Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Condeleezza Gets It Exactly Wrong

In anticipation of the May Day protests by illegal aliens in the US, Adam Kidron, son of a wealthy Marxist radical publisher and a UK citizen, orchestrated and released a Spanish language version of the US National Anthem (Mr. Kidron’s ideological lineage is ably exposed by the indispensable Steve Sailer). Kidron’s ideological interest in promoting an alternative version of the anthem almost certainly coincides with the motives of the organizers of the protests, who choose May Day (the International Socialist Workers holiday, celebrated by every Marxist hellhole on Earth – from which, ironically, actual workers flee at every opportunity). President Bush, sensing either that his poll numbers were nosediving too fast, or that the Spanish language anthem gave away the logical conclusion of his border policy (better for Americans to wait twenty years for the nifty surprise ending), hastily rejected the new anthem, saying he preferred the anthem (though apparently nothing else) to remain in English. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, however, either hadn’t received the morning’s talking points, or was still regurgitating the administration’s multiculturalist spin when she demurred, saying the Spanish language version was just fine:

In contrast to Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seems accepting of different versions of "The Star-Spangled Banner": "I’ve heard the national anthem done in rap versions, country versions, classical versions. The individualization of the American national anthem is quite under way."

Ms. Rice’s statement nicely illustrates the intellectual vacuum that currently presides at the White House. Nations or cultures may be composed of individuals, but they are held together by common ideas, traditions, values and symbols. These supplement the more basic elements that unite cultures: race, religion and language. America has – with great difficulty – managed to somewhat transcend (or convinced itself that it has) race and religion, but only because there is an overwhelming majority of Christians and whites. As the proportion of other races and non-Christian religions grow, the tensions are likely to increase, and unity to splinter along ethnic and religious lines. But trying to accommodate a diversity of languages will likely be the end of the whole charade. If people can’t understand each other, they are as effectively separated as if living on opposite sides of a great wall. The huge numbers of Spanish-speaking immigrants pouring illegally across the US-Mexico border allow them to resist the natural tendency toward cultural and linguistic assimilation. They live in Spanish-speaking communities, served by Spanish-speaking media, corporations and government bureaucrats. They are quite capable of living their daily lives without learning English. The overwhelming need to learn English – which formerly compelled Italian, Polish, Russian, Chinese, German, French, etc., immigrants to learn English – does not exist for Spanish-speaking immigrants. True, their failure to learn English cuts them off from the higher reaches of education and commerce, but this only reinforces their cultural isolation, which will eventually turn into hostility toward the English speaking majority, leaving a country balkanized between increasingly radicalized ethnic groups.

So when Ms. Rice speaks of the "individualization" of the anthem, she makes a fundamental error. The symbols of shared cultural or national identity resist individualization because to individualize them defeats their unifying purpose. The national anthem is meant to unite Americans, to inspire feelings of pride and unity in the commonly-held ideal of America. Language is a powerful means of shared cultural identity. Multiple languages are a true sign of diversity – or in this case, disunity. That may be with Mr. Kidron and those behind the May Day protests want to promote. One hopes it is not what Ms. Rice and the administration want, even if it is the logical outcome of their policies.


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