Friday, November 8, 2013

In Defense of Ben and Me

Since yesterday's post on Ben Franklin and Somali immigrants, two people have reacted in a silly way. The first said:

Racist excrement. I've never heard of Ben Franklin actually saying that about Germans, but giving you the benefit of the doubt - he was just plain wrong. First it was the British against the Germans, then the "Anglo-Saxons" against the Catholic Italians, Irish, and Poles, then the Christians and Europeans against the Jews and the "yellow peril", and now it's politically correct "natural born citizens" against any immigrant with a dark complexion - South Americans, Arabs, Africans. In every era, your xenophobia-driven non-assimilation apocalypse prophecies are the exact same unfounded garbage; and in every era you lose the political battle and they fail completely to materialize yet you carry them into the next one. As a refugee from the same time period as these Somalis who grew up in the US (though obviously from a different part of the world), I will happily school you in any civics or political history debate you would like to have to show you how asininely stupid your assumptions about their political capacities are. You have a right to your views, and I have a right to think you're a clueless racist asshole - fellow libertarian or not.

First off, he follows the liberal rule to use the word "racist" immediately, and describe what has been said as "spew" or something worse, in this case "excrement."

Then he expresses doubt that Franklin would have said such a thing,  despite the link provided that gives Franklin's opinions in his own words. And the point of course isn't that Franklin was wrong about Germans. He wasn't. Too much German immigration could have changed our character entirely. The point is that he was worried about people who actually differed comparatively little from the American norm, while now we're inviting in Muslims from Africa and acting like it's a great idea.  As Steve Sailer often says, what could possibly go wrong?

Then he points out that whenever Americans opposed immigration of any group, they were wrong to do so.  Proof? And in the great tradition of egalitarianism, if it was foolish to oppose, say, Welsh immigration, it's equally foolish to oppose the immigration of Papuan headhunters, since Everybody Is Equal.  Then he finishes up with more name-calling. This is a special shame in a way, because he uses a Slavic name, so I assume he's a Slav, and it's my experience that East Europeans are very skeptical of political correctness, which they recognize for what it is, so it's a double shame that my commenter is so PC-whipped.

The second reaction was:

If Ben Franklin had complaints about "Germanization" it would have been against Prussia being that Germany would not come into existence until 1871.

which isn't nearly as bad, but it does show that he, too, didn't read the link, because Franklin did indeed use the word "Germanization" (without the horror quotes), and Germany had indeed come into existence centuries before Franklin's time — It became a united country in 1871, which is another matter entirely. People referred to "Germany" all the time, just as they refer to "Scandinavia" or "Latin America" today. Germany was a cultural region, so of course Franklin could envision German immigrants bringing German language, religion, political philosophy, and other things with them that would have, in his opinon, the tendency to "Germanize" America.

So if you think I'm wrong to consider it bad policy to import Somali immigrants, by all means say so and explain why. But try to do it without name-calling, false analogies, and snarky "gotcha" points that turn out to be in error, and which could have been avoided simply by following a link. Here again IS THE LINK.  Okay?

1 comment:

  1. Franklin was right and we should have ended all immigration in 1790.