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Once upon a time, the other “Latin invasion”

October 8, 2007

So while browsing around, I ran in an OLD article on the NYT website – 115 years old, in fact.

115 years old, but not so far out of date. Back then, too, America was horrified at the challenges posed by foreign immigration, and their refusal to simply let their culture die and assimilate into the American way of life. To quoth :

“…These people are in New England as an organized body, whose motto is Our Language, Our Faith, Our Culture”. This body is ruled by a principle directly opposite to that which has made New england what it is. It depresses to the lowest point possible the idea of personal resonsibility and limits the freedom which it permits.

It is next to impossible to penetrate this mass of protected and secluded humanity with modern ideas or to induce them to interest themselves in democratic institutions and methods of government…” Follows somewhat less than believable accusation about a secret society “in which every last adult (of them) belongs”, whose aim is solely and exclusively the conversion of New England back into the Roman Catholic church (if it was, it worked, of course, but…).

To be honest, the article just sickens me a little. The fact that some of the people it accuses falsely like that include relatives of mine (I know for a fact my great-grandfather had several of his siblings and uncles cross the border back around the turn of the century) doesn’t help.

It’s one thing watching it happen with perfect stranger, even if you condemn it. It’s another to watch it done to your own people, even if a century ago. (And I’d wager it’s yet a third to watch it done in the now).

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2007 11:53 pm

    I’ve seen a similar article dating from the 1830s complaining that the German immigrants to the Pennsylvania area were ruining things by not learning English. It was a crock then, and it’s a crock now.

    Unfortunately, immigration is something that the entire Western civilization is seeing – and very few cultures are dealing with it well. (Heck, you’re even getting anti-immigrant riots in *Switzerland*, of all places.)

    • October 9, 2007 3:24 am

      Yeah, I know. This one just hits closer to home for the reason outlined above.

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