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  • Writer's pictureJeff Matthews

The Worst We Have to Offer, and the Best

Illegal immigrants should celebrate the Fourth “by going home,” says Jared Taylor, editor of “American Renaissance,” a publication that argues against easing immigration laws. —Wall Street Journal

David Dunn, 75, and his older brother were raised by their mother, a nurse, in a single-parent home in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Because Mr. Dunn received crucial help on his educational journey, he felt like he wanted to help others as well…. He read about Brother Brian Carty…of the De La Salle Academy—a middle school kids for lower-income households… Brother Carty referred him to SSP.

Wall Streeter Peter Flanagan founded SSP [Student Sponsor Partners] in 1986 with the idea of providing a high-quality education…to kids who don’t qualify for the scholarships that target academic stars. Mr. Dunn’s latest commitment brings his total SSP pledges to more than $6 million. To date, Mr.Dunn has helped more than 100 kids graduate private high school by paying their tuitions and nearly all—about 96%—have gone on to collage. —Wall Street Journal

I don’t know Jared Taylor—the “go home” immigrant basher quoted above (from a long and, ultimately, affirming article about immigrants in America, called “Torn on the Fourth of July”).

But I’d guess he’s never waited on tables or painted houses or cut lawns or built stone walls for a living—because that is the work of many of the immigrants he’d like to send back to where they presumably belong.

And I’d bet he doesn’t own a restaurant—after all, as Chef Anthony Bourdain says (in his very funny, eye-opening book, “Kitchen Confidential”), a good chef should speak Spanish, because that’s the native language of most kitchens.

And I’d be surprised if Mr. Taylor has relatives who were born south of the border, as was my cousin’s wife.

Precisely what makes my cousin’s wife different than my grandfather’s wife—born in Sweden but not forced to “go home” by Mr. Taylor’s forebears—is hardly clear to me, except that one has brown skin, while my grandmother had white skin. (The hypocrisy of the anti-immigration mob is not a subtle thing.)

Now, as I said, I don’t know Mr. Taylor, who seems to me to be about the worst we have to offer.

But I don’t know David Dunn, either—yet, whereas Mr. Taylor wants to send the rabble home, Mr. Dunn, as described in a brief but powerful story in the same section of today’s Journal as “Torn on the Fourth of July,” has embraced the rabble by offering their underprivileged children a good education.

And Mr. Dunn did this, according to the Journal, with the help of Peter Flanagan.

Unlike Mr. Taylor or Mr. Dunn, I do know Peter Flanagan. Descended from immigrants, as we all in one way or another have been, Peter has given more of himself to the cause of helping inner city school children get a chance to learn—and, therefore, succeed—than any person I know.

Peter happens to be among the best we have to offer—and David Dunn ranks right up there with him. We’re lucky their forebears decided to come to America. And luckier still they were allowed to stay.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up

© 2006 Jeff Matthews

The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. Matthews. Mr. Matthews also acts as an advisor and clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes a solicitation of business or investment advice. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.

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