While the media pore over Donald Trump’s interview with the Sun, focusing on the possibility a post-(soft) Brexit US/UK trade deal (“..it will probably kill the deal”) and Boris Johnson (“..he would be a great Prime Minister”), by far the President’s most interesting comments were made about the changing culture of Europe. The Sun titles that section ‘Migrants harm UK‘, but it’s an unhelpful headline because it is patently untrue: the UK needs immigrants in order to function economically, and migrants have manifestly helped to forge British identity.
Trump begins by stating his love of Europe and the authenticity of his Euro-ethnic heritage:
I have great love for countries in Europe,” he said. “Don’t forget, essentially I’m a product of the European Union, between Scotland and Germany. Right? My father Germany, my mother Scotland.
That’s nice, but then:
I think what has happened to Europe is a shame. Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame.
I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way. So I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I think you are losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist ten or 15 years ago.
European countries from the Atlantic to the Urals share many common origins – Graeco-Roman classical paganism, Celtic culture, Christianity, Reformation, Renaissance, Romanticism, Enlightenment – which have influenced the various tribal groups throughout the continent and produced similarities in language, customs, architecture, literature, music, fine arts, and so on. This has bequeathed to us a common heritage, often broadly termed ‘Western’ . Countries which have not been subjected to these same complex social-historical forces are quite simply neither European nor Western.
The President’s concern is not with immigration, but with culture-changing immigration. Migrants aren’t a problem: it is mass migration and the absence of assimilation. He doesn’t specify ethnicity or religion, but he’s talking about immigration from Muslim majority nations, because “losing your culture” has to be a reference to a notion of Christendom being confronted by the ‘Muslim world’. And for raising such concerns he is (predictably) branded ‘racist‘, as the Bishop of Liverpool helpfully illustrated:
This is a pity, because it has the effect of shutting down all rational discussion (as it is designed to do), and so no reasoned debate takes place – except perhaps on the Archbishop Cranmer blog.
The “fabric of Europe” is manifestly changed (“not in a positive way”) when mass migration opens the door to sex discrimination, chauvinism or female objectification. If in one night and in one location there are 500 criminal complaints, of which 200 are concerned with Arab and North African immigrants perpetrating violent sexual assaults on German women, is it ‘racist’ to say so? If a country takes in more than a million refugees, and their men become immediately responsible for a disproportionate number of violent sexual assaults against native women, is it ‘racist’ to point out that this is a cultural clash and, logically, one that is likely to be replicated wherever there is a similar approach to uncontrolled mass immigration? This isn’t only the German experience: consider Sweden:
Jacob Ekström is a policeman. He is tired of keeping silent about the terrible knowledge he has about developments in Sweden. Large residential areas are developing into enclaves where the authorities are sidelined. These areas are controlled by large family clans that have formed gangs committing extensive crime…
The extract is useful because the testimony is that of a policeman, who isn’t likely to be making his comments for political gain. It was the German State Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger who said that migrants were almost exclusively responsible for the attacks on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. Is it ‘racist’ to say so? Why is it ‘racist’ to sound the alarm and warn Britain that continuing the EU policy of uncontrolled mass immigration might become a cause of inter-cultural brawls and violent sexual assaults on women? Why is it ‘racist’ to state quite reasonably that if you give EU passports to a million immigrants, some of whom have a particularly primitive view of women, a few hundred of them are likely to perpetrate the same sort of sexual violence on the women in those countries to which these new passports permit freedom of movement?
Even if you instinctively refute causality, it does not make the judgment itself ‘racist’. When churchmen such as Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising and President of the German Conference of Catholic Bishops, decry the “new forms of violence and especially the inhumane treatment of women”, he’s not referring to Teutonic gynocentric innovations: the problem he highlights is that of mass immigration, and specifically the alien cultural attitudes of many Arab and North African men toward white women. Have we not seen it ourselves in Rotherham, Oxford and Sheffield? Is it ‘racist’ to point out that the paedophiles and child-groomers were predominantly British-Pakistani Muslim men who considered their white victims to be “easy meat“? Is it ‘racist’ to point out that cultural attitudes differ and collide?
Why is it racist for Donald Trump to raise these concerns, but enlightened when Pope Benedict XVI did so? In an interview with Le Figaro in 2004, he spoke of Europe as a ‘cultural’ rather than a merely geo-political entity, and argued that Turkey had “always represented another continent in the course of history, in permanent contrast to Europe”. Is that racist? He suggested that Turkey might “try to set up a cultural continent with neighbouring Arab countries and become the protagonist of a culture with its own identity”. Is that racist?
His concern was and remains the de-Christianisation of Europe. As mass Muslim immigration coincides with the EU’s ascendant secularisation, the historic spirit of Europe is changing; it is patently being lost, and there is understandable disquiet about the transformation. As the Archbishop of Canterbury has made clear, “Fear is a valid emotion at a time of such colossal crisis. This is one of the greatest movements of people in human history. Just enormous. And to be anxious about that is very reasonable.”
We never serve ourselves well by refusing to look facts in the face.
But hurl ‘Racist!’, if it makes you feel better.