In 1973, the prize-winning French novelist Jean Raspail published The Camp of the Saints. An English language edition appeared in 1975 to general acclaim. Publishers Weekly declared the book to be 'remarkable...riveting.' The Wall Street Journal's Edmond Fuller said, 'Sensational.' Linell Smith in the Baltimore Sun said, 'No reader will remain unaffected by the questions it raises.' The Library Journal said, 'This book will succeed in shocking and challenging the complacent contemporary mind.'
Mr. Raspail's story is about the arrival on the ritzy Mediterranean coast of France of an armada of 100 decrepit ships carrying 800,000 Indians. By the time the fleet arrives, the French government, which has tracked the voyage hour by hour, has collapsed in a paroxysm of white guilt. The Indians come ashore unopposed. Others follow. France disappears and, also, all of Europe.
The San Francisco Chronicle called Mr. Raspail's tale 'audacious and imaginative fiction.' A quarter-century later, Mr. Raspail's fiction is hard news.
Early last Saturday morning, February 17, a decrepit ship, the Cambodian-registered East Sea, loaded with 1,000 Iraqi Kurds packed shoulder to shoulder, was intentionally beached in a sandbank about 20 yards off Boulouris Beach near the resort of Nice.
The French seem ecstatic over the arrival. 'It's a miracle that these people are here,' declared Jean-Jacques Raymond. 'We are going to feed them, give them water and let them rest.'
Feed stray cats and you will have a menagerie. Provide welfare and you will attract clients. How many ships laden with human cargo will follow the East Sea? Will real life now follow The Camp of the Saints? To reach France, Third World invaders must cross seas. To reach the United States, Mexicans only have to walk across the border. Hordes of them do. Harvard Professor Samuel P. Huntington, author of The Clash of Civilizations, says, 'Mexican immigration is a unique, disturbing and looming challenge to our cultural integrity, our national identity and potentially to our future as a country.'
'If over one million Mexican soldiers crossed the border,' Mr. Huntington says, 'Americans would treat it as a major threat to their national security and react accordingly.' Why then do we not react as vigorously to the invasion of one million Mexican civilians?
The answer, Mr. Huntington says, is that Americans are brain-washed by two half-truths. One half-truth is that we are a nation of immigrants. The other is that our commonality is creedal. That is, our national identity is defined by political belief, not by religion, race, or culture.
Mr. Huntington notes that there is a basic distinction and fundamental difference between settlers and immigrants. The United States originated as a settler nation. It was Anglo-Protestant settlers who cast the die and created the United States. Immigrants came later. Immigrants came for personal reasons - to take advantage of the opportunity an open society offered a person to get ahead.
Until 1965, immigration worked, because it was European, and immigrants assimilated to the settlers' culture. Now the question is, 'What do immigrants assimilate to?'
Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz thinks Mr. Huntington is asking the wrong question. He looks at it the other way round and seems to say the settlers must assimilate to the immigrants' cultures; otherwise, we are violating civil-rights laws and discriminating against foreign races and creeds.
In the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Dershowitz takes umbrage that 'the very first act of the new Bush administration was to have a Protestant minister dedicate the inauguration, invoking 'the Father, the Son - the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.' Mr. Dershowitz says this is 'particularistic and parochial language' and excludes 'the tens of millions of Americans who are Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists, agnostics and atheists.'
After thiry-five years of non-white, non-European immigration, the American settlers' culture is no longer the basis for assimilation. It is a particularistic culture and no longer provides a basis for national unity. To require immigrants to assimilate to this culture would, Mr. Dershowitz says, coerce them into violating their own creeds.
The multicultural approach to civil rights does not support assimilation. To make immigrants assimilate is to deny their authenticity and constitutes a form of harassment. Multicultural intellectuals and Democratic politicians have turned immigration into cultural invasion that uses civil-rights laws to attack the settlers' culture.
As he so often does, Mr. Dershowitz has put the matter clearly. Because of the massive Third World immigration that Ted Kennedy and the Democratic Party deceived the country into accepting, our culture has become divisive and can no longer be practiced, at least not in public, by the President. Unity is out the window. The settlers' culture is just another interest group that must lobby in Washington for its share of the spoils.