Diversity is destructive of republics and tyrannies too for that matter. Consider the Soviet Union's and Yugoslavia's breakups into their previous constituent nations. The centrifugal force of race, language, religion and culture overwhelmed these dictatorships. Catherine the Great invited Germans to settle on Russia's steppes in the Volga, but eventually differences between the cultures led them to emigrate. Mexico cleverly invited Americans into its Texas territory to tame the land and act as a buffer against the ferocious Comanche. Result? Texans revolted against Mexico. Race, language, religion and customs were the usual culprits.
Practically everywhere there's a great deal of friction whenever a discrete, sizable population lives with or in another population. Evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein blames genetics: all people prefer their own to strangers. That's normal and universal.
Philosopher William Ernest Hocking noted that different societies “will not have the same heroes, the same prides and prestiges, the same ambitions, the same conceptions of property (and therefore of law).” Even ideas of family and religion may differ. This has been a truism since the earliest tribes beat each other with sticks and stones. Aristotle thought that a people's location, customs, religion and forms of government made possible the basis of community and hence a foundation for common agreement and harmony.
Until now. As western civilization winds down it has developed not xenophobia—how could it be so charged given the tens of millions of immigrants it allows?—but oikophobia: fear of the familiar and of one's own. Oikophilia is now considered racist despite its universality. Time was, the immigrants at Ellis Island were eager for a new American life. So eager, many Anglicized their names to better achieve the goal of becoming American. Citizenship wasn't automatic since they were screened for disease and questioned to see if they would be a public charge. Now we let illegals in with COVID and other diseases to roam at will.
Any people would resent a large influx of strangers set on (intentionally or not) changing their customs and mores. While bigots hold Americans as unique racists the truth is that no country would be pleased to have a flood of Norwegians, Belarusians, or what have you entering its borders and changing its traditions.
The flow of immigrants is virtually one way—from the Third World to the First—for good reason. Their homelands are swamps of corruption, poverty, and oftentimes crime. That's why Representative Ilhan Omar's ingratitude toward America is so galling. Wouldn't it be nice to just once hear her say something like “America has its problems, but what a wonderful life it has extended to me.”
The Forum featured Somali-American Hukun Dabar in an article on North Dakota diversity. He perfectly represents many modern immigrants' attitude: America and North Dakota are racist and unjust. So why did he leave his homeland, people and culture? Because he believed, correctly, he'd be better off here. Grateful? Not at all. Arrogant? Completely. He states: “This is the future of North Dakota, whether you like it or not.” We're not supposed to notice that we were just slapped in the face by a guest. He may be an American citizen, but as long as he hates this country he will never be American.
Nelson lives in Casselton, N.D., and is a regular contributor to The Forum’s opinion page. Email him at email@example.com.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.