During an appearance on 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show, former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm (D) endorsed the theory that "being a little bit intolerant" allowed the United States to become "one people." Lamm also asserted that we "have to be very concerned that the Muslims that come here really truly want to be Americans."
While discussing immigration on the February 8 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show, former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm (D) supported the idea that the United States "became one people by being a little bit intolerant" and stated that part of the civil rights movement has "run amok" because it doesn't "know what values to stop and enforce." Lamm also asserted that we "have to be very concerned that the Muslims that come here really truly want to be Americans."
As Colorado Media Matters has noted (here and here), Lamm previously has voiced his preference for what he considers the positive attributes of some cultures over those of others, asserting that some cultures generally have a lack of "respect for learning and ambition." A July 27, 2006, Rocky Mountain News article reported on a controversial speech Lamm gave on July 24, 2006, in Vail at which Lamm sold copies of his book Two Wands, One Nation: An Essay on Race and Community in America (Fulcrum Publishing, January 2006). The News article described portions of Lamm's book:
In the 80-page paperback published in January, Lamm argues that Hispanics and blacks need to take responsibility for their "underperformance" and should adopt the values of the Japanese and Jews.
"Let me offer you, metaphorically, two magic wands that have sweeping powers to change society. With one wand you could wipe out all racism and discrimination from the hearts and minds of white America. The other wand you could wave across the ghettos and barrios of America and infuse the inhabitants with Japanese or Jewish values, respect for learning and ambition," Lamm wrote.
"I suggest that the best wand for society and for those who live in the ghettos and barrios would be the second wand."
From the February 8 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Peter Boyles Show:
LAMM: You know, there's some very unique writing on the fact that we didn't become one people, you know, by tolerance. That we -- in fact, we became one people by being a little bit intolerant. We sort of demanded that people speak English. And there were some social forces out there. Now, some of the -- you know, some of those might have been ugly. I mean, maybe some kids got beat up 'cause they spoke Italian. But there was overall the, you know -- the schoolteacher said speak English. This is -- and I do believe that this, you know, part of the civil rights movement and part of the sort of the good forces in this society that have made us a more tolerant society -- they've run amok, and they don't know what values to stop and enforce. And as you and I have talked about before, if I could -- if they could show me one bilingual, bicultural country that lived in peace with itself --
BOYLES: Yeah. No, I -- it doesn't work.
LAMM: History teaches us that language is one of the great dividers. And that, so we are backing into, without debate -- and, you know, the next thing's going to come is Puerto Rico statehood. That's going to come back and we're going to -- we may, there are going to be pressures to add a state that'll start us down the way to becoming a bilingual, bicultural country with all translators in Congress, and all that that other means. I think that's a terrible mistake.
BOYLES: And one of the great questions that always gets asked is, "Who do you have allegiance to?"
LAMM: The country has to have a certain level of loyalty on the part of its people. And, by the way, this is also -- we can't also talk about it, but in our Muslim immigrants.
BOYLES: Oh, absolutely.
LAMM: You remember we had one of our Muslim soldiers frag a couple of his officers? He dumped a grenade into their tent. And I think that this, when you look around and see what's happening in Canada and in western Europe, we also have to be very concerned that the Muslims that come here really truly want to be Americans.