Lou Holtz was a hell of a college football coach (his stint as a pro coach went less well). But as for his “insights” into American politics and society…not so much.
Deadspin’s Tom Ley has some of the goods on the contributions Holtz is making so far this week to the Republican National Convention.
And Talking Points Memo reports that Holtz, speaking to the National Coalition for Life, in a celebration of the legendary right-wing activist Phyllis Schlafly, said:
- new immigrants to the United States constituted an “invasion.” (net immigration to the states has been zero for several years now).
- they need to “become us” and learn English. (Holtz is of German descent. German was the second most widely spoken language in the United States for generations, as German immigrants, beginning in the 17th century and extending into the 20th century, established German language newspapers, schools and places of worship. This isn’t a criticism. It’s just a fact. It reflects the reality of all major waves of immigration to the United States, in which new arrivals maintain connection with the traditions and cultures of their places of origin, sometimes for a very long time. Holtz is an ignoramus, so he wouldn’t know such things. But it’s critical and almost always missing context for debates about bi-lingual education and other flash points for evaluating whether immigrants from Latin America are assimilating appropriately).
- “I don’t want to become you,” he said, as quoted by the Daily Beast. “I don’t want to speak your language, I don’t want to celebrate your holidays, I sure as hell don’t want to cheer for your soccer team!”
Lou, no one is asking you to become someone else, nor to speak someone else’s language, nor to celebrate anyone else’s holidays nor to, God forbid, root for their soccer team. Seriously, how weak-minded and thin-skinned do you have to be to feel “threatened” in these ways?
I am continually amazed at the *constant* right wing trope that liberals are so “sensitive” when people like Holtz exhibit the capacity of a small child to deal with the vaguest and remotest challenges – and that’s already over-stating the case – to their sense of self.