Nevada, Colorado New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah The U.S. gave them some token money for the new territory, but it was a forced sale.. If a Mexican gives you any lip about American avarice, tell them that it could have been worse.
�Reconquistas passionately think of the western states as morally their own. They are hell-bent on getting it back, not by arms, but by out-producing Anglos with babies in the coming years and gaining a voting majority. They are so sure of themselves that they encourage young Mexicans to carry Mexican flags on protest days as a sort of rehearsal.
Up till recently, many Anglos, uncertain about our fairness, had been paralyzed by the sort of guilt that had assailed Nicholas Trist in 1848. No mas.
A back lash is beginning to lash back. Americans have hearts, but they're increasingly alarmed at the crippling expense of medical care and the education of illegal alien children. They contend that it is the responsibility of the federal government to protect the borders and avoid such problems in the first place, that having failed to do so, the Feds and not the state should pay up. It made sense to them, but not to the Supreme Court. The 1982 Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in favor of educating illegal immigrant Texas children at state expense.
Californians were certain that the later more conservative Supreme Court justices would agree that burdening the states with such expenses was unfair and illegal. They appealed to the Supreme Court, certain that the Texas decision would be overturned. That didn't happen. The justices shocked them by ruling again that the states, not the federal government, had to pay for the education of the illegal alien children.
The purest conservatives contend that illegals should be supported, if at all, by a network of churches, concerned private citizens and family sponsors; that it is a social matter. Most of this group feels that "illegal" means illegal, and why are they even ensnared by this problem?
They also want to abolish the law that says a child born in this country of illegals is automatically a U.S. citizen, a sort of in-your-face to the reconquistas..
They are aroused at the threat to their basic language. Their forebears are largely English, and Irish, products of immigration themselves, but English is our official language, isn't it?.
Illegal Immigrants are not forced to learn English. This is a pity. English is the way a first generation person can connect with a tenth generation American and start getting the knack of things. Multiculturalism without a common language such as English as a safety net results in debacles such as Bosnia, or French and English Canada tearing themselves apart. These are not ethnic but multicultural struggles.
Multicultural is multiculpable.
The best template for Mexican immigrants is the Irish model. They came here, unable to speak English, but made a collective decision to learn English in one generation. The Irish Catholic church gets major credit for this. They helped Irish immigrants learn English by organizing classes to teach them the new language.
Equipped with English, the Irish moved into politics and became civic leaders, because the aristocratic Brits in New York, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia considered those jobs beneath them.
The Irish were willing to do jobs that the Brits would not do.
It�s a rule. Immigrants on the path toward American citizenship must learn English, and complete a study of the Constitution. With this, they will learn about tolerance, the principal cohesive force that binds this country together. If they enter illegally, they miss this vital step. Of course, many American citizens wouldn't recognize the Constitution if Thomas Jefferson himself rolled it up and whipped them about the head and shoulders with it. But, by just growing up in this country, we are imprinted with its basic principles of tolerance and freedom. Many of us do foolish things, but if we try anything outside of the Constitution, we pay for it in court.
There is more, having to do with the way Americans think about things. Anglo Americans are defined by their music, radio, magazines, newspaper, movies, the TV shows they watch, the way they resolve disputes, and settle legal matters. Anglos do not think it is enough for Hispanics to share their love for baseball.
That Hispanics are hard workers, and love their families are important, but not when measured against the fact that two generations of illegals have clogged the system. Now, many in the prior generation are passing on to their children that welfare is the way of life. They have been corrupted by the bureaucracy, a machine that fuels itself on illegal immigration. They are put on a support system without having to involve themselves in the mainstream.
Mexican American radio could do a better job of putting illegals on the road to citizenship. Popular Mexican American jocks could counter some of the radical propaganda being spread among their listeners without alienating the aliens
On your shows, you could give them even-handed information, They will respect your opinions because they like you and know you are simpatico.
Ask them: what if they demonstrated in Mexico, brandishing American flags? There would be 11 million cracked heads.
American Mexicans need to know about conditions in Mexico, which is rapidly becoming a narco-state where journalists are being assassinated for printing the truth.
In fact, illegal immigrant law breakers are filling our prisons.
Most of the gang bangers in L.A. are illegals.
2% of illegal aliens are picking crops, but 29% are on welfare.
2/3rd of all births in LA country are to illegal aliens, delivered free.
Tell them that if you are an American who goes to Mexico to live, you have no rights. You can�t get on welfare, can�t get health care, can�t criticize the government, can�t demonstrate, can only invest in the amount 40,000 times the minimum wage, and have to conduct business in Spanish. This is all under Mexican Constitutional law
Compare this to the rights of illegal immigrants in this country when they need health care. Tell your listeners that under the MediCal Law, MMA Section 1011, illegal immigrants, if they are poor, can get extended free medical care simply by saying they are illegal, just say it, no legal requirement to show papers. Tell your legal listeners that they, the American tax payers, will foot the bill for the illegals, and to get the same extended medical care for themselves, they have to show proof of citizenship�and to pay for it...
The truth will help them understand, especially coming from the lips of someone they trust. Mexican American radio alone can help settle the unrest with its giant megaphone. ��or Mexaphone.
Warning: If you continue to play the Spanish version of the American anthem, You are leaving yourself wide open for a satirical American version of the Mexican National Anthem to be whipped up and played on major media. Lose it.
There is a battle being waged for the minds of millions of young Mexicans. It is between Chicano leaders who stress operating within the system, and radicals with a revolutionary agenda. Many radicals publicly call Anglos "racists" and "nativists." but admit privately that most Anglos are fundamentally fair.
The Mexican government cannot afford to feed everyone. This is why they encourage these torn people to leave Mexico unchallenged. Torn people are dangerous. They have nothing to lose. They are not happy campesinos. If they stay in Mexico, they might overthrow the government. The Mexican government considers us a safety valve.
Bueno! I understand their reasoning. What if we sent 25 million of our poorest to Mexico. That would heal us overnight.
In this regard, perhaps the best thing we could do to help Mexico is to go ahead and build the big wall from California to Texas, and leave that country alone with its problems, without the safety valve of the U.S. That would focus the Mexican government to face up to its problems and deal with them.
60% of all Mexicans in Mexico want to live here. They don�t want to assimilate. They just want the benefits, according to Pew Research.
I confess: If I were a poor Mexican, I would want to go to this country, but I would become an American citizen, and learn the language. It is not necessary to learn 4,000 words of a new language. Just learn to count money, and the names of the tools that will be used in the new job. Then, additional words will come easier with each day.
One prominent local Latina told me that when her husband was a muchacho, he rode from Durango into this country on a burro. Now a citizen, he has a Masters Degree in English and teaches English composition at a local college. She told me this as a masked challenge to come up with a better all-American story. I can't, but I can make a better point. What if he had not struggled to learn English and become a citizen?
He would have been ground down by the system, and would not have married this beautiful Chicana. Same man, Different scenario.
Incidentally he told me he learned his basic English by listening to me on the radio when he first arrived. Ay caramba!
Spanish language radio stations should program bi-lingual shows in their schedule.
It will help Spanish speaking listeners pick up the basics of the language, and will not slow down your programming. It is easy to speak Spanish and English bilingually. I do it often when I speak to mixed groups. They love it. I even split sentences, as a joke..�Buenos days. Como estan you-all?�:
Anglos are beginning to allow words like "taco, "macho," and "primo" to creep into their speech. Why not? There is no better word for a taco than "taco". Instead of the words �trash,� or �garbage, � I say, �Basura.� When my wife, Carol, asks me to �take out the basura,� it sounds so much kinder and gentler than, �Take out the trash.�
In coming years, young people will be speaking Spanish words of love to each other. To Anglo guys, Spanish is a poetic way to communicate with beautiful Latinas, calling them, �tu.�� thou
Anglos have an affinity for Spanish words. Most of the cities in the Southwest have Spanish names. Even in Florida, this is true; although I have no idea why the Spaniards named a city Boca Raton�Rat mouth.
. I recently asked a prominent American senator why the Congress is stalling on this vital issue. It�s �Valleity,� which he laughingly explained is a lingering desire to do something about a problem, negated by actually doing anything about it. I didn�t laugh. I took advantage of the time with him to present both cases: that of the hard working illegal immigrants seeking legitimacy and the American public that needs to organize the estimated 11 million of them, to get a handle on them, so we don�t get swallowed up. He opposes criminalizing them, but opposes amnesty.
I have an Indian friend, a Kumeyay. "The truth is," he said, "We own San Diego. We were the first humans to inhabit the area. The Mexicans did us out of it.
Now, you Anglos claim it. I am considering organizing a street demonstration demanding the redress of our grievances"
"Don't even think about it," I groaned.