THE CREATION OF THE GREATEST GENERATION, NOT BY CHANCE
Frosty Wooldridge & Barbara Vickroy
"The specific object of this volume is to help Americanize the youth of this country, whether of native or of foreign birth." This is the opening paragraph of the preface to a textbook used throughout the nation in the early 1900s titled, –AMERICAN PATRIOTISM IN PROSE AND VERSE.
This textbook and others were among the ways that our great grandparents dealt with what has been called "The Great Wave" of immigration. In the late 1800s and early 1920s millions of immigrants gazed at Lady Liberty and were processed through Ellis Island. Since many of these immigrants were not educated in academics or the basic civics in a free democracy, two coping mechanisms jumped into motion by far-thinking men. They heeded Teddy Roosevelt’s wisdom: “The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, or preventing all possibility of its continuing as a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.”
First, our nation’s leaders took a pragmatic assessment of how many newcomers we could absorb without damaging our own economic and civic culture, and put a sharp cap on the number of immigrants. The nation housed a mere 100 million.
After 1930, the numbers steadily decreased to a low of 100,000 to an average of 178,000 up to 1965. This allowed assimilation into the American Dream. The English language was taught as the cohesive glue to hold all immigrants together.
Today, exploding beyond our ability to deal with ourselves at 300 million people, our Republican and Democrat politicians allow this nation to be flooded with three million illegal and over one million legal immigrants annually. Dems and Reps are two legs in the same pair of pants. They do not serve our Constitution, but dance to the demands of corporations. Tom Tancredo and his 93 member Immigration Reform Caucus see this invasion as the downfall of America. The rest of our Congress wallows in stupidity, foolishness and inanity. Why would anyone in their reasonable mind flood this country with four million more people annually? What is the point?
Second, leading educators of the day, fully understanding the delicate language/cultural/civic balance essential to a Republic--took action for the country's benefit. They devised a curriculum to "Americanize" the newcomers and their children. Those children went on to become known as "The Greatest Generation."
Again from that textbook: "The child is the future adult citizen. Education is the living spring of his character. If democracy is to endure, democratic ideals must be woven into the very texture of the thoughts, the feelings, and the life of the individual: for "character is destiny." It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of education in either global competition or in cultural cohesion. Equally inescapable is the fact that the sheer number of students with multiple languages is steadily overwhelming our national education system.
California demonstrates what awaits other states, as these immigration-driven numbers increase. Over two million of California’s six million students are housed in trailers, many more millions are in overcrowded, under-taught, textbook-starved classrooms. Another two million are in ESL classes. Science and math instruction often must take a backseat to teaching English. No surprise that the state trails the nation in academic outcomes. Less than 50 percent of potential high school seniors who started the eighth grade graduate. In Denver, Colorado, last May, 2005, only 35 percent of high school seniors graduated. Fellow Americans, that is a 65 percent flunk out/dropout rate of our children. How can we endure with a functionally illiterate population?
One last quote from that wise text: "It is possible that we have proceeded too long on the basis that American democracy is imperishable and will somehow take care of itself. This is not a safe conception." Our great grandparents met the challenge of their wave’s numbers at a time when our nation was still largely unsettled, high school graduation was rare, and labor-intensive careers could absorb those with little or no education. They met that challenge by cutting the number of immigrants.
How will we meet the challenges? Why are we piling them onto ourselves like an obese person in a pastry shop? What are we trying to prove? At what point will we be unable to deal with them? Current immigration numbers of 4.1 million immigrants per year, legal, illegal and their offspring, have added over 106 million in the past 40 years. Every corner of our society is vibrating with unease. In short, we face the 21st century with a vast population whose skills belong to past centuries.
More sobering is the fact that democracy demands an educated population with a similar moral and ethical foundation speaking the same language. We are losing both. We have over 35 million functionally illiterate adults in the United States. California and Georgia falter with over 60 languages in their elementary schools. States struggle when immigrants want to wear a burka to hide their faces for a driver’s license shot. Others deal with rituals such as ‘female genital mutilation.’ Still others deal with thousands of hit-and-run accidents without repercussions. How about Dark Ages practices by immigrants that bring us horse tripping, cock fighting, dog fighting and animal sacrifice such as Santeria? More suffer school chaos and medical breakdowns. Millions of newcomers wave the flags of their countries higher than Old Glory and send $56 billion back to their home countries. Even more disconcerting is the fact that over 400 million people worldwide want to move to America.
One last quote heralds Mark Twain’s genius. He spoke about ‘silent assertion’ back in 1855 when Northerners didn’t speak out against slavery. “It is the shabbiest of all lies,” he said. “When good people stand around watching an evil continue or grow and do nothing about it, they condone it by their inaction.”
Today, most people are either afraid to speak up about illegal and massive legal immigration because they fear reprisals such as being called names. What they need to fear even more is the loss of their communities to a foreign invasion unprecedented in American history. It happened to the Indians and it’s happening to us. They didn’t stop it—perhaps couldn’t—but we can and we must if we respect the future for our children.
country stands at a juncture. We, as a nation, either decide our citizens
and way of life are worth maintaining or we may spiral into a quagmire
of Roosevelt’s words, “squabbling nationalities.” Will you stand up
like the "Greatest Generation" of World War II, or will you continue
in 'silent assertion' as our nation plummets into chaos? One look
at Amsterdam, Holland; Paris, France or Sydney, Australia, should
provide enough impetus to make your voice heard for America--and most
importantly, for your children.
for that 28-point action letter to stop this nation-destroying madness
Check out Mark Edwards' "Wake Up America" talk show on 50,000 watt
KDWN-Am-720 10:00 PM to midnight PT, or on the worldwide Internet
Also, check out www.alipac.us
at 1 866 329 3999;
– Find out why borders are so important. www.balance.org
Become a part of the "21st Century Paul Revere" bicycle ride across
America coast to coast next summer with Frosty as he and his band
of riders carry this message from the Golden Gate Bridge to the steps
of the nation's capitol in Washington, DC. Inquire at his email address
for full details on how you can participate: firstname.lastname@example.org
Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents in the past 26 years.
He has written hundreds of articles (regularly) for 17 national and 2 international magazines. He has had hundreds of editorials published in top national newspapers including the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post, Albany Herald and Christian Science Monitor.
His first book, "HANDBOOK FOR TOURING BICYCLISTS" by Falcon Press is available nationwide. His second book "STRIKE THREE! TAKE YOUR BASE" by the Brookfield Reader published in January 2002. His bicycle books include "BICYCLING AROUND THE WORLD."
His latest book. ‘IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION—DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.’
Frosty Wooldridge has guest lectured at Cornell University, teaching creative writing workshops, magazine writing at Michigan State University, and has presented environmental science lectures at the University of Colorado, University of Denver and Regis University. He also lectures on "Religion and Ethics" at Front Range College in Colorado.
Today, exploding beyond our ability to deal with ourselves at 300 million people, our Republican and Democrat politicians allow this nation to be flooded with three million illegal and over one million legal immigrants annually.