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Who Are works of Huntington is best characterized as We?is one of a small number of volumes that a theory of fear.Sometimes, Mexican (and more generally immigrants), or the argument is formulated in basically ana-Muslim (and more generally foreigners)—just lytical terms: If the required vigorousas certain films seem at first glance to be responses to the particular challenge at handworks of art but actually appeal to prurient are not forthcoming, various calamities willinterests.Should one treat such works the ensue (e.g., the U. will lose a large part ofway one treats any other serious book?As anybody who has participated in a debate or political campaign should recommit themselves to the knows, the battle is half won or lost accord- Anglo-Protestant culture, traditions, and ing to who chooses the issues on which to values that for three and a half centuries focus and the terms through which these have been embraced by Americans of all issues will be sorted out. xvii) and Anglo they become, his thesis has already won half of the debate.Thus, if one follows races, ethnicities, and religions and that Huntington, implicitly accepting that good have been the source of their liberty, uni- Americans are Anglo-Protestants and that ty, power, prosperity, and moral leader- Mexican immigrants are or are not becoming ship as a force for good in the world. If instead one Fostering unity and suppressing differences asks what Mexican immigrants have con-would also be greatly helped by putting the tributed to make American society better andnation on war-footing. But in pursuing this Qaeda, he writes, provides a new threat, fill- course, one is left open to the suggestion thating a void and offering hope for a reinvigo- still other angles exist that were overlooked,rated American nation and Anglo-Protestant Contemporary Sociology 34, 5#2435—CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY—VOL 34 NO 5—FILE: 34501_rev_essay_1480–Essayand questions arise as to whether all mea- gringo-ized, given the spread of Americansurements should be given equal weight.Above all, your run Britain, that country suspended habeasmisbegotten message will receive extensive corpus. This (Brooks does not note) is supporters of Israel, would deny that whileespecially true if the work plays to one or continuous threats from armed neighborsmore widely held prejudices, especially those and terrorists and the various responses tothat people usually refrain from speaking them have helped to keep the segments ofabout. He ulti-that could pose an imminent threat to the mately fears that Mexicans might grab a large United States.
This trend was in part [T]he various forces challenging the core the result of the popularity of the doc- American culture and Creed could gener- trines of multiculturalism and diversity ate a move by native white Americans to among intellectual and political elites, revive the discarded and discredited and the government policies on bilingual racial and ethnic concepts of American education and affirmative action that identity and to create an America that those doctrines promoted and sanc- would exclude, expel, or suppress peo- tioned. : The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations. New Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard York: Simon and Schuster. Contemporary Sociology 34, 5#2435—CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY—VOL 34 NO 5—FILE: 34501_rev_essay_1 Essay–479 duce a racially intolerant country with creed. to this creed is especially called for because 20) Al Qaeda targeted the United States as a Christian nation. They also, as we shall see shortly, The reader should pause here and reexamine greatly help to answer the question of howthe last sentence because it is vintage one is to treat such tomes. He points to a threat that has notdeveloped in order to generate support for ASSESSING THE THREATwhat he holds ought to be done.
I then turn to show that Huntington’s alarms No Acculturation?
are based on a profound misunderstanding Huntington’s other and related source ofof what keeps the American society united alarm, the subversion of the American creed,and commands our mutual respect.
His books typically identifylook like works of social science and have a mounting threat, such as Mexican immi-the appearance of scholarship but actually grants, Islamic civilization, or democratic pro-appeal to, reinforce, and help to legitimate clivities, and then point to the need forone form of prejudice or another.
Some of strong national-unity building measures andthese works, we shall see, “merely” agitate mobilization of the people (including milita-against democratic forms of government; oth- rization) in response to the barbarians at theers reflect various anti-feelings—anti-Black, gates, if not already in the gates.
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probable reaction from a once dominant (Huntington 2004: 221)1 ethnic-racial group that feels threatened by the rise of other groups. The Bell Curve, for exam-from Mexico should end—a solution that he ple, includes a very large body of statisticalseems to think could lead to the resolution of tables and numerous correlations. Indeed, he con- some merit in showing that the data selectedsiders this possibility at some length, writing for use in these works and the ways in whichthat “The possibility of a de facto split they are interpreted are grossly misleadingbetween predominately Spanish-speaking (the ability to demonstrate the true measure America and English-speaking America of the threat is essential to the arguments ofwould disappear, and with it a major poten- both Huntington and his critics).