Fear of a brown planet: immigration hawks send out an SOS: "more white babies!".

Author:Weigel, David

BILL O'REILLY raging against illegal immigration? Nothing special. Bill O'Reilly prophesying the decline of the white race? That's why we pay our cable bills. On May 16, mustering support for President Bush's proposed crackdown on illegal immigration, The O'Reilly Factor's excitable host advanced his theory of why some Americans are wimping out on militarizing the border.

"According to the lefty zealots, the white Christians who hold power must be swept out by a new multicultural tide," O'Reilly panted. "This can only happen if demographics change in America."

It was the second time in a week that a Fox host had warned of the onrushing Brown Peril. On May II, Big Story anchor John Gibson reported that America's under-5 population was experiencing a dangerous pigment boom. Gibson has never been cuddly; he vaguely resembles Matthias, the zombie Torquemada from The Omega Man who hunted Charlton Heston for his precious bodily fluids. But Gibson worried the most cynical post-apocalyptic zombies with a warning that "Hispanics are having more kids than others" and that "the ones Hispanics call 'gabachos'--white people--are having fewer." It was time for non-Hispanics to "do your duty" and "make more babies."

If you had wondered what ugliness would spring from the drawnout debate over Mexican immigration, here it was. In the 1990s, talk like this was limited to AM radio channels and Web sites monitored by the FBI. Spooks scanned callers' credit card bills for fertilizer purchases or plane tickets to Montana. Now that talk has moved into prime time on America's News Channel, these opinions have gone legit. Maybe white people do need to have more babies. Maybe the Muslims are making a concerted effort to outbreed Europeans, take over France, and point their newly won nukes at Tel Aviv. (When Gibson felt the blowback from his "make more babies" segment, he cried out for tolerance: No, no, he wanted whites and Hispanics to breed, to prevent the imams from taking over and imposing Shariah.)

For all of the substance in the immigration debate--border walls, ID cards, English as the official U.S. language--it wouldn't have monopolized the national stage last spring without white-hot...

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