The Washington Times recently ran an article by Jeffrey T. Kuhner stating that immigration would result in a loss of America’s European “roots” (“Obama’s next push is amnesty,” Opinion, Sept. 20). Mr. Kuhner should know better than to make such an ignorant statement as that. He is obviously unable to define Western civilization, much less recognize it when he sees it.
The American historian Joseph R. Strayer of Princeton University defined Western civilization as a cultural blend of Latin and Germanic culture fused with Christianity. Mr. Strayer stressed culture, not bloodlines. This includes the Indians of Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Bolivia. Mr. Kuhner’s article is racially charged and motivated. The Hispanics were the first to bring Western civilization to America, which they consolidated with their Indian allies.
To a large extent, most Americans like Mr. Kuhner cannot define the concepts of which they write, much less understand them. They simply pick up a few key words and presume to know what they are saying. The public would do well to learn its own heritage.
Professor of history and sociology
State University of New York