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Losing America?

Harvard prof paranoid to the Mex

By Andy Porras
Published on LatinoLA: May 27, 2004


Losing America?


Want to hear the latest pseudo-academic xenophobic muck? From a world-renowned Harvard intellectual, no less!

Racists will love a new "Hispanic threat" book, "Who We Are," by Harvard's Academy for International and Area Studies Chairperson, Samuel Huntington. One of his other books, "The Clash of Civilizations," was credited with having foreseen the World Trade Center Towers terrorist attack. Now he is foretelling that the United States is threatened with national disintegration because of the
soaring rate of Hispanic immigrants. !Esta loco!

"The single most immediate and serious challenge to America's traditional identity comes from the immense and continuing immigration from Latin America, especially from Mexico, and the fertility rates of these immigrants," writes Huntington, in excerpts of the book in the latest issue of Foreign Policy Magazine. "Will the United States remain a country with a single national language and a core Anglo-Protestant culture?"

The Harvard alum and prof says that by ignoring this question, Americans consent to their eventual
transformation into two peoples with two cultures, Anglo and Hispanics, and two languages, English and Spanish.

Anybody who has traveled through Europe knows that the natives there speak two, three and sometimes four languages. His claim that Mexican Americans pose a bigger threat than Cuban Americans because they are more reluctant to assimilate is quite lame. Go to L.A., San Jose, or Santa Barbara, then prepare to be amazed by the number of people with names such as
Pancho, Miguel or Agapito who don't speak nor understand Spanish!

Holy Virgen de Guadalupe! What Harvard elitist nutball inspired this dude? He also states that Mexican immigrants differ from other immigrants in that they are not assimilating into the U.S. mainstream culture, and that they may one day reclaim the territories that Mexico lost during U.S. military invasions in the 19th century.

I, for one, product of a public school system and state supported universities, had no idea the
proximity to Mexico, combined with my usual assemblage of fellow Chicanos/Latinos and speaking
Spanish/Spanglish/Tex-Mex, Etc. could undermine America!

Here I am, fully participant in the American experiment, a Chicano living the American way of life,
pursuing the American dream, only to realize according to the good professor, that my ancestor's third world roots are mightier than America's First World promise, wow. How pendejo I must seem to Harvard grads!

Huntington claims he is alarmed by the fact that the ratings of Spanish-language television stations have surpassed those of English-language ones in Miami, and that "Jose" has surpassed "Michael" as the most popular name for newborn boys in California.

El profe also can't grasp the idea of Mexican Americans cheering for Mexico in U.S. vs. Mexico
soccer, boxing or baseball events. Huntington also foresees "a major potential threat to the country's
cultural and political integration." Mexico, he insists, may one day try to "assert special rights and
claims to that territory."

Pobre vato-poor dude, this Huntington. He probably watches "his" America from a Boston condo while he gets real nervous about the erosion of what he defines as America's "Anglo-Protestant culture."

But, as seen from here, where many adults speak a language other than English at home, his idea that Latinos in general pose a threat to America is Hispanic hogwash.

On Sept. 12, 2001, he should have come to the Southwest, where American flags as in any other normal U.S. area, waved from most Chicano/Latino-owned SUVs.

Something else, since when is it wrong or sinister to be bilingual and bicultural? Where the hell is it
written that people are biologically limited to speaking only one language?

Lighten up, son of Eurodudes, chill, carnal. A new America is on the horizon, bold and maybe bilingual.

Or multilingual, quien sabe?

I, for one, do choose to believe in this kind of an America. I also extol the creativity of our combined
and diversed human spirits. Huntington's worn-out statistics and anecdotes can in no way show all of us as being part of America's strengths, because his premise is fatalistic. Let no one doubt that I am not dually proud to point out the unique fact that my chosen profession is part of the United States Constitution and guaranteed in the First Amendment, be the language Spanish or English.

You see man, it'd take more than an article from a Harvard professor to cast doubt in my beliefs about the America that my ancestors helped build, protect, and taught me to love.






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