Gods and Generals director Ron Maxwell recently took some time from his quest to find the next sucker investor for the final installment of his Civil War trilogy to write an open letter to the president on his immigration policy. On a side note, you probably have a better chance of turning a profit by answering one of those email scams out of Nigeria than by investing in Last Full Measure. Maxwell’s letter is sincerely written, but one wonders whether he really understands the debate and the history behind it. Here are a few excerpts:
It may already be too late to avoid a future annexation of the Southwest by Mexico or the evolution of a Mexican-dominated satellite state. This is not to say Mexican people are better or worse than any of God’s children. It is to say that millions of ethnically and culturally homogeneous people will seek self-determination in a land they will increasingly feel justified in claiming as their own. Especially when the natural weight of demographic change is accompanied by the sound-track of radical demagoguery that seeks to legitimize and moralize this phenomenon as a "reconquista."
But wait, it gets even better.
Working as I do in Civil War history, I have had to explore the ugly depths of the American institution of slavery, and have been privileged to work alongside civil-rights leaders and specialists in African-American history. For this reason, it troubles me that we appear today to be importing a second virtual slave class, of low-wage workers who are hired to replace or displace less-educated or privileged Americans – including the very descendants of American slaves. I agree with you that "no child should be left behind." But that is precisely what immigration advocates are doing to the children of America’s working class – by flooding the market with workers from a desperately poor country, who depress the wages of high-school and even college graduates.
I would take issue with Maxwell’s claim that he works in "Civil War history" rather than some form of historical entertainment that masquerades as serious history. How about that implicit comparison between slaves and "low-wage workers." Sounds like a modern George Fitzhugh analogy gone wrong. And for the finale:
To do the right thing, to take the safe course for protecting our country you will have to endure even more vilification from the Left, you will have to watch large and increasingly violent rallies by those who don’t want to abide by our laws or the will of the American people; who think they are entitled; who believe this country already belongs to them; who believe the rest of us should just move aside, shut-up and smile. To pretend this problem will go away by pandering to the illegal population, or to leave it for the next generation to solve is national suicide.
Just the kind of speech you would expect to come out of the mouth of one of his movie characters. Perhaps Maxwell can get together with Shaara to re-write the script and have Lee make this argument on the eve of the Wilderness or at Appomattox. Click here for the entire letter.