To the editor: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) targeted his outlandish remarks — "we need to get our birthrates up" and "we can't restore our civilization with someone else's babies" — at the U.S. as much as Europe. ("Steve King yammers about European immigration problems, but his policies would replicate them in America," Opinion, March 14)
In so spouting, King artfully intimated that a steady influx of Muslim immigrants, with their historically high birthrates, would ineluctably erode our societal foundations.
Not likely. Though Muslim women average 3.1 children worldwide, that figure drops to about 2.2 for those who emigrate. That slightly exceeds America's overall birthrate of 1.9 children per woman, but is far lower than our Mormon birthrates of 3.4.
King evidently views Muslims as adherents of a fringe faith. Does he think the Mormons practice a mainstream religion that embodies his idea of American culture?
Kendra Strozyk, Cameron Park, Calif.
To the editor: King recently said, "I'd ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of [nonwhite] people that you are talking about."
Answer (just to name a few inventors, and limited to recent United States history): Frederick M. Jones, air-conditioning unit; Henry T. Sampson, technology used in cellphones; George T. Sampson, clothes dryer; T.J. Marshall, improving the fire extinguisher; Garrett Morgan, gas mask; Robert Flemming Jr., guitar; John Albert Burr, lawn mower; W.A. Martin, improving the lock; Philip B. Downing, mailbox; John Standard, improving the refrigerator; Edmond Berger, spark plug; George Washington Carver, peanut products; and Joseph N. Jackson, remote control.
African Americans and other people of color contribute greatly to the advancement of civilization in spite of unjust and persistent societal obstruction, small minds and underdeveloped hearts.
Hortense Bradley, Los Angeles