Friday, January 09, 2015

Para español, marque dos


In Paris yesterday, we saw what happens in a country that doesn't believe in the melting pot theory of nation-building. Above are two French-born citizens of the jihadic persuasion, murdering another Frenchman whose family came from Algeria. Very likely all three men are Muslims--the two gunmen certainly are. They happen to take their religion to excess, as Muslims through the centuries have been prone to do.

I live in a university town, and I often see desk signs urging me to CELEBRATE DIVERSITY. France of course (and most every European nation) has long done just that, with results that we see above. The United States by contrast has traditionally gone the other way, stirring diverse citizens into a common pot, so that we all came out behaving pretty much like WASPs, even those of us who aren't Protestants, or Anglo-Saxons, or White. It was, for the most part, a great success. (My mother and father were born in the County Cork, but I am as Yankee as most New Hampshiremen -- more than most, in fact, as I grow older and they trend younger.)

I think of this every time I dial a business and get the odious instruction: "To continue in English, press one. Para español, marque dos." With our Spanish-speaking underclass, aren't we creating the very same sort of bifurcated society that is increasingly tearing European nations apart? I'll bet that Ahmed Merabet (the policeman on the ground with his hands raised) wished in his last moment that his country had done more to celebrate excellence instead of diversity.

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