Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Clarence Page on Black immigrants

I saw this editorial in the Sunday Southern and thought it was worth your time to read it. Here is a quote that has held my attention -
But I also think we need to revisit the meaning of "diversity." Unlike our current system of feel-good game-playing, we need to focus on the deeper question of how education can be improved and opportunities opened up to those who were left behind by the civil rights revolution.
What do you think, are African immigrants the smartest Americans? If we use Salah Mohammad as our guide, the answer is self evident.

If Clarence Page taught in the SIU history department, would the "Gang of 8" be after him for being so politically incorrect?

Your comments are welcome.


Jonathan Bean said...


How timely! I have a new book forthcoming _Race and Liberty: The Classical Liberal Tradition of Civil Rights_ which has lots of entries on the tradition of open immigration (as in no quotas, no discrimination against different countries, etc.). Businessmen and classical liberals (not so-called "Progressives") defended open borders right up to the Immigration Quota Act of 1924. Even today there are limits backed by both Right and Left. I'm old school: Let them in! America did fine before 1924, we need immigrants more than ever. Besides, they often retain the traditional "American" virtues (self-reliance, hard work, pursuit of hard sciences) that native-born X-box players have lost.

It was interesting to see a comment by Bill Gates (not one of my favorite persons, cough, cough) before Congress: He said it wasn't realistic but he didn't think there should be any limits on immigration!

We've come a long way from "send blacks back to Africa" to "bring Africans to America." Both the Right and Left oppose massive immigration, however, because it threatens their base: Labor unions (on the Left), nativism on the Right.

They are both wrong.

As for certain corners of SIUC, I suppose this only shows I am a "running dog shill for corporate-fascist America." Ha, ha.

I find all the anonymous posts amusing. Hit and run under the cover of night. Be a man (or woman) and post your name, for Pete's sake. Then when we all meet, we can continue some of our conversations. :-)

Jonathan Bean

P.S.: I'm not into signing "open letters" but I did sign one on immigration so Googlers should find it out there under the auspices of the Independent Institute.

James said...


I think it is true that many SIU profs have a liberal tilt, however this is true of many if not most public state universities. I get tired of hearing about the Left Vs. Right argument. It's always the simplistic us vs them arguement that garners the most attention. I think this makes a great story but it over simplifies the issue.

There are republicans who act liberal and democrats who act more conservative. Just compare the West Coast Right Wingers to the the Southern Right Wingers or the Left Wingers in the South to the ones on the East Coast. It's all relative. Don't you think these broad generalizations fail to get the whole picture? I know this post is of the subject but I wanted to see what you response would be to this line of thinking.

Jonathan said...

Well, since I identified myself as neither Right or Left, I can't disagree. However, I think there is some utility to those terms, if one understands the variances.

Personally, I am a classical liberal -- a term, alas, that Americans do not understand.

I spend an entire course on issue of defining conservatism, liberalism, change over time, etc. so I know where you are coming from. Ideology DOES exist, however, and there are well-defined subcategories of political thought. They aren't neat but they are comprehensible.

For an email blog, however, I use those terms to show that self-described Right and Left, Dems and Republicans are both wrong on this issue. (Staying on topic).