New Orleans Remembered
Videos and Audio
*Video:We Have Been Abandoned By Our Own Country
*Audio:Interview With Mayor of New Orleans
"They are feeding the public a line of bull -
and people are dying down here."
Local news for New Orleans, LA continually
updated from thousands of sources on the web ...
*New Orleans News
*American Red Cross:In the News
the American Criminal Elite ....
Americans are seeing firsthand how the power elite in the United States view
the average American, especially the poor simpletons; they are regarded as
cannon fodder and nothing more.
While dead body's float in the streets of New Orleans, it is increasingly clear
that the Federal government is a corrupt and worthless institution ...
It is now nothing more than a criminal plutocracy which takes care of its
interests above the interests of the average American.
After two hundred billion dollars were spent in destabilising Iraq,
slaughtering up to one hundred thousand innocent civilians, blasting
the legs and arms off defenceless children and leaving the country and
region in utter chaos, the best he can do is a brief flyover of the region
and a belated visit, hurriedly put together only because of the protests.
Where are the resources of the Louisiana and Mississippi National Guard?
Well, they are in Iraq conducting a worthless war for the Bush clan.
The common folk in the end of things are nothing more than worthless sheep
to be used and sacrificed at the whims of a criminal class that believes that
they by providence have the godly authority to decide who lives and who dies.
Where is Homeland Security? Another worthless department that was never
designed to protect Americans as the pundits maintained, it was designed to
regulate and keep surveillance on the mesmerized sheep, maybe this time the
sheep will open their eyes and see that the biggest threat to the wellbeing
of the average American emanates from Washington DC and not from the
deserts of Mesopotamia.
Condoleezza Rice was in New York buying shoes and ...
Thousands of Americans have needlessly died in New Orleans, and whilereference ...
babies on Thursday in Louisiana were dieing because of the lack of nutrition
and medical care, the dragon bitch Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in
New York buying shoes.
The disconnect between American politicians and the masses could not be
greater than it is today, the catastrophe in the Gulf coast has made that reality
ever so clear.
The official neglect by the politicians for the real safety of Americans is more
than disgraceful it is criminal. Have Americans had enough? Only time will tell,
the name Katrina might not only be synonymous with being a killer hurricane,
it might also be known as the killer storm that awoke the American sheep to
the reality that the United States is not a democracy but a banana republic
owned and operated by a ruling plutocracy.
Bush New Orleans Photo Op
the worst natural disasters in American history. "Perhaps the greatest
disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street Levee,"
said Senator Landrieu, a Democrat.
Bush arriving in the disaster area. 10,000
American lives late and everything short.
"Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw
what I believed to
be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this
"Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24
hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily
prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity.
"The desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a
single, lonely piece of equipment.
"The good and decent people of south-east Louisiana and the Gulf Coast -*Bush's New Orleans tour a photo-op
black and white, rich and poor, young and old - deserve far better from their
This country is in the clutches of men who do not give a damn about anyonereference ...
but themselves. And what is worse, they have the attention spans of small
children, the warnings about the levees were sounded long ago, and
drills were conducted, but still these men did nothing.
Bush administration policy changes and budget cuts, sapped FEMA's longterm
ability to cushion the blow of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornados,
wildfires and other natural disasters.
Old New Orleans
*Murder and Mayhem in New Orleans
Bush's single-minded focus on the "war against terrorism" has compounded areference ...
natural disaster and turned it into the greatest calamity in American history.
The US has lost its largest and most strategic port, thousands of lives,
and 80% of one of America's most historic cities is under water.
"I really don't know what to say about President Bush," said Richard Dunbar,
60, a Vietnam veteran. "He showed no lack of haste when he wanted to go to
Iraq, but for his own people right here in Louisiana, we get only lip service."
You don't think this civilization can fail in a day- it can. Just give us a half
dozen New Orleans style disasters on the same day. Thanks to the borrow,
spend, and warmonger ways of El Shrubbo, we have neither the personnel
nor the resources to cope.
And believe me, there is a festering, permanent underclass in this country
that is waiting to explode. New Orleans wasn't enough to bring them out en
masse, but if you scale what happened in New Orleans up by perhaps four or
five times, you will have a totally untenable situation.
Homeland Security, my ass.
The American Urban Underclass
If there had been no racism, blacks would have been spread out equally
all over America just like most immigrants after a few generations.
"Now lets discuss the socio-economic realities of your dilemma ....
You as a Ghetto resident are by definition marginal. You have not been given a
choice, and you are not part of the "social contract" and are not integrated onto
the cultural, ideological, social, and economic consensus.
You are disconnected from the social, economic, and cultural mainstream.
From the start you have been deprived of many incentives and benefits given
to all other citizens.
The social tie is non-existent. The mechanism of reciprocity,reference ...
whereby citizens playing by the rules of the game are materially rewarded
for their subjection, appears to be broken where you live in the ghetto."
*Politics of Space in the Ghetto
Instead blacks are forced into greater and greater isolation. In many citiesreference ...
such as Detroit and Chicago 96% of blacks live in all black neighborhoods -
against their own stated desire, says all polls. In these pages you can see many
of the people I lived with as a vagabond and still live with today between my
*USA - Victims of ghettoization and white flight
As we watch the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, I cannot help
but think we might be looking at a microcosm of the collapse of
western civilization. Is this the way the world ends, not with a bang but in chaos?
In America the rich can afford to flee
They left us here to die ....
*Katrina Live Coverage
*WFTV Hurricane Katrina Coverage
*Latest Katrina News
*Hurricane Devastation News
*Hurricane Katrina video and photography blog
Live Links * ...
*Latest New Orleans Disaster Videos
The Real New Orleans
"Most of the stuff written about New Orleans is dark, spooky luscious haunted
courtyard crapola," she says. "New Orleans is dark, spooky, luscious and all
that, but that's only the stage set. Underneath it's both more ominous and just
I live in a Third World city," she says, complete with a corrupt local
government ("politics here is more a spectator sport... we mostly love
the scandals"), a population that's three-quarters black, has its own weird
religions and speaks its own dialect, and a poor people's obsession with food.
"A Confederacy of Dunces," is really the only honest book about
New Orleans, because it's fundamentally about a city that's just stuffed
full of divine stupidity. Look at where they built the place - it's sinking,
it's full of mosquitoes, it breeds malaria and yellow fever."
She stops, finishes her coffee in two quick gulps, and then goes on,
covering magic shops, the murder rate (recounting the details of a series
of sensational murders in New Orleans history), the "gaudy, idolatrous nature"
of Catholicism here ("we turn the saints into characters in our lives") and the
above-ground cemeteries ("we like to keep our dead in our midst, so we can keep
an eye on them"), the culture of conviviality that revolves around, "if you're up
for a little adventure."
"Adventure is my FBI file name," I said.
"I'll drive," she says. We walk out and hop into her big, old American sedan.
She grimaces as she reaches around to put on her seatbelt, and explains
"I hurt my back a while ago." She looks at me and smiles mischeviously,
"turned me into quite the vicodin junkie."
We drive to the 9th Ward, a desperately poor, almost entirely black
"This is the New Orleans no one wants to see," she says, as we drive by the little
wooden houses and liquor stores. I count three burned out cars, then stop
counting. "But this is where it all comes from."
We turn up a side street to the levy see two old ornate Victorian houses built on
steamboat fortunes, and then walk up the bank to look at the river.
Trash is strewn across the grass, and the water looks oily.
A sign warns against fishing. "Mmm..." I say, "polluted water."
"Yeah, listing the fecal chloroform count, it doesn't really put you in the mood to swim,
does it?" she says.
We get back in the car, drive around: a rusted-out car in a vacant lot,
weeds growing up through the empty windows; a small baby playing in a
puddle on the street; four men sitting on a sagging porch, bottles in their hands.
A hand-lettered sign on the side of a church, "In the beginning, Cain killed his
brother with a rock. Today Cain is still killing his brother with a rock. Let's stop
Cain from killing again."
Underneath the sign is a crude drawing of a black Cain killing a black Abel.
"The true madness of New Orleans is not vampires and alligators in the swamps
- though this place is fucking haunted - it's this," she says, waving her hand.
"Anyone who comes here and makes more than a cursory exploration will
come to the bluntly obvious conclusion that this place is ridiculous and
depressing, that the debauchery here is a pure response to heartbreak.
This city has failed so often, there's so many things we can't do - our streets
may be full of potholes, our sewer system may stink, our schools may suck,
but man, can we throw a party.
That's why there's a big festival every month, a big party... and,
um, a permanent one going on in the French Quarter. If your world
gets shitty enough, knowing how to have a good time is more than a
survival skill, it's kind of a fuck you."
*Carnival Video New Orleans
*Mardi Gras Videos New Orleans
*A Love Note to New Orleans
Saturday, August 26, 2006
America Breakup 2050
Year of Reckoning
2050 is the year of reckoning for White Americans. It is the year we are scheduled to become a minority in the country our fathers founded. America will be a "majority minority" nation - people of color will make up more of the population than white people.
The nation’s Hispanic and Asian populations will triple over the next half century and non-Hispanic whites would represent about one-half of the total population by 2050, according to interim population projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
*U.S. Census Bureau Release
By 2050, the U.S. population will grow to over 420 million, a 40 percent increase over current levels. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this growth will be concentrated in 8-10 emerging "mega-regions" - large, connected networks of metropolitan areas - in which 70 percent of nation's population growth and 80 percent of its employment growth is expected to occur.
Together, the increased population and the emergence of a new urban form will demand major infrastructure investments and planning strategies to support the prosperity, equity and sustainability of our nation and its competitiveness in a global economy.
The United States is no longer a modern society, but a postmodern one… it no longer resembles a nation-state, but rather a multicultural regime …
Post-modern society, and especially American society, is not characterized by standardized schools engaged in mass education in a national, often high culture. Rather, post-modern society is characterized by an organized media engaged in mass entertainment…. Post-modern society is not characterized by efficient industries engaged in mass production, principally for a national market.
Rather, it is characterized by financial enterprises and industrial management engaged in multinational operations within a global market.
Current Population Trend
America's population is projected to hit 300-million in October, making it the world's largest after China and India. But some analysts say America's population growth, largely fueled by immigration, could change the face of the nation.
The average birth rate for the non-Hispanic white population is around two births per woman, compared to nearly three per woman among Hispanic whites. These trends will lead to major demographic shifts.
Recent projections released by the Census Bureau show that ethnic minorities now account for one-third of America's population, and will make up 40 percent of the U.S. population in the next decade. Whites are now a minority in Hawaii, New Mexico, Texas, California and the District of Columbia.
America's immigration outstrips Europe's and its immigrant population is reproducing faster than native-born Americans. America's population will soon be getting younger.
If this proves correct, Europe's population in 2050 would be 360m and falling, America's would be over 550m and rising. Half a billion people: in other words, America would be twice the size it is now. Europe would be smaller.
*Half a billion Americans?
The scenario of USA 2050 is a colored Congress presenting as yet un-thought of repressive laws against Whites, a colored Leviathan eager to avenge historical wrongs that have been entrenched by multicultural education. With non-whites increasing political force, Euro-white extinction is inevitable.
With submission of whites and full-scale racial intermarriage and interbreeding, complete removal of a pure-white genetic strain from America will happen within about a century. This could be done by a "final solution" for Whites imposed by the forces of color he believes.
It is too late to chip-away at anti-White laws within the system or to roll back anti-White laws. Secession of the States is the only remaining option. After all if the USA considers it good enough for the old Soviet empire, championing the principle of national self-determination , then it is good enough for the USA.
If Oregon threatened secession the USA would reconstruct a Lincoln-like massacre of a State such as Oregon. Americans should not be naïve about the level of violence that their beloved nation commits or could commit if pushed.
*AMERICA'S DECAY: SECESSIONISM AND ETHNIC SEPARATION
The decaying American Republic will be divided up in the following way:
The most sensible, peaceful and democratic solution would be the division of the country into an Hispanic state in the Southwest, a Cuban state in south Florida, a Black state somewhere in the rural South, and a series of independent Jewish, Black and Asian enclaves in the cities and close-in suburbs where these groups comprise sizable elements of the population.
In respect to White, non-Jewish ethnostates, the United States has no provinces or city states on the historical European model. It does, however, have regions with historical and cultural traditions - the Deep South, Appalachia, Texas Conce (an independent republic), New England, the Farm Belt and the Northwest.
Both geography and demography would qualify such areas for ethnostatehood. Where the population has become a welter of different ethnic factions in large metropolitan areas, neighborhoods could be the loci for political, economic and social groupings. Though too small to qualify as ethnostates, they would be accorded as much independence as reasonably possible.
Modern America is already a mish-mash of tribes or neo-tribes arising, Michel Maffesoli proposes from the break-up of mass culture. Neo-tribes or tribus have an "underground centrality," "self-consciousness" and a stability which the larger State lacks.
As the nation-state seems to be doomed for ecological reasons alone, the tribe will once again be resurgent. It is time for the Nordic people to re-tribalize - but this time without the fratricidal brothers' wars that have been used by our traditional enemies to neuter us.
The New America will be one in which White Gentile Americans will no longer be strangers in their own land. This new land, based on ethnic separatism will arise after America comes to a sticky end through imperial overreach and ultimate economic collapse.
America will fall apart and a great slab of it will become Mexican, the new Hispanic Aztlan. A New Africa and New Israel will arise. Whites will found a New America, while with no American protection, the Chinese conquest of Australia and New Zealand will be complete.
Demography is destiny. In 1960 people of European stock comprised one-quarter of the world population. Today white people make up one-sixth of the world population. By 2050 people of European descent will comprise only one-tenth of the world population.
Whites currently account for 74 percent of the population, blacks 12 percent, Hispanics 10 percent and Asians 3 percent. Yet according to data and predictions generated by the U.S. Census Bureau and social scientists poring over the numbers, Hispanics will likely surpass blacks early in the next century.
And by the year 2050, demographers predict, Hispanics will account for 25 percent of the population (By 2050, the Census Bureau estimates 102 million Hispanics will live in America, heavily concentrated in the Southwest. The ethnic, linguistic and cultural reconquest of the American Southwest by Mexico is well advanced.) blacks 14 percent, Asians 8 percent, with whites hovering somewhere around 53 percent.
*America's Racial and Ethnic Divides
What triggered this great transformation was a change to immigration law in 1965, when Congress made family reunification the primary criteria for admittance. That new policy, a response to charges that the law favored white Europeans, allowed immigrants already in the United States to bring over their relatives, who in turn could bring over more relatives.
As a result, America has been absorbing as many as 1 million newcomers a year, to the point that now almost 1 in every 10 residents is foreign born.
The Ozzies and Harriets of the 1990s are skipping the suburbs of the big cities and moving to more homogeneous, mostly white smaller towns and smaller cities and rural areas.
They're headed to Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Denver, Austin and Orlando, as well as smaller cities in Nevada, Idaho, Colorado and Washington. Frey and other demographers believe the domestic migrants - black and white - are being "pushed" out, at least in part, by competition with immigrants for jobs and neighborhoods, political clout and lifestyle.
The emergence of separate Americas, one white and middle-aged, less urban and another intensely urban, young, multicultural and multiethnic. One America will care deeply about English as the official language and about preserving Social Security. The other will care about things like retaining affirmative action and bilingual education.
Though there are calls to revive efforts to encourage "Americanization" of the newcomers, many researchers now express doubt that the old assimilation model works. For one thing, there is less of a dominant mainstream to enter. Instead, there are a dozen streams, despite the best efforts by the dominant white society to lump groups together by ethnicity.
The tens of millions coming endlessly from countries, cultures and civilizations whose peoples have never before been assimilated into a First World nation may spell the end of America as one nation and one people by mid-century.
Americans are largely unaware, but Cultural Marxism reigns in our universities and public schools. The old Marxists blamed capitalists and the economic system for oppression and exploitation. The new Marxists blame the white race and western civilization itself. With the white race looked at as being the cancer of human history.
In the U.S. native-born whites already are second-class citizens in their own country. Unconstitutional group privileges have arisen based on race, gender, and disability. White males no longer have equal rights. As the current chairwoman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission says, "Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them."
The protections in our legal system that make law a shield of the people, not a weapon in the hands of government, have largely been eroded.
President Clinton 1998 Portland State University Address
By 2050 whites would be a minority in America. No other nation in history, has gone through demographic change of this magnitude in so short a time.
"What I want to talk to all of you about, particularly the graduates, is the America of your future. We all know that at the edge of a new century and a new millennium, America is changing at breathtaking speed. We know that most of these changes have been good. We're grateful as a nation to have the lowest unemployment rate in 28 years, the lowest crime rate in 25 years, the lowest welfare rolls in 29 years the first balanced budget and surplus in 29 years, the highest home ownership in history. We feel gratitude. We know that none of us alone is responsible for these things, but all of us together have come to terms with the challenges of the modern world and its opportunities and we're moving America in a good direction.
This spring I have talked about three things. At the Naval Academy I talked about defending our nation against the new security threats of the 21st century, including terrorism, biological and chemical weapons, and global environmental degradation. At MIT, not very long ago, I talked about the challenges of the information age and the importance of bringing those opportunities to all Americans, bringing the Internet into every classroom, ensuring that every young student is computer-literate. Maybe I should have given that speech here.
Today, I want to talk to you about what may be the most important subject of all how we can strengthen the bonds of our national community as we grow more racially and ethnically diverse.
The driving force behind our increasing diversity is a new, large wave of immigration. It is changing the face of America. And while most of the changes are good, they do present challenges which demand more both from new immigrants and from our citizens. Citizens share a responsibility to welcome new immigrants, to ensure that they strengthen our nation, to give them their chance at the brass ring.
In turn, new immigrants have a responsibility to learn, to work, to contribute to America. If both citizens and immigrants do their part, we will grow ever stronger in the new global information economy.
More than any other nation on Earth, America has constantly drawn strength and spirit from wave after wave of immigrants. In each generation, they have proved to be the most restless, the most adventurous, the most innovative, the most industrious of people. Bearing different memories, honoring different heritages, they have strengthened our economy, enriched our culture, renewed our promise of freedom and opportunity for all.
Of course, the path has not always run smooth. Some Americans have met each group of newcomers with suspicion and violence and discrimination. So great was the hatred of Irish immigrants 150 years ago that they were greeted with signs that read, "No Dogs Or Irish." So profound was the fear of Chinese in the 1880s that they were barred from entering the country. So deep was the distrust of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe at the beginning of this century that they were forced to take literacy tests specifically designed to keep them out of America.
Eventually, the guarantees of our Constitution and the better angels of our nature prevailed over ignorance and insecurity, over prejudice and fear.
But now we are being tested again -- by a new wave of immigration larger than any in a century, far more diverse than any in our history. Each year, nearly a million people come legally to America.
Today, nearly one in ten people in America was born in another country; one in five schoolchildren are from immigrant families. Today, largely because of immigration, there is no majority race in Hawaii or Houston or New York City. Within five years there will be no majority race in our largest state, California.
In a little more than 50 years there will be no majority race in the United States. No other nation in history has gone through demographic change of this magnitude in so short a time.
What do the changes mean? They can either strengthen and unite us, or they can weaken and divide us. We must decide.
Let me state my view unequivocally. I believe new immigrants are good for America. They are revitalizing our cities. They are building our new economy. They are strengthening our ties to the global economy, just as earlier waves of immigrants settled the new frontier and powered the Industrial Revolution. They are energizing our culture and broadening our vision of the world. They are renewing our most basic values and reminding us all of what it truly means to be an American.
It means working hard, like a teenager from Vietnam who does his homework as he watches the cash register at his family's grocery store. It means making a better life for your children, like a father from Russia who works two jobs and still finds time to take his daughter to the public library to practice her reading. It means dreaming big dreams, passing them on to your children.
You have a lot of stories like that here at Portland State. Just this morning I met one of your graduates -- or two, to be specific. Mago Gilson, an immigrant from Mexico who came here without a high school education. Twelve years later she is receiving her Masters Degree in education, on her way to realizing her dream of becoming a teacher.
She is joined in this graduating class by her son Eddi, who had dreams of his own and worked full-time for seven years to put himself through school. Today he receives a Bachelor's Degree in business administration. And soon there's more. Soon her son, Oscar, whom I also met, will receive his own Master's Degree in education. I'd like to ask the Gilsons and their family members who are here to rise and be recognized. There she is. Give them a hand.
In the Gilson family and countless like them, we see the spirit that built America -- the drive to succeed, the commitment to family, to education, to work, the hope for a better life. In their stories we see a reflection of our own parents' and grandparents' journey a powerful reminder that our America is not so much a place as a promise; not a guarantee but a chance; not a particular race, but an embrace of our common humanity.
Now, some Americans don't see it that way. When they hear new accents or see new faces, they feel unsettled. They worry that new immigrants come not to work hard, but to live off our largesse. They're afraid the America they know and love is becoming a foreign land.
This reaction may be understandable, but it's wrong. It's especially wrong when anxiety and fear give rise to policies and ballot propositions to exclude immigrants from our civic life. I believe it's wrong to deny law-abiding immigrants benefits available to everyone else; wrong to ignore them as people not worthy of being counted in the census. It's not only wrong, it's un-American.
Let me be clear: I also think it's wrong to condone illegal immigration that flouts our laws, strains our tolerance, taxes our resources. Even a nation of immigrants must have rules and conditions and limits, and when they are disregarded, public support for immigration erodes in ways that are destructive to those who are newly arrived and those who are still waiting patiently to come.
We must remember, however, that the vast majority of immigrants are here legally. In every measurable way, they give more to our society than they take. Consider this: On average, immigrants pay $1,800 more in taxes every year than they cost our system in benefits. Immigrants are paying into Social Security at record rates. Most of them are young, and they will help to balance the budget when we baby boomers retire and put strains on it.
New immigrants also benefit the nation in ways not so easily measured, but very important. We should be honored that America, whether it's called the City on a Hill, or the Old Gold Mountain, or El Norte, is still seen around the world as the land of new beginnings. We should all be proud that people living in isolated villages in far corners of the world actually recognize the Statue of Liberty. We should rejoice that children the world over study our Declaration of Independence and embrace its creed.
My fellow Americans, we descendants of those who passed through the portals of Ellis Island must not lock the door behind us. Americans who parents were denied the rights of citizenship simply because of the color of their skin must not deny those rights to others because of the country of their birth or the nature of their faith.
We should treat new immigrants as we would have wanted our own grandparents to be treated. We should share our country with them, not shun them or shut them out. But mark my words, unless we handle this well, immigration of this sweep and scope could threaten the bonds of our union.
Around the world we see what can happen when people who live on the same land put race and ethnicity before country and humanity. If America is to remain the world's most diverse democracy, if immigration is to strengthen America as it has throughout our history, then we must say to one another: whether your ancestors came here in slave ships or on the Mayflower, whether they landed on Ellis Island or at Los Angeles International Airport, or have been here for thousands of years, if you believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, if you accept the responsibilities as well as the rights embedded in them, then you are an American.
Only that belief can keep us one America in the 21st century. So I say, as President, to all our immigrants, you are welcome here. But you must honor laws, embrace our culture, learn our language, know our history; and when the time comes, you should become citizens. And I say to all Americans, we have responsibilities as well to welcome our newest immigrants, to vigorously enforce laws against discrimination. And I'm very proud that our nation's top civil rights enforcer is Bill Lam Lee, the son of Chinese immigrants who grew up in Harlem.
We must protect immigrants' rights and ensure their access to education, health care, and housing and help them to become successful, productive citizens. When immigrants take responsibility to become citizens and have met all the requirements to do so, they should be promptly evaluated and accepted.
The present delays in the citizenship process are unacceptable and indefensible. And together, immigrants and citizens alike, let me say we must recommit ourselves to the general duties of citizenship. Not just immigrants, but every American should know what's in our Constitution and understand our shared history.
Not just immigrants, but every American should participate in our democracy by voting, by volunteering and by running for office. Not just immigrants, but every American, on our campuses and in our communities, should serve -- community service reads good citizenship. And not just immigrants, but every American should reject identity politics that seeks to separate us, not bring us together.
Ethnic pride is a very good thing. America is one of the places which most reveres the distinctive ethnic, racial, religious heritage of our various peoples. The days when immigrants felt compelled to Anglicize their last name or deny their heritage are, thankfully, gone. But pride in one's ethnic and racial heritage must never become an excuse to withdraw from the larger American community. That does not honor diversity; it breeds divisiveness. And that could weaken America.
Not just immigrants, but every American should recognize that our public schools must be more than places where our children learn to read, they must also learn to be good citizens. They must all be able to make America's heroes, from Washington to Lincoln to Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks and Cesar Chavez, their own.
Today, too many Americans, and far too many immigrant children attended crowded, often crumbling inner city schools. Too many drop out of school altogether. And with more children from immigrant families entering our country and our schools than at any time since the turn of the century, we must renew our efforts to rebuild our schools and make them the best in the world. They must have better facilities; they must have smaller classes; they must have properly trained teachers; they must have access to technology; they must be the best in the world.
All of us, immigrants and citizens alike, must ensure that our new group of children learn our language, and we should find a way to do this together instead of launching another round of divisive political fights.
In the schools within the White House in the schools within just a few miles of the White House, across the Potomac River, we have the most diverse school district in America, where there are children from 180 different racial and ethnic groups, speaking as native tongues about 100 languages.
Now, it's all very well for someone to say, everyone of them should learn English immediately. But we don't at this time necessarily have people who are trained to teach them English in all those languages. So I say to you, it is important for children to retain their native language. But unless they also learn English, they will never reach their full potential in the United States.
Of course, English is learned at different rates, and, of course, children have individual needs. But that cannot be an excuse for making sure that when children come into our school system, we do whatever it takes with whatever resources are at hand to make sure they learn as quickly as they can the language that will be dominant language of this country's commerce and citizenship in the future.
We owe it to these children to do that. And we should not either delay behind excuses or look for ways to turn what is essentially a human issue of basic decency and citizenship and opportunity into a divisive political debate. We have a stake together in getting together and moving forward on this.
Let me say, I applaud the students here at Portland State who are tutoring immigrant children to speak and read English. You are setting the kind of example I want our country to follow.
One hundred and forty years ago, in the First Lady's hometown of Chicago, immigrants outnumbered native Americans. Addressing a crowd there in 1858, Abraham Lincoln asked what connection those immigrants could possibly feel to people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who founded our nation.
Here was his answer: If they, the immigrants, look back through this history to trace their connection to those days by blood, they will find they have none. But our founders proclaimed that we are all created equal in the eyes of God. And that, Lincoln said, is the electric cord in that declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving people everywhere.
Well, that electric cord, the conviction that we are all created equal in the eyes of God, still links every graduate here with every new immigrant coming to our shores and every American who ever came before us. If you carry it with conscience and courage into the new century, it will light our way to America's greatest days your days."
*PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY COMMENCEMENT 1998
Immigration Videos ...
*Minutemen:The Immigration Debate
*Protesters Rally Against Illegal Immigration Bill
*Illegal Immigrants in the USA
*Minutemen - Film Open Border
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