Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Steyn on immigration

After years of avoiding the topic, Mark Steyn seems to have finally taken a stand on the issue of immigration. He writes:

Two generations ago, America, Canada, Australia and the rest of the developed world took it as read that a sovereign nation had the right to determine which, if any, foreigners it extended rights of residency to. Now only Japan does. Everywhere else, opposition to mass immigration is “nativist”, and expressing a preference for one group of immigrants over another is “racist”. Even though 40 years ago governments routinely distinguished between Irish and Bulgar, Indian and Somali, now all that matters is to demonstrate your multicultural bona fides even unto societal suicide, as if immigration is like a UN peacekeeping operation – one of those activities in which you have no “national interest”.

“It’s overblown that suddenly Islam is going to spread across the nation,” a candidate for Canada’s socialist New Democratic Party said on the radio the other day. “And, if it does, so what?” Jens Orback, the then “Integration Minister” of Sweden (and pity the land that needs such a cabinet official), was less devil-may-care. On Sveriges Radio five years ago, he advised his fellow Swedes to “be nice to Muslims while we’re in the majority so that they’ll be nice to us when they’re in the majority.” Another “Integration Minister”, Armin Laschet of North Rhine-Westphalia, tells his fellow Germans that “in our cities 30-40 per cent of children have an immigrant background. It will be them who will sustain this country in 20 years.”

Very few Swedes knowingly voted for societal self-extinction, yet in barely a third of century it’s become a fait accomplis. And in a politically correct world there is no acceptable form of public discourse in which to object to it. This is the triumph of the left’s assault on language. As my colleague John Derbyshire put it in another context: Better dead than rude.

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