To the Editor:
Trevor Wagener, in “White Europeans: An endangered species?” (2/28), does make the valid point that Europeans must address the fact that their demographics are changing. However, the true problem is not the one he addresses.
The true crisis in European immigration is whether Europe can resolve the inequality and disadvantages faced by immigrants.
The United States can serve as an example of how to integrate immigrants, just as France can serve as an example of how not to. As far back as the 1700s, “real” Americans (who had immigrated to the United States a few generations prior) feared immigrants like the Germans were a threat to the nation. But because they could learn English, gain employment and were treated equally, assimilation was possible. In the end, assimilation benefited both the immigrants and their new home country, just as it has for the immigrants from all corners of the world who have come to America in past centuries.
The point is not that Europe needs to be more like America, but that Europe needs to get over the fact that it is not going to have a vast white majority. In France, many citizens face poorer living conditions and hostility from white French people simply because they are descended from African immigrants. If the French government could realize these citizens are just as French and European as others, and just want to live a European life, progress would be made on the “problem” of non-white Europeans.
In short, Europe must realize its heritage and its racial makeup cannot be linked forever. The underlying premise of the article — the fact that “Europe will cease to be a white Christian continent” in 150 years is a problem — is why Europe continues to hold unenlightened views and policies on immigration. If Europe can assimilate its immigrants, then regardless of whether the EU president in 150 years is descended from today’s Muslim, Middle Eastern immigrant, he will be, and feel, at heart European, and that is what matters. The real danger is for Europe’s white population to hold onto the falsehood that only they can carry the European torch into the coming centuries, and to exclude others from the promise that full European citizenship holds.
The writer is a freshman in Morse College.