Thomas Sowell
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The movement of immigrants is overwhelmingly from other cultures to Western cultures. Virtually the whole human race has voted with their feet as to which economic and other benefits they prefer to have. The problem is that the cultural baggage of the immigrants is often incompatible with the culture which produces the benefits they seek.

At one time, it was possible to assimilate immigrants into the existing culture, even if there were sometimes painful transitions. Today, the intelligentsia's dogmas of cultural equality and the ugly political reality of ethnic identity politics make this much less likely. Keeping various groups separate, aggrieved and hostile to American society is a major activity, promoted by ideological movements and funded by leading foundations and even by government programs.

In addition, the sheer magnitude of today's immigration into Western countries threatens to overwhelm any society's ability to absorb so many strangers and so many incompatible cultures. As just one example, the virtue of tolerance has been extended to cultures that are unabashedly intolerant. As Pat Buchanan says, try setting up a Christian church in Istanbul!

Do we want to import people who are preaching hatred toward other American groups, such as the Jews, who are already here? If we Balkanize America, incessant repetition of the word "diversity" will not save us from the fate of the Balkans.

No such questions are likely to be raised in the mainstream media or in our colleges and universities, much less in the political arena. That is why it would be necessary to try to invent Pat Buchanan if he did not exist. The issues are just too big, and too momentous in their implications, to pass over in squeamish silence. Some of Buchanan's solutions are questionable, but his great service has been in presenting the problem.

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Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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