San Salvador on University Boulevard
Catching up on my back issues of National Review I came across this Happy Warrior column by Mark Steyn (subscription required) in which he stumbled across a New York Times article titled Struggling to Rise in the Suburbs Where Failing Means Fitting In. The Times article chronicles immigrant issues in Langley Park, a DC suburb not far from where I grew up in PG County.
The Times article describes Langley Park as:
Now nearly two-thirds Latino and foreign-born, it has the aesthetics of suburban sprawl and the aura of Central America. Laundromats double as money-transfer stores. Jobless men drink and sleep in the sun. There is no city government, few community leaders, and little community.
To which Steyn writes:
Langley Park is a good example of where tiptoeing around on multiculti eggshells leads: There is literally no language in which what’s happening in suburban Maryland can be politely discussed, not if an ambitious politician of either party wishes to remain viable. To exhibit an interest in immigration is to risk being marked down as, if not a “racist,” at least a “nativist.” And “immigration” isn’t really what it is, not really: After all, in traditional immigration patterns the immigrant assimilates to his new land, not the new land to the immigrant. Yet in this case the aura of Maryland dissolves like a mirage when faced with “the aura of Central America.”
Steyn is right, because one of the few “community leaders” in Langley Park, Delegate Victor Ramirez, has made an art form out of labeling anyone who dares accurately describe the problems in Langley Park as hateful and racist.
There is no language to have an honest discussion about Langley Park, because for Ramirez and his ilk in the Maryland Democratic Party, hate and racism have no meaning other than as a epithet to browbeat people and ideas they disagree with.