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From Greeks to Gringos: Why Mexico Lost Texas

Among the terms of endearment applied to Americans who worry about present immigration policy is "xenophobe." This high-toned word normally precedes lower-toned ones—"racist," "bigot," "neo-Nazi," etc.—which take over as the exasperation level rises.

A "xenophobe" is someone who fears foreigners. Fears them why? No dictionary is competent to say. Every xenophobe doubtless has his own reasons. I raise the point not for Freudian but for analytical reasons. Xenophobia, whatever connotations the word may take on in the mouths of the liberal establishment, speaks to a reality of human existence: to wit, there are foreigners we'd damn sure better fear. Or at the very least keep an eye on.

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes—"I fear the Greeks even when they bear gifts." What a shame the Trojans in general lacked Laocoon's appreciation of the wooden horse situation. Caught with their xenophobia down, they lost everything. And the peoples of Central Asia in the time of Genghis Khan? They should have gone to bed affirming pluralism and brotherhood?

There is one modern example of a people whose xenophobia was too languid for their own good. I mean the Mexicans of the early 19th century. Had the Mexicans, and the Spanish before them, possessed the sense to shut out my buckskin-clad forbears, scratching themselves and smelling no doubt...

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