Extremism in Pursuit of Virtue is a Vice

ONE MAN’S OPINION-Perhaps the worst evil that flows from Group Rights is the belief that extremism in pursuit of ideological purity is laudable. It results in the burning of witches at the stake, expulsion of Jews from one European country after another, the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust and a gazillion individual evils like the crucifying of Matthew Shepard on a windy hill top in Wyoming, not to mention Trump’s cowardly attack upon Transgender individuals in his belief that they are weak and he can trample them into the dust. 

The seeds of intolerance thrive when politicos till the soil of racism. Both the GOP and the Dems are eyebrow deep in ginning up their base. Trump’s border wall has nothing to do with immigration, drugs, or terrorism. It has everything to do with playing up the GOP Group Right’s theme that America is under attack by Hispanics. Trump has equated Hispanics with murderers, narco-drug traffickers, and terrorists which his beloved Wall will deter. 

Only a fool cannot see his game plan. Since illegal immigration is way, way down, since drugs seldom come across the desert but come through ports of entry and less than 2/100th of 1% of alleged terrorists have come across the Southern border, once Trump gets any of his wall built, he will scream about how illegal immigration is down and how few drugs are coming across the border and terrorists are not crossing from Mexico. 

Racism Begets Racism 

Racism on the Right spurred racism on the Left which legitimized racism on the Right which spurred more racism on the Left which stimulated more Right Wing racism which strengthened Leftist Wing racism, etc. 

The Tom Brokaw Story 

After quoting people who said that they did not want “brown grandbabies” and then urging Hispanics to try harder at assimilation, Brokaw was assailed and since then, I have not seen him on NBC. Let’s look at what he said: 

  • He quoted conservatives in a context which made clear he was quoting them, and he did not agree with them, i.e. the “brown grandbabies” quote. 

There is something serious wrong when a man who has been a news caster for over 50 years reports what people have said to him and is then castigated as if those were his views. 

  • Hispanics should try harder to assimilation: Here, Brokaw was expressing his own opinion and he fell for the simplistic notion, which I have criticized since the 1960s, that Hispanics do not do enough to Americanize themselves. Looking at the language preferences of the most recent immigrant group which is still coming the U.S. and comparing them to Jews, Italians, Polish, Germans, etc. who came generations ago was absurd in the 1960s and is still a mistake that no educated person should make now. 

I recall one study I saw in the later 1960s from Cal Poly Pomona which concluded that Mexican Americans (who in those in days were often called Chicanos) did not have upward mobility. The study was performed by a Mexican-American and he based his conclusion on the 12th Street and Cherryville barrios in Pomona. His study, however, excluded any family members who moved away from 12th Street or Cherryville to some middle-class place like the Clarabouya in Claremont. Duh. Of course, he found no upward mobility as he eliminated from his study Mexican-American families who moved out of the barrios. It is not only the Tom Brokaws who make foolish mistakes. 

The Discussion of Assimilation Is Legitimate 

First, “Hispanics” do not exist. Out of vast ignorance, both the GOP and the Dems have manufactured a group called Hispanics, which seems to be replacing Latinos. The groups which are corralled under this label are extraordinarily diverse. It includes Californios who started California and early settlers in New Mexico in the 1500s. Tubac, Arizona was founded in 1752 as a Spanish military fort, and Santa Fe was founded 1610. Descendants of these families are lumped with Cubans who came here in the 21th Century. In brief, “Hispanics” is a fake group created by the Dem Group Rights Identity Politics agenda. 

Second, in a nation based on inalienable rights, people may assimilate, but the Declaration made the Pursuit of Happiness an inalienable right. Thus, the concept of “forced assimilation” where Spanish is forbidden is an anathema. Likewise, forcing people to live in certain parts of town by de jure or de facto government policies deprives people of their inalienable rights, e.g. Los Angeles’ anti-minority gentrification. 

Third, “Hispanic” assimilation does not seem to differ from that of other groups that have come to America over the centuries. Every individual has the inalienable right to assimilate or to not assimilate according to his or her own concept of Pursuit of Happiness. 

No One Is Safe When the Group Rights Juggernaut Holds Sway 

On the other hand, the GOP in California seems to have reached back to 15th or 16th Century Spain to resurrect the Jesuit race purity theory (Spain’s first anti-converso legislation of 1449 and the Jesuit decree that legalized the converso discrimination in 1593) so that Jews and others who “refuse Jesus Christ” have fewer rights than Christians. Jews, however, are a disfavored group by both the GOP and by the Dems. See the Washington Examiner [[[  https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/king-tlaib-ellison-and-more-an-awful-night-for-jews-and-metoo ]]]  (November 7, 2018), “King, Tlaib, Ellison, and more: An awful night for Jews and #MeToo,” by Tiana Lowe. (WE is owned by Media DC, a subsidiary of Clarity Media Group, which is owned by Philip Anschutz.) 

For Trump, Jews are “globalists” and people who marched in the Tiki torch parade in Charlotte chanting “Jews shall not replace us” are “very fine people.” Jews are berated by both GOP and the Dems in Congress and Jews are pushed out of the Leftist Woman’s March. Thus, we can expect Gov. Gavin Newsom to continue to fight to make California safe for anti-Semites. 

The Handwriting on the Wall is Large and Clear 

We have reached a way-station before Right Wing and Left Wing Group Rights plunge us into more destructive violence. The likelihood of either party’s eschewing race baiting in order to raise money and garner votes is the null set. 

(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams’ views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.