Walker County Messenger - - Front Page -

we’re get­ting peas­ants who not only don’t speak English, they don’t even speak Span­ish and are also il­lit­er­ate in their own di­alects.

The Irish were driven out of their coun­try by a one-time calamity -- the po­tato famine. This wasn’t how they al­ways lived. Starv­ing poverty wasn’t their cul­ture.

Still, the Irish were -- at one time -- among the poor­est im­mi­grants we ever got and the slow­est to as­sim­i­late. It took 120 years, by po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Michael Barone’s es­ti­mate. (Imag­ine a time when our worst im­mi­grants were the Irish!)

And they might still be a prob­lem if The New York Times had de­manded spe­cial rights for them, the ACLU had brought law­suits on their be­half and the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter had screamed “racism” when­ever any­one no­ticed their bad be­hav­ior.

In­stead, no-non­sense Irish priests knocked them up­side the head and told them to sober up and go home to their wives. (Back then, the Catholic Church was not about “im­mi­grant rights”; it was about clean­ing up their own bums.)

By the 1950s, the Irish were out­earn­ing other Amer­i­cans. Many re­formed so well that they be­came Repub­li­cans.

That was then, this is now.

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