We hear it every day, across all media all the time, including at FOX News.
“ If only Europeans were as welcoming as Americans there would be no terror problem in Europe. If only European countries could assimilate their immigrants as well as America there would be no terror in Europe.”
As recently as Wednesday, May 24, referring to the Manchester attack, former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen claimed that Europeans don’t allow for assimilation, that European immigrants suffer from alienation. These assertions have been left unchallenged for so long they’ve taken on a mantra of truth. Not only is it not true; it’s a dangerous falsehood.
Too many members of the American elite suffer from a kind of parochial isolation, sharing Voltaire’s Panglossian assumption that “this is the best of all possible worlds;” that nobody does it better than us.
While it’s indisputable that countries in the Western Hemisphere are by definition populated by the descendants of settlers, colonists and immigrants―people in Europe were not just standing still while this was happening. The past couple of centuries has seen limited but continuous migration from country to country within the European continent. More recently, in the Twentieth Century, the former colonial powers received migrants from their former colonies.
align=”left” The sobering truth is that despite modern Europeans bending over backwards to facilitate the assimilation of newly arrived immigrants, one group and only one group resists assimilation―actively, strenuously, emphatically resists it. This is true whether their destination is France, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany or, indeed, anywhere else. This is what Thiessen and nearly everyone else in the media won’t admit.
Anyone who’s lived in France for longer than a tourist trip will know that it is commonplace to meet French citizens who trace their ancestors back to Italy, Russia, Germany, Holland, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Poland; indeed to almost every country in Europe. This doesn’t imply that the overwhelming core of the French people do not trace their ancestry back to Vercingetorix and Clovis. It merely acknowledges that generations of immigrants have perfectly assimilated into a shared French identity, much in the same way that waves of immigrants to North America perfectly assimilated into the countries of Canada and the USA.
E Pluribus Unum may be printed on our currency and engraved on the faces of our public buildings, but is not all that unique after all. Even modern Russia is comprised of many nationalities that today adhere to a common national identity.
So when Marc Thiessen confidently states that European countries cannot assimilate their immigrants, what is he talking about?
Obviously not about immigrants who migrated from neighboring European countries.
Nor about immigrants from the Caribbean (such as Jamaicans and Virgin islanders in the United Kingdom).
Nor about the immigrants from the Far East (such as Vietnamese and Cambodians in France).
Nor about immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa (such as Senegalese and the Ivory Coast in France).
All of these immigrants have, by and large assimilated to their host countries.
None of these people are strapping bombs onto themselves, shooting up theaters, murdering journalists, attacking train passengers, decapitating priests, stabbing pedestrians, running over holiday-goers with trucks, blowing planes out of the sky or as entire communities remaining apart from the main culture and society of their adopted countries.
They may retain certain sartorial customs and frequent ethnic restaurants, but in a word, they have assimilated. They have fully joined in the social fabric of their new countries, participate in its economy and culture and defend its people and values. Sound familiar?
The sobering truth is that despite modern Europeans bending over backwards to facilitate the assimilation of newly arrived immigrants, one group and only one group resists assimilation―actively, strenuously, emphatically resists it. This is true whether their destination is France, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, Belgium, Germany or, indeed, anywhere else. This is what Thiessen and nearly everyone else in the media won’t admit. It’s not a fault of European immigration policies when people of every ethnic, religious and racial identity manage to assimilate to European societies save one.
The danger for us then, here in America, is to think we can do it better, or differently. We, just like the Europeans, look back to our successful past. Each and every immigrant group from where-so-ever they came has assimilated into the fabric of American life and lived, as we are fond of saying, “the American dream.”
Our arrogant elite, clinging to their Panglossian fantasy really believe that we can do it better―that those people who have never assimilated anywhere to any alien culture will, because they are drinking in the air of North America instead of the air of Europe, behave differently. But, will they?
The two World Trade Center attacks, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Fort Hood massacre, the Chattanooga murders, the San Bernardino massacre, the Orlando massacre, the Minnesota Mall stabbing, the Ottawa terrorist, the Anwar al Awlaki jihadist recruitment videos, the Chelsea bomber (not to mention the many thwarted attacks) argue otherwise.
It can’t be stated enough. Immigration is not synonymous with colonization. In the former model, migrants assimilate to the host country. In the second model, they replace it. Of course, short of an armed invasion this replacement does not happen overnight. But, as we are seeing all across Europe, it does happen. Once a critical demographic mass is achieved, it’s irreversible.
So, instead of all the happy talk and smiley faces about how different and how much better it’s going to be here; perhaps Thiessen and his media flock will think twice before glibly offering up the American people and their country as guinea pigs in yet another risky experiment in social engineering and wishful thinking.