Ignorant or a liar? You decide.
By John Bennett
President Obama did more than just botch American history in his recent speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; he advanced a racial separatist agenda which undermines our cultural solidarity and insults our sovereignty.
In a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the president recently came very close to endorsing a radical, race-based agenda. That agenda is best described as geographic reparations -- a misguided effort to correct past wrongs against the ostensible original Americans by committing present wrongs against real Americans today. In his ethnocentric speech, the president had this incredible factual error to share:
Long before America was even an idea, this land of plenty was home to many peoples. To British and French, to Dutch and Spanish, to Mexicans, to countless Indian tribes. We all shared the same land. [Emphasis added.]
That statement is a falsehood. America was definitely an idea by 1776, if not sooner. There could not have been a single "Mexican" here "before America was even an idea" because Mexico was not a country until 1821. There was no Mexican nation, therefore no "Mexicans" on our land "before America was even an idea."
So what accounts for Obama's eagerness to semantically superimpose Mexican people onto our early territory? There are convincing reasons to believe that Obama meant that today's Mexicans are descended from the rightful owners of part of this country. Allowing them to return via illegal immigration and lax enforcement is simple fairness -- geographic reparations.
The president here is demonstrating a commitment to the precepts of leftist open borders advocates, even La Raza ideology. According to a Tucson teacher who blew the whistle on La Raza ethnic studies courses, La Raza classes cause racial hostility. La Raza literally teaches children that "white teachers" do not want Hispanics to get ahead in life and "that the Southwestern United States was taken from Mexicans because of the insatiable greed of the Yankee, who acquired his values from the corrupted ethos of Western civilization." Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. warned against this "cult of ethnicity" in his classic, The Disuniting of America. La Raza ideology espouses racial resentment and condemns our national sovereignty. Such is the ideological core of geographic reparations.
If the president meant what he said about "Mexicans" being here "[l]ong before America was an idea," then the president shares with La Raza the belief "that the Southwestern United States was taken from Mexicans." This historical fairy tale is no doubt intended to reinforce the notion that someone else was here first and therefore they deserve a measure of compensation. Factually, there were other peoples here first, but the conclusion that we owe Mexicans a debt does not logically follow. Truly open-minded people would compare our tolerant treatment of illegal immigrants to the frequent bloody intolerance of some the North American natives. After all, our Declaration of Independence points to "the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions." King George III's support for those tribes was one of the charges listed against him in the Declaration. Warfare and ritual violence were, as scholars have noted, an integral part of pre-Columbian indigenous life.
We don't owe a blanket apology to the descendants of the "original" inhabitants in any region of the country. Instead, perhaps the descendants of the more -- to use Thomas Jefferson's word -- "merciless" tribes owe us an apology for butchering our early settlers. At the very least, we don't need to pretend that "Mexicans" were here before America was founded.
The problem with that theory is that the people who were here first were not Mexican. There were warring tribes with no Mexican national identity whatsoever, who had themselves been fighting and displacing each other. The brutal territorial conquests of the Iroquois and Osage long predated Columbus. For the president to say that "Mexicans" were here "[l]ong before America was an idea" is a historical fable. He is trying to delegitimize our claims to sovereignty and to make us ashamed of our territorial boundary. From these absurd premises the left builds an entire house of cards, including an open-borders immigration policy.
But that's not what the president, La Raza, and the Hispanic Caucus would lead us to believe. This was "a land of plenty," as the president said, and there were people here before us. "We all shared the same land" then. Because they were here first, then we are not supposed to be so jealous of our borders. In a "land of plenty," there is enough to go around. We can't criticize their return (illegal immigration) too harshly, because the "Mexicans" were here first, as the president reminded us. Since they were here before us, the "Mexicans" have a legitimate claim to return. Once upon a time, "[w]e all shared" this land, and we should share now. Does anyone really think that the president meant something else when he said, "We all shared the same land"? That attitude amounts to geographic reparations.
In the same speech, the president went on to make a comment so self-refuting that it would raise Orwell's eyebrows. The president noted that "what eventually bound us together ... was faith and fidelity to the shared values that we all hold so dear." If we have such splendid shared values, then why does a race-based voting caucus like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus exist? It is disingenuous for the president to sound themes of unity while speaking to a race-based voting group.
Anyone who paid attention to the president's explicit call for race-based voting knows that Obama is uniquely comfortable making racial appeals. The president is steeped in either Kenyan anti-colonial ideology, as Dinesh D'Souza argues, or garden-variety leftism, as Jack Cashill insists. Either way, the president's latest act of racial pandering is an indication of his ideology.
The president's remarks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were an attempt to use history as therapy-placing ethnic pride above historical accuracy or national unity. This was fundamentally race-based pandering. It stigmatizes our national sovereignty. Worst of all, it feeds into the racially-charged philosophy of La Raza.
The president's remarks reflect a troubling disdain for our national sovereignty and our cultural self respect. He is saying we have something to be ashamed of. We should be ashamed of removing those early peoples, and ashamed for not letting as many return as would like to. We need to make up for our original sin by allowing illegal immigration and celebrating the historical distortions of the Hispanic Caucus, as the president did.
Thankfully, we live in a time when more and more people are interested in maintaining their cultural and national heritage...with pride.