Above: For Spain and for the King, Galvez in America (2016) by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau Nieto (b. 1964)
Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners. And necessity has made us allies. Those whom nature hath so joined together, let no man put asunder.
–John F Kennedy, May 1961
Almost two decades ago then Harvard Professor Samuel P. Huntington published “The Hispanic Challenge” on Foreign Policy Magazine. In it Dr. Huntington highlights what he perceived as the threat that Hispanic migration represented for the unity of America and the erosion of the historic Anglo-Protestant values that shaped this nation. Some of the main areas of concern were Hispanics’ lack of assimilation to the American culture, bilingualism as a cause of division and confusion, difference in religion, among other things. After almost twenty years and lots of migration (both legal and illegal) we can assess if Hispanic values are tied to American values. Do they cooperate or fight against each other? Have Hispanics brought the calamity that Dr. Huntington forecasted, or have Hispanics blended in the cultural fabric of our nation? Let’s start at the beginning by seeing if first of all America is exclusively an Anglo-Protestant nation. If our origins and values derived solely from it or if there was any Catholic and Hispanic input in the weaving of what would become America. Are they any Hispanic roots and values at the birth of this country that would tie us together?
The American Revolution: The Spanish Origins of America
During the Revolutionary War, America had to rely on lots of allies. These supplied the Patriots with all sort of necessary goods in order to fend off the British and their impressive navy (a not so easy task). One of the key, vital allies was Spain. The Spanish supported the revolutionary cause with money, weapons and even soldiers. The British tried to quell the American patriots by blocking the port and choking the Patriot’s cause for independence but failed to do so. Spain through the military genius of Bernardo de Galvez were able to break the blockade which helped keep alive General Washington’s war effort (depicted above).
Clearly Hispanics were part of America’s origin. Spain was the first true global civilization (was nicknamed “The Empire where the sun doesn’t set”) and for a moment had the universal currency of the time: “El Real de a Ocho” (also known as Spanish dolar). Speaking of dollars, this currency symbol so associated with America actually has a Spanish origin as well.
Migration and Assimilation
There are more than 60 million Hispanics in America, that’s literally more Hispanics in the US than Argentines in Argentina, Spaniards in Spain or Quebecois in Canada! Does this mean we are turning into a two province, bilingual type of province with two different agendas, interests and allegiances like what Quebec is for Canada? Far from it. Evidently the numbers are there, we have a “country” within a country yet the results reflect a very different story than what was feared. Despite all doubts, assimilation has happened and yet cultural retention has continued. This a particularly unique phenomenon not seen anywhere else, just ask our northern neighbors if they can boast about their interaction with their French-speaking brethren. Rather than seeking to “recover” lost territory Hispanics have embraced the political scene on both sides of the aisle, joining the “fight” to make sure we remain at the top of the global order. The latest example being Mayra Flores who became the first Mexican-born US Representative elected for Congress while also flipping a historically Democratic district in Texas. Rep. Flores’s humble origins, Catholic faith, pro-life values and success against all odds are the embodiment of what America means to all immigrants moving here in hope of a better life for their family and often their religion.
Looking Towards the Future
Dr. Huntington missed the mark not because he was not smart (evidently he was a brilliant man) but his error was taking a perceived threat and forgetting about the actual real threat. The real danger to America came not from Hispanic migration but from within our higher education institutions and their “woke” agenda. We are literally facing home-grown socialist sympathizers who are trying to divide our nation, disrupt churches, and literally burn down our communities. Far from looking to create a Two-State type of government that would weaken our country Hispanics are strengthening our nation with their values. We need that strength now more than ever. Divine Providence has placed America at crossroads, to choose between life or death, faith or fear, dignity or profanity. Life has had the first victory when a Catholic majority SCOTUS struck down Roe v. Wade. But although it is an important victory is still not enough to win and the war is far from over. This is the cultural battle of our lifetimes with repercussions that will be felt for generations to come and together with the help of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of the Americas, we will prevail.
Hispanics were contributing during the humble origins of our nation, and they are here as America fights the cling to its western identity, and will be here when our purification makes us a Shiny City on a Hill.
Dios bendiga a America!