Our Chinese will still beat their Chinese.
Muhammad Waqar, Avi Wolfman-Arent, Yiran Xia, Victoria Sandoval, Jacqueline Orellana-Flores, Elizabeth Packer, Ramona Singh, Anuja Shah, Mayra Ramos, Emily-Kate Hannapel, Natasha Perez, Samir Paul, Ekta Taneja, Linden Vongsathorn, Michael Tsai, Nardos Teklebrahan, Matiwos Wondwosen…
I went to [my daughter Natalie’s] high school graduation Monday and a United Nations meeting broke out..
..If there is one reason to still be optimistic about America it is represented by the stunning diversity of the Montgomery Blair class of 2006. America is still the world’s greatest human magnet. We are not the only country that embraces diversity, but there is something about our free society and free market that still attracts people like no other. Our greatest asset is our ability to still cream off not only the first-round intellectual draft choices from around the world but the low-skilled-high-aspiring ones as well, and that is the main reason that I am not yet ready to cede the 21st century to China. Our Chinese will still beat their Chinese.
This influx of brainy and brawny immigrants is our oil well — one that never runs dry. It is an endless source of renewable human energy and creativity. Congress ought to stop debating gay marriage and finally give us a framework to maintain a free flow of legal immigration..
It is hard to watch a graduation like this and not think about our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan — the Taliban, Islamo-totalitarians like bin Laden and Zarqawi, and the retrograde regimes that support them. Their whole mind-set is about how to purify their world from “the other,” from diversity, from “infidels.” With enough brutality, they may win in Iraq. I still hope not.
*But they will never win the future — because as soon as their oil wells run dry, their societies will be as barren, bland and unproductive as their deserts.
Our oil wells, by contrast, will still be pumping.* They’re right there, hiding in plain sight, in the Blair commencement book:
Yueyang Li, Kenia Lopez-Reyes, Lucy Fromyer, Raya Steinberg, Zahra Gordon, Sreva Ghosh, Juan-Jesus Louis, Yendil Furcal, Yenusa Eke, Sofonias Frezghi, Yohanes Dejen, Edra Comegys-Brisbane, Yoel Castillio-Ortiz, Elijah Zuares, Placido Zelaya, Mimi Zou. And Jessica Smith.
Thomas L. Friedman, A Well of Smiths and Xias (emphases added)
I love Friedman. This is one of his best pieces ever.