“The middle-aged man who shot dead nine people in two shisha bars in Germany last week appears to have been motivated by a hate-filled ideology. Tobias Rathjen subscribed to the idea of the “great replacement”, which argues that white Europeans are being “replaced” by an “invasion” of brown and black people. At this point, the tendency is to say that such ideas have no place in our society and must be stamped out. And rightly so, when they lead to racist attacks. But an uncomfortable truth is that it is not only extremists who are worried about racial change. My hunch is that this is an anxiety harboured by millions of ordinary Europeans, who have seen a huge growth in immigrant populations over a very short period. In Spain, for instance, the proportion of people born abroad has gone from 3% in 2000 to 14% today. No replacement is going on; it’s more of a mingling. But if we don’t want anxieties to fester into strife, we should acknowledge this change, and be allowed to discuss it.” (Juliet Samuel, The Daily Telegraph and The Week, 28 Feb 2020)
My take: In the 1670s my family arrived in London from Sedan in Eastern France, Huguenots fleeing religious intolerance. There were tens of thousands of these Protestants, and grave disquiet about them among London’s cockneys, who called them “ Frogs”. Was London being turned French? Two generations later nobody was thinking twice about it. The French quickly adopted British ways and made a huge contribution to the country in the arts, military, the silk industry and so on.
Fast forward and I am now writing this in Florida, which has a huge Latino population. Some people are from Cuba. Others are from Central and South America and from Puerto Rico, which is a territory of the United States. Talk to any of them at random, and you really can’t tell them apart from ordinary Americans, aside maybe from an accent. They love the country and simply want a good job and opportunities for their children. In 27 years I have yet to meet anyone wanting a political “takeover” of the United States. Indeed, they want to fit in and make a positive contribution. Moreover, most countries need these people – to do jobs that no one else wants to do, to be frank. In two generations………….
I think the people who write in the Daily Telegraph have unnecessary concerns, but, given its take on other issues, it doesn’t surprise me. Epicurus accepted a very wide variety of people, including slaves and women. So should we.