Deep down, we’re all Indians

Mr. Simon apologized to me. I accepted, of course. But that said, from him:

If I am setting public policy, I do not have the ability to forge personal relationships and take each man as he is; I must rely on impersonal aggregations such as statistics by race or religion.

By doing so, you judge every man guilty of the crimes you find statistically likely for members of any group of which he can be described as a member. By that standard, NO group deserves membership in society. Discriminating in favour of your own group is special pleading and is antithetical to any honest system of ethics.

Cherokee Racists

A short play by Malcolm the Cynic

SETTING: A Cherokee Indian – Sorry, Native of the North American Continent – is sitting at a table. A white dudebro wearing a scarf, skinny jeans, and hipster glasses walks up to the table.

Dudebro: Hey, make me a member of the Cherokee Indian tribe, a sovereign nation found within the borders of the United States.

Cherokee: Uh, no. You’re white and don’t have a drop of Cherokee DNA inside of you. That means we can’t let you in.

Dudebro: Wow, man, you’re such a racist. By that standard NO group deserves membership in the Cherokee tribe.

Cherokee: But the whole point of the Cherokee nation is that it is made up of Cherokee. OUR people. Otherwise the entire ide- ”

Dudebro: “Holy shit, dude, that’s so racist. Discriminating in favor of your own group is special pleading and antiethical to any honest system of ethics. You must think we’re all, like, subhumans. Next you’ll tell me you don’t want to let in Syrian refugees. Seriously, read a BIBLE sometime. Read about the Good Samuranian. Think about what JESUS would do, man. I mean, holy shit.

Cherokee: Actually, we don’t believe in the Bible –

Dudebro: [Flips up registration table and runs away babbling about racists and Syrian refugees]

THE END

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Deep down, we’re all Indians

  1. Crude says:

    Discriminating in favour of your own group is special pleading

    No, it’s rational. This is like saying that caring about the welfare of your children above others’ is special pleading.

    Somehow, somewhere along the way, everyone has become some kind of weird universalist who is absolutely stunned that a man would put the interests of his family, community or nation above those of others. Damn weird when it’s the same lot who normally complain about the loss of a sense of civic duty.

    and is antithetical to any honest system of ethics.

    Now that there is some proper special pleading.

    • Tom Simon says:

      The first rule of ethics (as C. S. Lewis pointed out) is that a man should act disinterestedly.

      • Crude says:

        The first rule of ethics (as C. S. Lewis pointed out) is that a man should act disinterestedly.

        You’re welcome to your starting points and your foundational assumptions. But you’re also duty bound to recognize them as starting points and assumptions. When you try to pretend that your assumptions and starting points are absolutely everyone’s on pain of committing some ethical foul, you’re engaged in dishonesty – either towards others, or yourself, or both.

  2. Tom Simon says:

    We know what an ethnic Cherokee is. (We also know how to join the Cherokee: Marry one. Pity that spoils your scenario.)

    Now pray tell, what is an ethnic American? What ethnicity is that, exactly?

    • So, you didn’t really mean what you said, since I provided a direct counterexample.

      • Tom Simon says:

        By what kind of pretzel distortion of logic did you derive that from anything I said?

        I asked you what ethnicity an American is. The Cherokee are defined by their ethnicity. If Americans are defined by their ethnicity, then please tell me what that ethnicity is. If they are not, then there is no prima facie reason to suppose that a person of any ethnicity may not qualify to be a perfectly good American.

      • I am referring to the original comment that my post addressed.

      • You said – and I quote – “discriminating in favor of your own group is antiethical to any honest system of ethics”.

        I pointed out a scenario where a group – an Indian tribe – discriminates specifically in favor of their own group.

        Your response was to bring up an entirely different point this post was not meant to address.

      • Tom Simon says:

        I am referring to the original comment that my post addressed.

        The essence of justice is that it must treat of individual cases. A man is not to be punished for the sins of his neighbour, nor judged for his neighbour’s faults. The entire fallacy of the Left ‘Social Justice’ movement is that it believes justice can be meted out in the aggregate to statistical groups of people. You are falling prey to the same fallacy, merely deriving a different false conclusion from it.

        Now, will you stop shirking the issue and tell me what ethnicity an American is? Because without that information, the analogy you have presented has no applicability.

      • Now, will you stop shirking the issue and tell me what ethnicity an American is?

        Will you tell me the price of tea in China? This has nothing to do with the comment I addressed.

        The essence of justice is that it must treat of individual cases.

        Of course. Immigration is not a matter of justice.

      • Tom Simon says:

        I pointed out a scenario where a group – an Indian tribe – discriminates specifically in favor of their own group.

        Membership in that group is defined in a particular way – by biological descent. It is no more possible for a foreigner to become Cherokee than for a cat to become a dog. To the extent that this is merely a recognition of ethnicity, it does no harm. The moment the Cherokee begin to say, ‘Nobody is allowed on this land but those of Cherokee blood,’ they will be committing a grave injustice against the persons they expel on those grounds.

        Membership in the citizenry of the U.S.A. is not determined by biological descent. It is true that the child of two American citizens is an American citizen by birth; but that remains true whether the two parents’ ancestors came from England, Ireland, Germany, Persia, Japan, or Further Nether Mumbo-Land. The test is not heredity, but legal inheritance, which is an entirely different thing.

      • The moment the Cherokee begin to say, ‘Nobody is allowed on this land but those of Cherokee blood,’ they will be committing a grave injustice against the persons they expel on those grounds.

        I am talking not of expulsion, but admission.

        I can also easily bring up other cases where it might be morally obligatory for you to defend your family over another’s if there is an attacker, which also disproves your original point.

        Membership in the citizenry of the U.S.A. is not determined by biological descent.

        Agreed.

      • Tom Simon says:

        Will you tell me the price of tea in China? This has nothing to do with the comment I addressed.

        The fact that you cannot see the relevance does not mean that it is irrelevant. You chose to draw an analogy between an ethnicity determined by parentage and a citizenship determined by chosen allegiance. These things are strictly incommensurable and your analogy therefore has no bearing on my comment. My point, Sir, is that you did not address my comment at all, because your analogy does not obtain.

        Of course. Immigration is not a matter of justice.

        Ah, so you confess right out in the open that you have no objection to treating foreigners unjustly. I see.

      • Ah, so you confess right out in the open that you have no objection to treating foreigners unjustly. I see.

        I deny categorically that choosing who you will or won’t admit into your country is a matter of justice, yes, at least on a general policy level. This is a simplification of a complex issue but I do not, for example, think it is immoral to say “We will no longer take in any Irishmen”, and then not provide a reason for it. I don’t see a good reason we SHOULD at the moment either, but that’s not the point.

        Trumpet that far and wide, as long as you word it precisely the way I have here, rather than paraphrase it; I do not deny it. I expressly state it. Countries, tribes, communities have the right to decide who they will or won’t provide membership to.

      • You chose to draw an analogy between an ethnicity determined by parentage and a citizenship determined by chosen allegiance.

        To make this clear, you would be okay if the French only allowed ethnic Frenchmen to emigrate and settle in France?

        Moreover, you accused the commenter of special pleading. Well, maybe he was; I certainly am not. I have no problem saying that I am quite open to the idea that Italians never should have entered the country. Perhaps that isn’t true, but I could be convinced either way.

      • Tom Simon says:

        I am talking not of expulsion, but admission.

        The people to whom my comment was addressed were, in fact, talking about expulsion. If I were not seriously ill and desperately tired, I would search for the precise comment in which it was advocated that all Americans of an ‘unacceptable’ ethnicity should be segregated from American society and shut up in their own separate countries. I could show, if I had the energy and the time, that this claim is not logically separable from the claim that no further persons of such ethnic origins should be allowed American citizenship.

        So – according to several of our mutual interlocutors – an Irishman, or a Jew, or a Pole, can never be a good American. He may serve in the American army, he may fight and bleed in American wars, he may pay American taxes, obey American laws, and let no other country claim any share of his allegiance; but he cannot be American, because his great-grandfather came from the wrong country. Whereas a man whose great-grandfather came from England can be a perfectly good American, even if he refuses military service, cheats on his taxes, breaks a new law every day, and believes (being brought up on Howard Zinn) that his only true allegiance should be to the Ideal of International Socialism.

      • I could show, if I had the energy and the time, that this claim is not logically separable from the claim that no further persons of such ethnic origins should be allowed American citizenship.

        Saying “More of you should not be allowed here” doesn’t remove any moral or legal obligations to those who are already here. If we’ve promised you the right to live and vote, and your descendants live on this land already, then we owe you that merely as a matter of integrity, for one thing. That doesn’t mean that more people of a certain group should be let in. When you get the time and inclination, feel free to try to make that argument, as I can’t imagine it working. But maybe I’m genuinely missing something.

        I, too, am ill and tired, but internet arguments keep me up as well. I sympathize greatly.

      • Tom Simon says:

        I can also easily bring up other cases where it might be morally obligatory for you to defend your family over another’s if there is an attacker, which also disproves your original point.

        That has nothing to do with my original point. An ethnic group of many millions of people is not a family.

      • Tom Simon says:

        To make this clear, you would be okay if the French only allowed ethnic Frenchmen to emigrate and settle in France?

        No, I would not; because the French have made it very clear in their laws and constitution that the criterion for French citizenship is not French ancestry, but the choice and capacity to fully participate in French culture. There are millions of Frenchmen whose ancestors were Irish, German, Italian, Polish, or for that matter, Algerian or sub-Saharan African; and according to the criteria they have established, they are full Frenchmen. If the French suddenly decided that only those of pure French blood should be allowed citizenship, they would have two choices:

        1. Revoke the citizenship of those French citizens who are not ethnically French. This would be a grave injustice to those who lost their citizenship, for they would become men without a country.
        2. Not revoke the citizenship of such citizens. This would be clear hypocrisy, for it would retain millions of persons on the roll of citizens that were not entitled to such a status. If the basic principles of French law allow Monsieur So-and-So to be a citizen on Tuesday, it is a violation of those principles to deny that citizenship to his twin brother (like him in every respect, including culturally) on Thursday.

      • Tom Simon says:

        I have no problem saying that I am quite open to the idea that Italians never should have entered the country. Perhaps that isn’t true, but I could be convinced either way.

        The particular argument used is that Italians lack some cultural vitamin or moral fibre, present in other nations, such that they can never be assimilated and their descendants will never be good Americans. If I recall your own surname, Sir, that argument would logically entail that you yourself cannot be a good American; and I suspect you would not easily be convinced of that. Nor should you be.

        A key part of Mr. Huntsman’s argument is that assimilation does not and cannot occur, because we see among us immigrants who have not assimilated. But we also see among us (and they are the great majority of the population in both your country and mine) people descended from immigrants, who have fully assimilated and are not distinguishable from their fellow Americans (or, in my case, Canadians) except by accidents of personal appearance.

        By the way, I find it sourly amusing that nobody has yet offered an objection to immigration by Englishmen; they are the one ‘racial’ stock that seems to be exempt from all fears that it might not be assimilable into American life. Yet the English themselves are an amalgam of Welshmen, Scotsmen, Irishmen, Germans, Danes, Frenchmen, Norwegians, Dutchmen, Flemings, and Walloons, with admixtures from nearly every other country under the sun. There is no such thing as a ‘racial’ Englishmen; they are mongrels of a slightly different mixture than Americans.

        I have been seeing a therapist for some months now. His surname is Sciascia, and he looks just like a bust of a Roman Emperor; Central Italy is stamped indelibly on his physiognomy. But his family were long settled in Manchester, and in culture, attitudes, and speech, he is entirely English. He is not an Italian immigrant to Canada, but an English immigrant, and it would be silly to treat him otherwise.

        Incidentally, part of the argument is that immigrants tend to be more Leftist than native-born Americans; that you are importing a terrible Communist fifth column. This view, to put it mildly, does not well account for Portuguese immigrants like Sarah A. Hoyt, or Indian immigrants like the Jindal family. In my own experience, the staunchest anti-Marxists (and anti-Leftists generally) have often been immigrants from Eastern Bloc countries, who have seen firsthand what terrible destruction is wrought upon a nation by the policies of Marx and Lenin. I believe we need more people like them, who love liberty and know from what quarter it is threatened. If we are not growing them at home, I say, let us import them, no matter what country they were born in. But first we need to set our own house in order; we need to reassert the primacy of our own principles in our own land. As it is, the authorities are liable to choose precisely those immigrants who are most likely to help them in their treasonous mission of destroying a society of free men; and those immigrants are assimilated, not into the general culture of the U.S. (or Canada), but into the specific school-taught culture that hates America, hates liberty, and holds that the destruction of our way of life is the sole and sufficient precondition for the realization of Utopia.

        I hope this helps you to understand my position better.

      • If I recall your own surname, Sir, that argument would logically entail that you yourself cannot be a good American; and I suspect you would not easily be convinced of that.

        You’d be surprised. I wonder that myself occasionally, though I’d fight if drafted (well, in theory; the seizure disorder makes this unrealistic).

        In any case, I think that the argument that Italians should not have been admitted en masse could be made for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with moral fibre. And I do believe it is possible for cultures to assimilate; after a certain period of time, most will.

        I believe we need more people like them, who love liberty and know from what quarter it is threatened.

        I have quite a lot to say about the subject of liberty and threats to it, but the short answer is that anybody who will fight for Christian civilization is an ally to me.

        Thank you for stating your position clearly; as will happen sometimes, we probably agree, if not on everything, about more than we disagree. It’s always nice to discover that is the case (as it has not always been with me in the past). My views tend to be so idiosyncratic and patchwork, formed from a variety of sources, that one way or another I will rub practically everyone the wrong way at one point. I got admittedly snarky in one of my posts, but I never meant to take any insult too far about a man I have so much personal respect for.

      • Crude says:

        The particular argument used is that Italians lack some cultural vitamin or moral fibre, present in other nations, such that they can never be assimilated and their descendants will never be good Americans.

        The argument is that culture and ethnicity, matter. They are not some imaginary category cooked up by hypothetical monsters who just need to be suspicious for the sake of being suspicious.

        That these things impact the ability to be a good American is absolutely evident, which would be why you see throngs of protesters screaming ‘America was never great!’ and ‘Make America Mexico again!’ and raising up Mexican flags. It’s why you see hostility towards recognizing English as the language of America, or even making fluency in the language a requirement.

        But we also see among us (and they are the great majority of the population in both your country and mine) people descended from immigrants, who have fully assimilated and are not distinguishable from their fellow Americans (or, in my case, Canadians) except by accidents of personal appearance.

        Canadians? You mean the Quebecois, who have assimilated so damn well that they routinely make a go at separatism? Who speak French to this day and have successfully bullied the rest of your damn amusing nation into requiring it in all manner of situations? Canada isn’t an example of the powers of assimilation – it contains examples of some of the most comprehensive failures of it, even when the people in question are all largely white.

        Of course, we’ve also got blacks in America – complete with their own culture, their own values, and yes, their own closely-guarded ethnic priorities, despite their being here for one hell of a long time. To say that the average black person is utterly indistinguishable from the average white person save for the accident of skin color, without which there would be no difference, is insanity. Every bit as insane as saying that there’s no difference between northerners and southerners, which is where another bit of division has popped up. Come to think of it, that division led to a full blown civil war at one point – and the differences in that case were far smaller in many ways than some of the differences we’re currently inviting. Do you think it may lead to another problem someday?

        Or are you going to tell me that every goddamn American is the same and they all have the same culture because everyone’s assimilated and no one can tell them apart?

        By the way, I find it sourly amusing that nobody has yet offered an objection to immigration by Englishmen; they are the one ‘racial’ stock that seems to be exempt from all fears that it might not be assimilable into American life. Yet the English themselves are an amalgam of Welshmen, Scotsmen, Irishmen, Germans, Danes, Frenchmen, Norwegians, Dutchmen, Flemings, and Walloons, with admixtures from nearly every other country under the sun.

        I notice that ‘Amalgam’ even in the UK has Scots trying to gain independence for themselves, and Irish who have fought damn hard for the same. So much for ‘ethnicity doesn’t matter’.

        Carve out the England portion of the Englishmen and you may argue that they’re still an ‘admixture’ if you go back far enough. But it was an admixture that was close to begin with, and overseen for a damn long time by a combination of borders and absolutely enforced cultural priorities – a few hundred years of that, if you can manage it, and you can forge a distinct ethnicity, complete with rather common traits and priorities and even genetics throughout the population.

        These things -matter-. It’s not the stuff of fantasy to suppose that genetics matter and culture matters and that one should be cautious when dealing with the mass immigration of people who differ on those fronts.

        Nor is it some kind of wicked evil to suggest that a person’s loyalty often is – and hell, often should be – to their family, their neighbors, their culture, and even their ethnicity, first and foremost. I recall CS Lewis was no globalist – he was an Englishman. Hell, even his religion – right or wrong – was a distinctly English one. ‘Anglican’. I wonder what the etymology of that is?

      • Crude says:

        By the way, one additional comment about all this.

        My great grandparents immigrated to the US in a time where plane travel wasn’t available, boat travel was long and arduous, and cross-continent communication was primitive at best. They grew up in a land that was overwhelmingly english-speaking, united by general religious sentiment and outlook.

        That world is gone, gents. Now, we have people migrating en masse from specific locales. One of those locales is on our border – weekend trips to ‘the old country’ are commonplace. For those who have immigrated from another continent, plane travel makes it possible to go home and visit routinely. For those who don’t want to do that, communication with everyone living at home is instantaneous and omnipresent.

        My grandparents barred speaking in their native tongue while at home. In their view, everyone was American now, and Americans speak English. That’s gone as well; now people happily talk about raising their children in their native tongue, in communities that largely speak that tongue, and how America is a bilingual country. It is not uncommon to see American neighborhoods where there’s not a lick of English on any sign, or if there is, it’s broken and a whole lot more prominent than any English.

        The point is that talking about supposed past successes with assimilation not only are far from evident (see: Quebec), but whatever successes there may have been are a hell of a lot harder to replicate now.

      • I will end my comments by merely saying that I will concede to having left out the correct context of this post.

        But I think my criticism of Mr. Simon’s comments from the previous post basically stands.

  3. TWS says:

    Interesting you bring up the Cherokee because one tribe of Cherokee did just that. They expelled former slaves who have for generations been considered Cherokee. Every group has a right to decide who or who is not a member. Marrying someone does not make you a member of that tribe. It might not even make your children members if they do not meet the other requirements such as place of birth or blood quantum.

    Indian tribes are not a good example for open border advocates. I personally believe America to be over crowded. Only two nations on Earth have larger populations and nobody advocates adding endless huddled masses to either of those nations. And rightly so.

    Americans have the right and duty to decide who becomes American. We owe it to precisely nobody to make them citizens nor to allow them to residency of any kind. We must use some screening process. Freezing immigration until we can vet people properly is a good start.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s