Phi Beta Cons

Non finito con i bagni di piedi

Unlike Candace, I cannot be finita with the footbaths.  I am glad that this topic has been addressed on our list and there is no end of what could be said about it.  I think it is unconscionable that the Muslim students have asked for this accommodation.  Those who have insisted and continue to insist that recent immigrants are assimilating just as they have in the past, and have silenced concerns over lack of assimilation with charges of racism, nativism, and xenophobia, have done us a mighty disservice, as have those who have insisted that we are universal and have no actual culture and can therefore accommodate everyone in the world regardless of cultural formation.     No group that is really assimilating would even think to ask for this kind of accommodation.  Even in Muslim lands, the footwashing is sometimes dispensed with, depending on the circumstances.  Outside of the Muslim context, the practice is discourteous to others and more than a little unsavory.  And the Muslim students advancing their cause by washing their feet in the sinks so that their fellow students would more readily accept footbaths as an alternative is even more discourteous, and disgusting as well.     If the Muslim students were interested in real assimilation, they would be asking their spiritual advisers to supply them with ways of substituting symbolic actions for the footwashing.  Instead they want America to assimilate to them.  This seems like a power ploy on the part of people who are full of themselves and puffed up with their own importance thanks to the servility toward immigrants that the proponents of mass immigration have cultivated in us.  Perhaps if the Muslim population were to grow to, say, ten percent of the population, we would have to fit public restrooms across the land with footbaths, as we have had to accommodate the needs of the handicapped (the latter accommodation justifiable).        I note that in France the veil has been prohibited in public schools, and even Canada is drawing the line at allowing women disguised behind the veil to cast their vote.  But in America, we are so cowed by the ecstatic propaganda concerning immigration as the very essence of our being that we don’t know how to draw any lines at all.  If you think I overstate, consider this remark made by Richard Rodriguez in one of his essays on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer:   “Those of us who live in this country are not the point of America.  The newcomers are the point of America.”   In other words, we native born Americans, or even we naturalized immigrant Americans who have been here for decades, don’t even count.  We are worthless, meaningless.  The only way for America to continue to have any meaning is to continue to have newcomers.  The real America is the immigrant recently arrived.  As Karl Rove said in his address to La Raza, everything we are, we owe not to Nature and Nature’s God or to our inspired Founding, but to … immigration!   There is a stunning lack of balance on this issue.  


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