The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
This used to be a thing that only a conservative would say.
But now liberals are saying it too:
Immigrant kids work harder.
They work harder, in part, because their parents work harder -- and their parents work harder because of their relentless optimism.
Where others may see inequities, immigrants tend to see a ladder to be climbed. With a hyper-optimism, they move ahead, upward and outward, undeterred by any barriers that fate throws in the way of their hopes and dreams.
And they pass this spirit of enterprise on to their children. A University of Chicago study in 1995, for example, found children from a variety of minority groups whose mothers are immigrants outperform students from their same ethnic group whose mothers were born in the United States.
Yes, it is very true: America is a place where you can succeed if you work hard, and skin color is not the impediment that liberals imagine.
I used to be a liberal, and this was one of the things that I saw in the US when I returned from the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. My country was a place where all people could excel when they applied themselves.
It was heresy to say such a thing to my liberal friends, and it was the main reason I started referring to myself as a moderate.
The enemy, they now admit, is culture, a culture that has grown lazy and content.
It's easy to be content when the biggest health problem that afflicts the poor in the US is obesity.