This week has seen one big immigration story and several smaller ones—I mean stories that are newsworthy but not novel or sensational, just more of the same old same old.
I’ll give over this segment to the big story, then follow with a portmanteau segment for the lesser ones.
The nearest we got to sensational this week was in the Mediterranean: precisely, on the little Italian island of Lampedusa.
Lampedusa’s a tiny place: eight square miles, population six and a half thousand, way out in the sea midway between Sicily and the North African coast. It looks beautiful in the pictures I’ve been browsing on the internet.
The island belongs to Italy; so an African who can get there somehow is then in the EU, in Europe, and can avail himself of all the provisions in the European Convention of Human Rights, and of the mighty armies of human rights lawyers who enforce those provisions.
Naturally lots of Africans have been heading to Lampedusa. That’s been going on for a quarter century now; it was part of the big 2015-2016 surge into Europe that got so much publicity—what Steve Sailer calls ”Merkel’s boner,” I forget why.
The nearest North African countries to Lampedusa are: nearest, Tunisia, and next nearest, Libya. Demographically both countries are overwhelmingly Middle Eastern white, having been ruled by Arabs and Turks for several centuries; so most of the boat people coming to Lampedusa these twenty-odd years past have been of that same stock.
Recently things have changed, though, most especially in Tunisia. Across the Sahara Desert to the south, the black African countries of the Sahel have been heading out ever further in the directions of over-population, under-development, and serious civic disorder. There’s been a steady flow of migrants northwards, especially into Tunisia, which until recently had a healthy economy.
The inflow of black Africans was OK for a while. But then the economy went into the tank, unemployment shot up, the president took emergency powers, and the blacks found themselves seriously unwelcome—not least by the president, a chap named Saied, who told them they should go back across the Sahara to black Africa.
The last few months things have gotten very bad for the blacks in Tunisia.
Quote from the Washington Post, June 30th:
According to more than 25 Washington Post interviews with victims, aid groups and activists, Black Africans have been assaulted, robbed, spit on, raped, stabbed and dragged through the streets. Last month, a man from Benin was hacked to death by a group of young Tunisians.
The racist roots of the rise in migration to Europe this year; Washington Post, June 30, 2023
After the Tunisian president embraced a “great replacement” conspiracy theory, aggression against Black Africans in Tunisia exploded and an exodus followed. https://t.co/f0q7QKGR7q— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 30, 2023
So of course the blacks are all heading to Europe—i.e., to Lampedusa. Tuesday this week, in some calm weather after a spell of rough seas, a flotilla of more than a hundred boats reached the island. By late Wednesday over seven thousand people had arrived, more than doubling the island’s population. To judge from the news pictures, practically all of the 7,000 are young men of fighting age.
This is a big embarrassment for Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, who was elected to that office a year ago on a platform of curbing illegal immigration, and who has been leading a combined EU effort to bribe Tunisia and other North African countries to curtail people-smuggling.
As I record here, the Italians are moving illegals from Lampedusa to Sicily and the Italian mainland as fast as they can, with a honcho from the United Nations refugee agency urging other European countries to help.
Willingness on the part of European nations to do so is … variable.
Those nations of Eastern Europe that used to be Soviet satellites are the most resolute in policing and defending their borders, sometimes in defiance of EU edicts. At the other extreme is Britain, which shows neither the inclination nor the ability to defend her borders.
Germany just this week, perhaps trending in the East European direction, pulled out of a multinational program to take illegals from front-line countries like Italy and Greece.
In France, on the other hand, President Macron is mumbling about a vague new scheme to get all EU members helping solve the crisis. In the meantime he continues to do as little as he can to stop the flow from France to Britain across the Channel.
So probably most of these Africans from Tunisia will end up in the U.K. after passing first through Italy and France.
Raspail drew a convincing picture of the incoming hordes (although he had them originating in India, not Africa); but the thing I remember most vividly from the book is the cowardice and helplessness of the Europeans—their utter inability to grasp what was happening, or to resist it—as their lands, the lands of their ancestors, were overrun.
Will there still be a place we can recognize as Europe another fifty years from now? Every time I read a story like this week’s out of Lampedusa, my hope recedes a little further.