As the riots in France taper off to the destruction of a mere 100 cars a night or so, we wonder if that kind of widespread, large-scale civil strife can happen here.
Conquest of Aztlan, a 2001 film now available through WorldNetDaily (www.worldnetdaily.com), suggests that America is inching toward the brink of such a crisis.
France has millions of disenfranchised Muslim immigrants to contend with — more specifically, a barbarian horde of tens of thousands of unemployed young men who don’t speak the language, haven’t assimilated into French culture, feel no love or loyalty for their adopted country, and have nothing better to do than torch cars. The world media has strenuously denied any Muslim/jihad motivation for these riots, as has the French government — cries of Allahu akbar! notwithstanding. But whether they’re motivated by jihad or just plain thuggery is probably immaterial to their victims.
Conquest of Aztlan warns that America now plays unwilling host to millions of illegal immigrants from Mexico — who don’t speak our language, don’t respect our laws, and are determined to make mischief.
Aztlan is an Aztec word denoting a mythical homeland. As used by Chicano separatists today, it refers to a future “Latino republic” to be created by prying loose from the United States several states that used to belong to Mexico — California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.
“Mexico is recovering territory from the United States by means of a massive, uncontrolled invasion of illegal immigrants,” says the film’s writer and producer, Glenn Spencer of AmericanPatrol.com.
“We’re recolonizing America,” says Jose Gutierrez, an Aztlan activist who’s also an officer of the United Auto Workers. “We’re going to take back what is ours.”
Vive la Difference
Before we can decide how worried we should be, we ought to acknowledge the differences between America’s situation and France’s.
The United States has a long history of absorbing large numbers of immigrants from all over the world, and has, if anything, profited by it. France has no such experience.
Mexicans come to America, legally or illegally, because they can find work here. There are very few jobs available in France’s stagnant socialist economy, especially to young Muslim men.
Most of the Mexican immigrants are Christian, as are most of America’s citizens. France, a hollow secularist society that used to be Christian but isn’t anymore, now sees Muslim immigrants accounting for up to 10% of her population. As we have seen all over Europe, secularism and Islam is not a happy mix.
Conquest of Aztlan opens with a disclaimer reminding its audience not to take out its frustrations on Mexicans who are here legally, either as temporary workers or naturalized citizens. The disclaimer points to something important: most of the Mexicans in our country are no more a problem than peaceful immigrants from India, China, or anywhere else.
Making Us Mad
Granting that we are in a better position vis a vis our Mexican immigrants than France is toward her Muslims from North Africa, should we be worried at all?
Conquest uses video images and sound bites with a high emotional content to make its viewers angry — and it succeeds. Most of us share sinful mankind’s natural xenophobia, and it’s easy to give in to it when confronted with images of crowds of foreigners trooping over our borders illegally, mobs of angry Mexicans demanding drivers’ licenses and in-state college tuition for illegals, and, to top it all off, images of September 11 — as if Mexicans had anything to do with that!
We are also treated to speeches by Mexican politicians on both sides of the border, shady union leaders, and Chicano separatists threatening to dismember our country. We are informed that the Mexican government issues “border crossing kits” to illegal immigrants, allows them to vote in Mexican elections while they’re in the USA, and even gives them their own representatives in the legislature — all the while closing Mexico’s borders to illegal immigrants from Central America and coming down hard on those who do get in. None of this is likely to breed a spirit of conciliation in an American audience.
To add to our exasperation, we are reminded that our own government, from President Bush on down, has been inexplicably flaccid when it comes to securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws. Is there anyone in America who understands Mr. Bush’s thinking on illegal immigration? If there is a solid reason for his reluctance to address the problem, our president has yet to reveal it. Meanwhile, Mexico’s president, Vicente Fox, seems to go out of his way to make unreasonable demands on America’s tolerance.
Finally, Conquest takes pains to examine Mexican domination of labor unions, especially in California. The unions are presented as the foot soldiers of the Aztlan movement: “They take orders without question, speak only Spanish, and do what they’re told.” That many of the union leaders are shown fanning the flames of Chicano separatism at mass rallies is hardly comforting.
Separating the Issues
As mad as all this makes us, we must still try to think about it rationally. There are issues involved here that must be considered separately and not lumped together.
Do we have a right to have immigration laws and enforce them strictly? Of course.
Do we have a right, even an obligation, to limit immigration to sustainable levels, refusing to place unbearable burdens on our economy, our schools, and our police forces? Certainly.
Do we have a survival need, in wartime, to control traffic across our borders? Without a doubt.
Do we have a right to remain in possession of territories originally obtained as spoils of war, which have since been woven seamlessly into the fabric of our nation?
If we did not have such a right, we’d have no right to the remainder of our country, either. After all, the entire continent used to belong to the American Indians. By that standard, Mexico is also an interloper. How far back in history must we go in search of a just status quo ante? Should the English give back Britain to the Welsh? Should the Turks return Istanbul — or even the whole of Turkey — to the Greeks?
The Aztlan position is simply absurd. What if the United States, in a fit of suicidal do-goodism, were to hand over 20 states to the Chicano separatists? After they’d succeeded in turning them into another impoverished, corrupt, Third World despotism, where would they go for jobs and freedom? Converting California to a province of Mexico would only, in the long run, turn it into Mexico. And if Mexico were all that great a place to live, the illegals wouldn’t be coming here in the first place.
Conquest, by playing on our emotions, muddies the waters. Accepting legal immigrants from Mexico and ensuring that they obey our laws like anybody else is not the same thing as surrendering to the Aztlan crowd. We need not listen to demagogues who accuse us of “racism” and “oppression” whenever we insist on our sovereign right to control immigration — a right exercised by Mexico itself and every other country in the world.
We should not let what’s happening in France scare us. Nor should we overreact to flamboyant rhetoric by Chicano separatists. If a few Mexican politicians indulge in pipe dreams of expanding a Mexican Reich to embrace the Sudetenland of California, we can safely ignore it — unless, of course, Vicente Fox himself starts making Hitleresque speeches. But it’s doubtful he would ever go that far.
We are all sojourners here (Ps. 39:12; 1 Pet. 1:17), and it behooves us to exercise humanity, tolerance, and Christian forbearance — something which France has notably failed to do, and to her cost.
By all means let us secure our borders, enforce our laws, and stand up for our rights. But let’s not let the Aztlan extremists stampede us into any actions we might later regret.
- Lee Duigon
Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.
Lee has his own blog at www.leeduigon.com.