March 16, 2009

Post-racial race men

Jason Richwine in Forbes has a quantitative piece on immigration policy, Indian Americans: The New Model Minority.  His conclusion has general relevance:

A much clearer implication of Indian-American success is that immigrants need not be unskilled, nor must their economic integration take generations to achieve. In sharp contrast to Indian Americans, most U.S. immigrants, especially Mexican, are much less wealthy and educated than U.S. natives, even after many years in the country.

A new immigration policy that prioritizes skills over family reunification could bring more successful immigrants to the U.S. By emphasizing education, work experience and IQ in our immigration policy, immigrant groups from other national backgrounds could join the list of model minorities.

There is nothing inevitable about immigration. Who immigrates each year is a policy decision, free to be modified at any time by Congress. Constructing new legislation is always difficult, but I propose a simple starting point for immigration selection: Anyone who can spell guerdon is in!

Many Indian Americans are actually rather proud of their relatively elevated socioeconomic indices. The comment boards of Indian American weblogs like Sepia Mutiny are riddled with Ibankers, engineers and medical professionals. Not surprisingly even those who object vociferously to the Model Minority label tend to be well educated and well off.  But when it comes to “spokespersons” for the Indian American community you wouldn’t know this at all. Consider, Model Minority? No Thanks!:

We reject attempts to create divisions, whether they be within our own community, or with other communities who share similar experiences, struggles, histories, and values.  We recognize that our success and our futures are tied closely with that of all immigrants and people of color.

You wouldn’t hear an IIT-trained engineer talking abut “people of color.”  These sorts of terms are a signal of someone who is extremely assimilated in the “discourse” of the Left and the activist class.  The irony is that the diversicrats are invested in constructing a narrative that is dichotomized between white and non-white, and elides the genuine difference and diversity among “people of color,” and among various classes of whites.  As evidenced by Richwine’s data most Indian Americans are not involved or engaged in the activist class, easily allowing these spokespersons to put words into the mouths of the silent majority.  American-born or raised Indians already have exogamy rates of 45%, suggesting that race consciousness and solidarity are marginal values for most.  There is therefore only one way that the race men can expand their malleable constituency: open the borders further and keep lowering the fence in terms of necessary qualifications.

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