My ancestors were not welcome in America. You can be nearly certain that yours weren’t either.
We often describe ourselves as a nation of immigrants. This is true, but incomplete, much as the description of your great-uncle Clarence as “inventive” downplays the illegal whiskey still he refined to perfection.
We are not so much a nation of immigrants, as a nation of immigrant panics. Your ancestors and mine, if they were among the luckier newcomers who immigrated by their own will, arrived in dire circumstances, driven by want, violence, or fear of the noose. No one at the peak of success, swimming in the admiration of their peers, sits before the fire one night with a brandy and decides to move their family to a chaotic, hostile wilderness. Immigrants arrive here without much promise, to the fear and consternation of the upper-classmen who watch them disembark. America is a nation of hungry, determined losers. Out of misery and perseverance, they built the most powerful nation on earth.
Every wave of immigrants, from the Quakers in New England to the babies we’re ripping from their mothers, have inspired fear among those already present. Immigrants bring change, and the direction of that change is beyond our control. Our distant grandfolk resemble those children in cages far more than they resemble us. Deep down most of us deny that reality and work hard to suppress it.
The bulk of my known ancestors were Scots-Irish immigrants whose arrival inspired one of Colonial America’s earliest immigrant panics. Immigrants are assigned responsibility for crime, disease, social breakdown; basically anything bad happening in contemporary society. My ancestors were no exception. Prominent 18th century preacher Cotton Mather called my people a “formidable attempt by Satan and his sons to unsettle us.” Citizens of Worcester in 1740 burned down a church they were trying to construct, inspiring the Scots-Irish to move along.
Itinerant Anglican minister, Charles Woodmason, endeavored to bring the light of true gospel and civilization to the Scots-Irish immigrants flowing into Pennsylvania’s back country in the 1760’s. Here’s how he described them:
They are very Poor — owing to their extreme Indolence for they possess the finest Country in America, and could raise but ev’ry thing. They delight in their present low, lazy, sluttish, heathenish, hellish Life, and seem not desirous of changing it. Both Men and Women will do any thing to come at Liquor, Cloaths, furniture, etc. rather than work for it — Hence their many Vices — their gross Licentiousness[,] Wantonness, Lasciviousness, Rudeness, Lewdness, and Profligacy they will commit the grossest Enormities, before my face, and laugh at all Admonition.
By some miracle, this sluttish rabble produced seven of the country’s Presidents, and an innumerable mass of her greatest generals. You’re welcome.
It seems theoretically possible that immigrants could cause problems, though beneath all the hysteria, the fear-peddlers struggle to find honest, verifiable proof. Down through history, the worst consequences of mass immigration have risen from the neurotic panics they inspire among established residents.
Evidence tells us that new immigrants are essential to our economic vibrancy. Immigrants make our nation wealthier, more powerful, more inventive, and generally more successful. They are less likely to commit crimes or live off the social safety net , and twice as likely to launch new businesses than previously settled residents. Between the proven benefits of immigration and our own immigrant heritage, you might expect we’d learn to welcome the next boatful of teeming masses. You’d be wrong.
This is the unspoken American Dream, embraced by centuries of immigrants to this country: If I work hard and experience success, one day my grandchildren can blindly persecute people just like me. Key to this American Dream is the central challenge of so-called “assimilation” – becoming white people.
In America, new arrivals are dropped into a kind of cultural purgatory, an ambiguous container in the cramped nether land between whiteness, which we value, and blackness, which we pretend not to punish. The first skill of “assimilation” is learning to place yourself on the white side of this life and death divide, which is more difficult than it sounds. “Whiteness” and “blackness” in our manner of usage, are mysterious, elusive concepts to most new arrivals.
Drop the vowel from the end of your name and stop eating those garlicky foods. Lose the burden of the fourteen silent consonants your name carried across the water. Christmas is on December 25. Join a megachurch. Have a hamburger. Adopt clothing, music, manners and entertainment habits that look more like white people than black people. Learn how to use the n-word. From the “Lace-Curtain Irish” to today’s aspiring assimilators, learning to build an identity on the white side of our lethal color line is the true gateway to freedom in America.
This American hazing ritual keeps us on an endless treadmill of immigrant panics. Meanwhile, we are quite lucky that we can attract immigrants without having to offer enticements. No one can promise that our luck won’t run out. The only thing worse than a million immigrants trying to enter our country is none of them.
We have made it nearly impossible for people to immigrate to the US legally without an existing family connection. Apart from a few thousand elite visas, you literally have to win a lottery to come here legally without a family tie. We closed the Golden Door a very long time ago, relying since on illegal immigration and refugees to fill our need to for new Americans.
Since we rolled up our welcome mat and barred the door, immigrants have found innovative ways to come here and make us stronger. Chinese invented the “paper sons” to skirt the Exclusion Acts. Some of the more fortunate German Jews fleeing Hitler found smugglers to help them across our northern and southern borders. Our own First Lady, Melania Trump, is an example of the “innovative” techniques used to escape our immigration restrictions. It appears that our First Lady somehow leveraged a very rare “genius” provision, to gain a visa. During the campaign Trump promised full disclosure of the details, but as with every other promise of disclosure from the Trump’s, it was a lie. The legitimate explanation of Melania Trump’s immigration remains hidden somewhere with Donald’s tax returns and the hush-money contracts for his hookers. She may not have crossed burning sands to reach our borders, but you can be certain Melania Trump is paying for her shot at the dream.
Though her immigration on a so-called “Einstein Visa” might have been shady, her commitment to become a Real American™ appears all-too sincere. By 2011 Melania Trump was on the Joy Behar show repeating the claims of the racist Birther conspiracy. Welcome to white America, sister.
Very quietly over the past decade, a change occurred which may have troubling long-term implications. Mexican immigration to the US has not merely halted, it has reversed. Annually we now lose more Mexicans than we gain. Their loss has been cushioned, so far, by increased immigration from Central America. How much longer will this continue?
Global poverty is in steep, long term decline, right along with fertility rates. Despite TV news reports to the contrary, the world’s supply of teeming masses is thinning while competition for immigration grows stiffer. On a per capita basis, Canada, Australia and New Zealand already accept far more immigrants than the US. Most European countries have a higher proportion of foreign born than the US. We rank a tepid 65th in our per capita foreign born population. Make no mistake, if they could get there on foot, many of those desperate Salvadorans would much rather live in frigid Toronto than in Phoenix.
To appreciate what this new global competition means for us, let’s imagine for a moment that as a nation, it’s time to pick team members. You have a choice between some supremely comfortable current American, their skin soft and pale, bathed in the electric glow of Fox News. They have a college education, a job in their grandfather’s company, three cars and a 3500 square foot home.
Or you could choose a Honduran laborer, who left their tiny cement-block apartment when the gangs promised to murder them, and the police refused to protect them. They scooped up their family and their meagre savings, setting out toward the unknown El Norte. They stand before you speaking only Spanish, uneducated, burned by the sun, character forged by hardship, determined, penniless and hopeful.
Who will do more to build this country? Who will work harder, whine less, take more chances, seize more opportunities? You know the answer, and so does that Fox News viewer. That’s what perhaps scares them most about those brown faces on TV. Those families we’re breaking apart are more truly American than we are. They will endure. They already have.
These new immigrants whose children languish in cages are who we used to be. Chances are, our immigrant forebears would pick them over us.
God Bless America.
This upset by this young woman, a teacher, who speaks directly to the needs of working class people so effectively in this 2′ ad she released right before the primary where she defeated Crowley.
I would like to note that some of the best ads are being produced for Democrats. Lots of them are women who have no political experience. Good thing their ad folks do! It’s paying off!
Great ads, particularly the one for Hegar. I hope she wins.
Sobering presentation of the world we are living in, and sadly, I think Mr. Hamilton is correct. It’s scary and disheartening but it ought to be compelling to Americans who I have to hope share a desire for a nation at peace with itself. If we fail to wrest control from those who by every action demonstrate their intention to destroy our democratic institutions, the outcome will be as projected.
Koctya – “Remember who you are.” Profound question which I doubt many people reflect upon. To know who we are requires deep introspection tried and tested through critical thinking and diverse experiences. How would we respond if placed in situations such as the Selma march? Would we offer our bodies as the dignified Black people did knowing full well they would be beset with water, dogs, clubs and jail? I doubt many would offer themselves up for their race in order to help advance a message of peaceful coexistence and justice.
Tutta – I confess I read more news/articles that reinforce my beliefs than those that reflect other points of view….Can’t be all doom and gloom…must find some hope in order to find reason to look forward to the next day. It is not easy in this time. The deliberate chaos and acrimony flowing threatens peaceful existence.
As for what I meant in stating “by my actions I qualify” – I have never been arrested (got close with the Brady protest) and have always followed the laws of our country, even when I disagreed with them. I do utilize peaceful protest means, but I have never deliberately broken the law. Thus, from an airport security perspective, I’m “not a target.”
Mime, I especially liked the article that talks about how we as a society have become so glued to our devices and easily distracted by cheap entertainment that we don’t see what’s going on around us, or as soon as we develop the resolve to combat an injustice, we get sidetracked.
We used to be a bookish society, and the people I most admired when growing up, my elders (Boomers and the Greatest Generation), were people who read books and newspapers, serious, thoughtful people of substance who would sit down and look people in the eye and have deep discussions, actually listen, when people were admired for what they knew and not for the devices they owned, or for how hip and glib they were. Blogs like this one are a throwback to that era. I think it’s cool that Chris has actually read books that I’ve recommened to him, like Deep South and Nomadland.
Which is why I was taken aback by Chris’s recent dark posts. He’s always been the voice of reason, the calm in the storm. But I guess he’s human.
Mime, you’re a good girl like me. I don’t even jaywalk. That’s why my beliefs were so challenged by the previous thread. Civil disobedience, even for a good cause, doesn’t come easily to someone who can’t even bring herself to jaywalk.
The stupidity that is happening on the Mexican border is occurring on the Canadian border as well. In May a French woman who was visiting her mother in BC unwittingly crossed the border into the US while jogging on the beach. She did not have ID, so she was detained for two weeks in the Seattle area Detention facility. This article was originally published in the Washington Post and was carried Sunday in the Seattle Times.
Also I see that the Feds want to start charging an entrance fee for legal entrants. Naturally the states on the Canadian border are protesting.
T is attempting to totally isolate the US from the rest of the world except for totalitarian regimes.
The reason the US does not get immigration from European nations is because their citizens do not want to come here; to them the U.S. is a “Sh–t Hole Country”.
Under Trump we are indeed becoming a shithole country. Babies taken from mothers over a misdemeanor NOT a felony. Darker skinned people being harassed by fat, white Trumpers while working. Black children having the police called for selling bottled water.
This country has lost its collective mind.
When I clicked on Kayray’s link above, I happened to also see this article in the Guardian. The US & Canada rank the highest in who we regard as being real American’s.
Americans are really quite tolerant and inclusive. It is just the this crazy administration and its base that is so xenophobic.
Someone just emailed this to me. I think it’s quite funny.
I would prefer that many, many English people line up along his route and turn their backs to him as his motorcade passes so that there is no doubt the disdain and disrespect they feel for him.
I’d prefer no one show up period. Trump will spin any crowd as “the biggest turn out ever for a visiting president”. We know he lies. We also know he’s thin-skinned, insecure and ego driven so the baby balloon will have much more effect.
There’s forecast to be tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people turning up at the protest. I suspect that we will not be allowed close enough for him to see us, let alone to notice anything as dignified as back-turning.
Personally, I’m hoping for some sort of Euromaidan moment, but I accept that this is optimistic.
This will get worse. New policy which I feel is Trudeau-payback….but shows how out of control and authoritarian things are becoming.
Fortunately, Trump’s deplorables aren’t smart enough to stay off social media and are revealing themselves.
Trump will never be able to advance meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform when his base thinking (as tweeted) is: ““We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country,” Trump wrote. “When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came. Our system is a mockery to good immigration policy and Law and Order. Most children come without parents…”
Read yesterday that when it became obvious that T was going to have to back off his separation policy, his first reaction was that he propose an immigration plan by E.O. Wiser people prevailed and the rescission was more narrowly focused, but this is clearly a man who has no respect for process, laws, and democracy, lacks humility and wisdom. He continues to believe that his views are the only “best” choices, absent any intellectual effort to understand the complexity of the problem nor avail himself of experience and knowledge of experts in the field. This is not an easy issue to resolve, but it can be resolved. Likely not in this administration but hopefully in others and in a bi-partisan manner.
Umair Hacque, a proponent of an economic social philosophy he titles, “Eudainomics,” states America’s dilemma in depressing terms, but is he correct? He states that America is in a state of classical social collapse – exacerbated by Trump but logically predictable to those who study the rise of authoritarianism. He proposes that this “wasn’t just about a single person — but a set of social trends, historical tides, that were setting off a classical sequence of collapse, seen many times before. Economic stagnation. A middle class imploding. Skyrocketing inequality. A society without safety nets, public goods. People living at the edge, feeling insecure, unsafe, threatened. A culture of cruelty. Long-standing tribalism and bigotry. A predatory economy. An extremist, ironically Soviet rejection of modernity, by politicians, thinkers, pundits — the idea that America could build a modern, post industrial society on the industrial age ideas of self-reliance, individualism, consumption, and no investment whatsoever by society in people. ”
Further, Umair questions what we think we should expect the next two years after the first two years to look like? That Congress will develop a conscience and assume their elected responsibility as a checks and balance on a deplorable president? That the American people will get up off their butts and vote in significant numbers to send this Republican majority home? That Trump will moderate his actions? That our democratic institutions and laws will hold? That Mueller’s Report will produce a miracle of responsible action? “Will America still be a nominally functioning democracy, a modern society, a member of the league of civilized nations — or will it be something like a collapsed, globally reviled pariah state?”
I cannot imagine that America will succumb to this state, but then, neither did I imagine Trump would ever be elected, and, if elected, the Republican Party would abdicate their responsibility to hold him within democratic limits. Read it. It’s your call. What if Umair is right? He is an interesting, thoughtful, intelligent man and we need to pay attention to his warnings. Indeed – what “if” Congress remains in majority Republican control, and Trump wins re-election? Think that’s impossible?
And this more optimistic view of America by virtue of their rejection of Trump’s harsh border policy that separated families…even those who oppose entry of brown people were appalled. A “red line” was crossed. “Democracy’s immune system worked.” This is important but should it take such an extreme situation to provoke public outrage?
Others don’t share this sense of optimism. Michiko Kakutami points out that because so much of T’s actions are shocking, it takes something as visibly horrible as taking children away from parents and lying about it, to move Americans to outrage?
Note that both of these people are ethnically different than most Americans. Note how much they care about the democratic ideals. Voices like this must be joined by all our voices if we are to retake our country.
As I said a few postings back, have your passports ready and a plan. We are planning in 4 years to take the boat down to the BVI’s and take on charter passengers.
Be sure to post your port of call here so all we political orphans can find your slip!
For sure. I’ll still be checking my favorite blogs.
The interesting thing is that Trump’s Grandfather would likely not have been admitted under any immigration plan the Trump would implement. Melania herself would likely not have been admitted except for her “special skills”.
Be careful where you head, kayray. The world is sadly not a particularly refugee-friendly place nowadays.
It’s nightmarish to think of the American Republic as being a place where boatloads of refugees set sail from, seeking a better life elsewhere, but I suppose that’s the world we live in.
Luckily, my SO has friends on boats down there already. One couple is in Isla Mujere (blah) and the other one has his boat in St. Maarten. Our idea is to just cruise staying close to islands and beating a hasty retreat ahead of hurricanes.
Thanks, Mime. I enjoyed reading the 2 articles you posted, the ones that look at our current situation from the perspective of political philosophy.
Futurist Charles Stross sees current activity as building blocks toward a major looming fallout. Once the virtue-signalling of climate denialism is no longer tenable on the right, they’ll switch to using climate change as an excuse to let populations collapse:
Meanwhile I hold that my most extreme liberal / libertarian political view is that international migration should be just as easy and fluid as interstate migration within the United States. Different states have their own benefits to citizenship of that state that newcomers from other states cannot tap into until they have put in their share, and when an Ohian transplant commits a crime in Nebraska he goes to jail in Nebraska, he isn’t ‘extradited’ to Ohio.
That’s the structure I seek and all of the ‘but our limited resources!’ is Malthusian nonsense that only brings the middle to accepting some basic tenets of ethnic supremacist thinking. There are not too many mouths to feed, there’s only a larger market.
Easier, but totally unvetted entry to U.S.? I am not in favor of that.
Why not? We have more than enough prison space to deal with any criminals, once we commute all the sentences of petty drug users and dealers.
I’m kidding, but only sort of. For me the solution of ‘undocumented immigrants’ is to document them. If they don’t accept documentation then maybe there’s a place for enforcement, but the purpose of documentation is for data and so that we have something to work with in all the various messy ways life goes wrong. For citizenship, as long as they live and work in the US for something like five years, and two of them in full residence of a state, they should be able to apply for citizenship, at which point the ‘vetting’ process occurs regarding whether they should have the same access and rights citizenship confers. Their incentive to do no wrong is there, but the incentive is practical and clear.
This isn’t extreme ideology: it’s the way immigration in the United States used to work before artificial limits and enforcement laws were created, with stuff like lotteries and family-connected visas all designed to keep immigration mostly as an advantage to Europeans. It’s once those laws started ironically helping out Latin Americans that suddenly our immigration laws were ‘broken’ and enforcement ‘weakened.’ Immigration laws in the US have always been and always will be based on attempts to keep borders open for white people and closed for brown.
What immigration laws should be, as far as I believe we should have them, is regarding how most effectively to get people who want to come settled into their new communities comfortably.
I don’t disagree with anything you have stated other than to note this general process is “vetting.” Possibly that’s what you meant, or thought we understood but I didn’t prerceive your broader intent. I am as pro-immigrant as they come but I do want there to be a credible, verifiable process to screen applicants…all applicants, not just “brown” ones which I find racist as a singular focus.
For me, the lack of a comprehensive immigration plan is at the root of the problem from a process vantage. This is not to deny the racism element but simply the mechanics of managing hundreds of thousands of people asking for admittance. If John Boehner had allowed the bi-partisan comprehensive immigration bill to come to a vote when he was speaker, we could have made progress. He didn’t and when you have someone like Trump leading the nation’s policy, things get gummed up really badly, real fast. The fact that he lacks competence, is racist and not capable or interested in analysis only complicates things further.
“I don’t disagree with anything you have stated other than to note this general process is “vetting.””
From my perspective ‘vetting’ means deciding which immigrants can be documented based on certain factors, like location of origin, quality of education, familial relationship with citizens, etc.
I’m saying none of those factors should be considered beyond how long the resident immigrant lives and works in the United States.
The most uneducated desperate Salvadorean refugee is just as valuable a human being, with an entitlement to universal human rights and a chance at making a better life, as any person in the Trump family.
Semantics. Processing. Whatever. There has to be a process. And, no, I don’t think everyone who wants to come in should get in. This is a small number but important. I respectfully disagree with a blanket entry policy. Adopt a fair, comprehensive immigration policy and this may preclude a lot of hassle at the borders…Airline security is doing it by allowing people to pre-clear security. By my age, I qualify…fortunately, by my actions, I also qualify, and it may be possible to incorporate a smoother process for immigration. I want diversity and the best way to assure it is to welcome people from other countries – without discrimination nor prohibitive citizenship requirements. I have read that T’s administration is now going back through naturalized citizen records and may revoke some of these people’s right to live here. Where does this end?
“Semantics. Processing. Whatever.”
Semantics affect how legislation and law are interpreted.
“I respectfully disagree with a blanket entry policy. Adopt a fair, comprehensive immigration policy and this may preclude a lot of hassle at the borders…Airline security is doing it by allowing people to pre-clear security.”
The needlessly inefficient and ineffective kabuki theatre designed almost exclusively around racial profiling is your model for immigration? I’m pretty sure a Muslim woman of your same age and behavior won’t be qualified. This is actually a pretty good analogy for why qualified immigration is ethnic nationalism. Stuff like “Well if they want to be American, why don’t they assimilate?” is always a moving goal post meant to paint the other as unacceptable.
Freedom of movement should be considered a fundamental human right. It already is recognized as such in the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the following articles:
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. *
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
Freedom of movement was also a major incentive regarding a shared market in the European Union.
The UN is pretty much toothless when it comes to enforcing these rights, particularly because it’s not a government. But it goes to show that a bunch of governments, coalescing after World War II and trying to learn from the experiences that resulted in organized genocide by some nations helped by the neglect and refusal of refuge by others, were aware that freedom of movement is a matter of survival and moral standards for the human condition. Being that the United States is fundamentally founded on that concern and a major leader in developing the UN, to me it’s decidedly un-American to shut doors, even glass ones.
” I respectfully disagree”
By the way, I do appreciate your and JonCR’s pushback on this. From my side I see this discussion as respectful and I hope my counterarguments are also coming across as respectful. I’ve been sitting on my “seriously, fuck all border control” beliefs unstated for a very long time and this is sort of a field test of how my arguments will come under scrutiny from people more rational than bigots who’ve brought internment camps on American soil in my lifetime.
People only “more rational” than the bigots? NOW, I am offended! (-;
FWIW, the development of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was spearheaded by Eleanor Roosevelt. She wanted it to be aspirational, hoping that the nations of the world would over time strive to truly implement it. She knew that all nations fell short, including the U.S. Nevertheless, at the time of development the U.S. was in the mood to move toward it as an ultimate goal.
I seriously doubted that she ever dreamed that the U.S. would some day have a president such as Trump, who would actively attempt to dismantle the Declaration, but then he would even attempt to dismantle the Preamble to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, if he realized what it stated. But then that does not fit into a bullet point.
Mime, what do you mean when you say that by your actions you qualify? What actions are you referring to?
Aaron, is freedom of movement the same as freedom of entry? At some point one person’s right to freedom of movement conflicts with another person’s or another nation’s right to their own space, to their own personal or national boundary that only they can define, and then it becomes trespassing.
It’s trespassing IF you don’t have permission or an invitation to enter.
Yes, freedom of movement is the same as freedom of entry.
I do not see freedom of movement as a threat to property rights nor privacy rights.
“their own […] national boundary that only they can define,”
Boundaries between nations, states, districts, municipalities, property, and so forth are physical / geographic claims that can be measured and argued for in court of law based on records of ownership. This inherently requires a process of land and property management as well as a supervising court system to oversee territorial disputes.
My uncle was a land surveyor and literally wrote a book on the history of territorial and property disputes covering much of the Southwest, a history that is complex, dark, and full of quite a lot of murder and fraud. It took almost two centuries for the majority of those disputes to be settled, and yet most of the disputes are outstanding to this day. For instance, many Latin American — that is to say non-indigeneous, Western colonial — settlers have lived and maintain land ownership in much of the Southwest for more generations than the United States has existed. If we define legal boundaries as determined by the will of the people who live there exclusively, by all rights the US should cede most of it’s Southwestern territory to either Mexico or allow it to secede and become its own nation.
But that would clearly be not only ludicrous, but unfeasable. The point is that borders change. Boundaries shift. New nations come and old nations go. Nature moves land. Populations migrate. Diaspora shuffles civilizations. Humankind is a migratory species. Culture is amorphous and chimeric.
A migrant showing up on a Texan’s ranch should be treated like a Texan showing up uninvited on a Texan’s ranch: as a trespasser, but to the Texan’s private property, not to his nation. The solution is removal from the private property, but not deportation.
United States citizens should feel as threatened by Central Americans crossing their global district line as Ohioans are threatened by interstate migrants from Tennessee: they’re not, nor are they existentially threatened by ‘changing culture.’ But Ohio and Tennessee are distinct regions of geography that have different cultures and different laws and different ways of doing things, chosen by whomever chooses to participate in those regions.
We’re all just people here.
Aaron, “, by all rights the US should cede most of it’s Southwestern territory to either Mexico or allow it to secede and become its own nation.” Totally agree. America with its current borders exists because native families/groups (Mexicans, Indians) didn’t win the fight to keep their land. There are families living along the border where T’s wall is planned who hold land grants over several generations, yet this land is being expropriated, in some cases, eliminating access to water and grazing rights to their own property. How can this be “right?” It may not be feasible given U.S. laws, but ludicrous? Heck no!
I accept your premise that borders change, but through aggression rather than culture. That so many groups have assimilated is to their credit, and to the demise of their cultural identify. I am not convinced this makes the world a better place. For me, cultural differences are ennobling and interesting, not threatening as long as people come in peace with the intention to live together rather than dominate. This may be the natural order of a world led by men who are motivated by conquest and domination as a characteristic of their gender, but it is not right to deprive native people of their land of origin. Yet, it happens again and again. Why can’t people be willing to coexist rather than control others?
Please share the title of your uncle’s book if it is still in print. Also, have you read, “Killers of the Flower Moon?”
Sorry for the late reply; I’ve not been in much over the past few days.
Aaron you do come across as respectful.
I don’t know how much you read of my comments on the last post before my conversation with you, but I don’t think culture is completely arbitrary. For instance, I was at a wedding recently. The couple and most of the guests were devout evangelicals. Their ceremony included the line “obey your husband “ and was generally asymmetric and patriarchal. So I silently thought less of them because of their culture and its values. Indeed, culture largely is values, and there is no better to reason to judge a person than by their values. Insofar as culture has to do with food and dates of holidays I like cultural diversity, but that’s not the extent of it.
I mostly agree with Chris’s current post. But the key is the context of the United States and the groups he mentions. In Europe the same argument would not hold up. I more or less said on the last post that reasons related to culture and demographics were part of how I perceive the situation there, and I stand by that. Letting in throngs of desperate young men, from a culture that gives little value to women, was stupid. Young, single men are the most likely perpetrators of crime to begin with, and then add that to having almost nothing to lose. The results were predictable… the key about the examples of the Rotherham grooming gangs and the Cologne New Year’s assaults is the scale; these aren’t isolated, single incidents in which the perpetrators happened to be foreign nationals. There were, iirc, dozens in one, and hundreds in the latter.
The Muslims I have met in America are not much different from mainline Protestants. I consider them American in their culture. But Islam internationally is different. I can’t remember all of the terrifying opinion polls off the top of my head, but it’s something like over 60% of Muslims in Britain that want the death penalty for those who caricature Mohammed. So, yeah, I don’t think that their culture permits them to enter the West in large numbers. Just as an example, Christian extremists have never made violent attempts on the creators of South Park, and this is my expectation for all groups in the entire West.
Something I noticed but forgot to ask: what is the idea behind having a right to a nationality?
A recent news story about a ICE raid involving over 100 workers was interesting for what was not mentioned. I believe it is illegal to employ undocumented labor, yet there was no mention of management arrests. You can’t have over 100 folks without papers working for you and be clueless.
Start putting the folks who employ undocumented labor in jail and the issue will resolve in short order. No wall required.
In all the raids I have read about, never has there been any mention of arrest of management. This has been the practice for years, so it is not surprising, just affirming of the real reason behind the arrests.
Here’s a scathing look at the “new” America – the one that doesn’t want “brown” people to enter our country. Instead, as Chris notes, nationalism is shutting down the southern border because, brown people. To be clear, Republicans have long loathed Mexican immigrants (except to work in the fields, roads, industry – that’s “different”), but there was more compassion demonstrated in the laws and by leadership. GWB’s Pathway to Citizenship may have been imperfect but it sure looks different than what is being proposed today. Immigration does need a coherent, manageable policy, but it also needs to be smart policy. Why aren’t our leaders capable of creating work visas for seasonal agricultural needs and create a citizenship process that doesn’t take a decade and a great deal of money that many immigrants don’t have. (The others buy their way in with special visas.) Where is our long term vision for our future needs and the desire to offer sanctuary to people fleeing dangerous situations? Without doubt, the new Zero Tolerance Policy effectively ends asylum in America. The litmus test outlined by Sessions functionally prohibits anyone from qualifying.
If America isn’t careful, we will spend more to house prisoners and immigrants than we do our aging population. The big “tell” this week was the withdrawal of the U.S. from the U.N. Human Rights Committee. At least this move is consistent with the current administrative policy about human rights. So sad. In addition, Republicans had their best fund raising month ever in May and are sitting on a $47M surplus…not a bad situation in advance of mid-term elections. Further, Pew and 538 report that the GOP base is just as energized as the Dem Base. The difference is with the “other” voting demographic…millennials and Independents….who are demonstrating political fatigue and tuning out from overload. The Blue Wave is not assured and the thought of spending another term under the majority control of DJT and the spineless republicans is depressing. Of course, November is light years away and T is likely to have many more crises between now and then, and Mueller hasn’t released his report yet….Ah, politics…
The Republican base has long been racist and wanted to follow these policies. Now they have a President who openly agrees with them and they are ecstatic and becoming far more open with their true beliefs. That is one of the reasons that I refer to them as “true believers”, plus I am alluding to Eric Hoffer’s work. The Republican Party has become cult like and is dominated by authoritarians.
The T is basically following the same campaign plan for 2018 that he did for 2016. Focus on the rural areas and within those the most disaffected whites. With the nationwide skew of congressional districts to those areas, it may be enough. I sure as hell hope not.
Godwin’s Law – Does it apply to what is happening with this administration’s focus on keeping brown people out of America? The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland doesn’t use this term lightly but offers a cautionary note about the potential in the U.S. given the push towards authoritarianism and nationalism which is mirrored in other countries.
“You don’t have to go to back to 1930s Germany to know that the first step towards catastrophe is the dehumanisation of a reviled group. It happened that way in Rwanda and the Balkans in the 1990s, and it’s happening in today’s United States. “These aren’t people, these are animals,” the US president said last month. They want “to pour into and infest our country”, he tweeted this week. “Infest” is a word reserved for rats and insects. This is the language of those seeking to choke off human sympathy, by suggesting those suffering are not even human.”
“Put starkly, the norms and taboos established after the world witnessed the Holocaust are eroding before our eyes. For 70-odd years, roughly the span of a human life, they endured, keeping the lid on the darker impulses that, we had seen, lurked within all of us. It steadily became taboo to voice undiluted racism and xenophobia. Those fears, those loathings of the stranger, never went away, of course. But they were held in check, partly by the knowledge of where such hatred, unrestrained, could lead.”
This is my greatest concern – the attacks on our democratic institutions and norms. All one has to do is read the comments section below any mainstream news source to see how outspokenly supportive so many people are of this philosophy. Then take a look at the president and the people he has chosen to assist him. Will democracy be able to survive and overcome such animus? Even with T gone, millions of people will remain who deeply believe this philosophy of hate and exclusion.
Many in the name of “god.” “Their” god. Not mine.
Mary, unfortunately that is exactly what is happening. The national R Party has long appealed to the darker impulses of American with their “dog whistle” rhetoric. That rhetoric has became more explicit but was still kept under control. With T, he has not only made it explicit, but emphasizes it deliberately to appeal to most disaffected, paranoid and xenophobic portions of the American electorate. That is the method all authoritarians use. That guy with the funny mustache in Germany did the same. These are the reasons I long along quit voting for R’s.
Mike Godwin has formally withdrawn his law:
One can hope they will all OD.
I’m hoping America – or enough of America – has finally had enough. I have completely given up on T’s base seeing him and the GOP for what they are, but maybe there is hope for whatever honorable moderate Republicans still exist. I can only hope so.
I don’t want Trump supporters to OD, I want them to have enough opportunities and critical thinking skills that they don’t need to worry about their standards of living and aren’t the least bit concerned about competition from their new neighbors from a different country.
Here’s what I want of Trump supporters: use critical thinking skills and make your political choice(s) based upon something other than FOX News. Assess campaign promises, the performance of this president and the party that is enabling him, and make a considered decision as to whether America is a better place to live because of their policies and actions.
Nirvania, I know, because there are so many who simply refuse to see the consequences of this presidency, and too many who are evidently too intellectually lazy and personally dishonest to try. How often do we read about coal workers and mid-west grain producers express concern over what is happening to their livelihoods but insist that T policies are “going to help them?” I choose to focus my time/energy on people with whom I can have a meaningful, civil discussion – an admittedly small group of T voters, but, we have to work to find them and convince them that T et al are dangerous to our Democractic institutions and way of life. The others will never change their minds…just like old white hard-right conservatives…they will have to die out and a new generation hopefully will emerge….
Aaron, at this point his rabid base is beyond redemption. Their cognitive dissonance is staggering. Read that girl’s Twitter.
Truly horrible people. Lets shoot innocent kids.
Kayray, not surprised at either of your links. I grew up among these people. As I wrote earlier, I escaped thanks to the GI Bill allowing me to get a University education and extensive reading.
My father grew up around Ennis, TX in a small town Baptist family. He joined the army to escape and went to school on the GI bill too. He was the only one of his siblings to go to college. The field he chose allowed him, and us, exposure to people of different cultures, religions and backgrounds that we would not have experienced if he hadn’t escaped.
I consider myself lucky that he got away. His family embodies everything wrong with insulated small towns. First time I ever heard the “N” word was from a paternal aunt and my Dad was explicit that his kids would never go to a Baptist church. While young we attended an Episcopal church but none of us are particularly religious now.
Would it be tasteless to ask whether the Algonquin were panicking about White immigration too?
This is something I put on Quora
It does not have an “answer” to your problem but I think it does help identify a root cause
What are the major significant differences in culture between Great Britain and the US?
I hate to say this but the major difference – the reason for most of the minor differences is
Slavery in Great Britain was “abolished” before Great Britain existed
We simply have not had the type of racial slavery that the USA had
The USA fought it’s largest war – with by far the greatest proportion of deaths over Slavery – and that war 160 years ago did not finish the conflict
The Civil Rights “Wars” were within the memory of a lot of us
AND the descendents of Slaves are still in danger in the USA – the sort of behavior that will get a white man arrested will get a black shot to death –
Even a black kid playing with a toy gun in a state where guns are allowed to be carried will be shot to death
You still have this legacy of slavery – and it directly effects everything!
Solidarity with your fellow man———————— – except the blacks!
Solidarity with your fellow workers (unions) ——– except the blacks
Health care for everybody ———————————– except the blacks
Voting for everybody—————————————- – except the blacks
You simply can’t do anything for the benefit of everybody because those people will benefit as well
All Americans don’t think that way – but enough do to massively distort your society
And – Yes some Brits think that way as well – but not as many
“You simply can’t do anything for the benefit of everybody because those people will benefit as well”
Yes. In the years after McCain’s ’08 when I was fighting against the rising tide of Palinesque stupidity, I kept scrambling to explain what has happening. In those very early Chronicle posts I’d occasionally brush up against the subject of race and then pull back. After all, you don’t want to alienate people.
As I kept pushing for answers I kept arriving in the same place – race. You can’t build a sensible policy on any subject in this country from local sales taxes to foreign policy without watching your best laid plans distorted by the dark matter of race.
So this blog has evolved into something of a single-issue platform. There’s no single public policy question with as much importance to our future as white people’s racial bias. And frankly, it’s the central theme in every other policy question we face.
So, yea. I agree.
Yes Chris, I’ve come to basically the same answer in just the last few months, since I began reading several books on the history of slavery in the U.S. I’m also on the verge of concluding that the major factor in this was due to the importation of slaves from Africa, thus allowing the enslavers to make slavery a condition of being black. Slavery then became an inherited condition and was passed down matrilineally. This permanent characteristic of slavery is unique in the long history of global slavery.
Of course, the fact that the Deep South was initially settled by immigrants from Barbados resulted in the Deep South adopting the social structure, the oligarchy and laws from there. All this has continued to this day and appears to be the basic reason why American African-Americans have not been able to assimilate, whereas recent immigrants from Africa are assimilating as you have mentioned.
Needless to say this has been a revelatory few months.
Yup. That’s how it is. I would just say I would change it from “race” specifically to White Christians versus all. Anti-semitism isn’t lurking that far underneath this stuff either.
I have an ever increasing respect and fondness for the good folks who dwell here. I hope you’ll hear something I took to heart yesterday. A visiting priest from Kazan was at our church yesterday and his short sermon (blissfully short as they tend to be in Orthodox churches) because our services last for 2 hours and there are no chairs. He ended with Помни кто Bы… Like everything in Russian its concise and vague but I took his meaning “remember who you are”…he started with я знаю кто вы… I know who you are. Silly the way a phrase can touch you. He never took his eyes off of us, he just kept saying I know who you are….remember who you are.
Koctya, I generally find Americans to be decent folks. Though we sometimes forget for the most part they do”remember who you are” and for the most part attempt to live up the the Golden Rule. Unfortunately, there are some who are not that way and they are running the government now, and deliberately demagoguing, so that the good people sometimes forget. That is the reason, I cling to my underlying optimism, as I’ve discussed recently.
Duncan – “Slavery in Great Britain was “abolished” before Great Britain existed”.
Great Britain dates to 1709. The British were dominant players in the slave trade for another century, (100 years exactly), and did not abolish it in their colonies until 1833.
Could you care to clarify what you’re talking about? Britain participated and profited in the enslavement, transport, and sale of 3.5 million human beings, long, long after its formation and founding.
That’s why I said slavery in Great Britain – not in the British colonies
And slavery – in terms of racial slavery was never legal in GB
The Court case confirming that – where the judge found no basis for slavery in GB was in 1772
The state of slavery is of such a nature that it is incapable of being introduced on any reasons, moral or political, but only by positive law [statute], which preserves its force long after the reasons, occasions, and time itself from whence it was created, is erased from memory. It is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from the decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England; and therefore the black must be discharged
Personally I am sure that this court case was one of the main reasons for the rebellion in 1774
Duncan, Great Britain had a populace that was almost exclusively of white, northern european extraction at that time. Nevertheless, this decision no doubt prevented the establishment of racial slavery in Britain. But that did not prevent the merchants and the elite from profiting from the slave trade and plantations using racial slaves in the Colonies.
Yes that may have been one of the indirect driving factors leading to the American Revolution.
Hi I’m going to add to this
tmerrit15 has got something with –
“a populace that was almost exclusively of white, northern european extraction”
That is very true
Which is why the likes of Germany, France and the other European countries which did not have this “racial slavery” have developed differently
NOT because they were “better” – they just didn’t have the slavery
But that does not help your current situation
Brainstorming about a “Technical Fix” –
what would happen if somebody invented “Colour Pills”
You just take a pill and your colour changes for a week?
I wonder if it’s possible – and what would be the effect?
If any of you have access to the April issue of National Geographic – it is dedicated to the Black and White divide, I highly recommend reviewing it. The cover has a picture of two fraternal twin sisters – one is black and one is white, simply because of the genes. Also it has an article exploring the various skin colors of humanity. The issue is very enlightening.
To a large extent this is all part of the nature of Homo sapiens in demonizing others. Our species has done that since time immemorial. Initially, it was other bands, then other tribes. Now it has become other states, nations, sects, religious faiths, people with different skin color, you name it. As Jared Diamond wrote, human beings are “The Third Chimpanzee”. In other words we are not as far removed from our biological ancestors as we’d like to think.
Europe has had its problems with sectarian conflicts as well. As recently as the early 20th century, a certain authoritarian figure with a funny mustache attempted to apply the “Final Solution.”
Right now in the U.S. we have another man with an authoritarian personality and who has a funny hairstyle, demagoguing on the issue of brown-skinned refugees – note my word choice, who are attempting to come to the U.S. That has been added to his efforts to ban Muslims. He is doing this to ensure his followers keep him in the Presidency , satisfy his narcissistic needs and to profit monetarily.
The laissez-faire capitalist system of the U.S. aggravated racial slavery. The planters profited immensely from slave labor. But the merchants of the North, the transportation sectors, the slave traders, the textile industry, the machinery manufacturers, the capital markets, and even free labor all profited immensely from racial slavery. That included the textile mills in Britain and the entire British economy, as well as much of Europe. All this is made clear in “The Empire of Cotton” by Sven Beckert and other books, such as “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America” by Colin Woodard. Yes, the entire civilized world profited immensely from racial slavery.
At this time we must all struggle to overcome our tendencies as “The Third Chimpanzee” to demonize others and accept our own share of the blame. That is not to excuse or accept the horrible, immoral aspects of what is happening at our Southern border, separation of families, or indefinitely detaining refugees from Central America. Our policies with the refugees is similar to placing Japanese-Americans in internment camps, which is now largely recognized as being immoral. But to racist authoritarians like Trump and his “True Believers”, this is par for the course.
One thing is certain, and that is unless humanity overcomes our tendency to “war, war”. we may destroy our species and the planet along with it.
I do not mean to preach, and I am equally guilty. But has I have written before, I am a pilgrim attempting to come to grips with the problem.
I’d argue that Britain has had the same amount of racial exploitation as America. The difference is that Britain had salt water between their privileged White population and their exploitated non-White populations, whereas in America the two lived in the same towns.
The same applies to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and the other European colonial nations, of course.
Probably – the elites that rule the place almost certainly
But while that was exploitive it did NOT have the corrosive effect on the average Brit that actual slavery at home did on the average American
Which is what Chris is talking about
I’d argue it’s had an even worse effect, mainly because Britain has yet to have a reckoning about its colonial past.
For all its problems, the Civil War definitively answered the question of whether slavery was “good”, or at least “regrettable but necessary”. We are still dealing with the effect, yes, but no one — certainly not openly — expresses the view that slavery was anything but a dark stain on our national character. Yes, it took a brutal war to impose that answer on the nation, but we’re better for it.
In contrast, Britain to this day still thinks that its colonial past is glorious, was beneficial to the savages they civilized, was carried out with the utmost moral character by British officers of high standing, etc etc. Many Brits to this day think former colonies should be grateful to the Brits for all that they did and sacrificed for them. The only reason they “lost” their colonies was not because they as a nation decided that colonialism was wrong, but rather, after WWII, they were too weak and exhausted and so had no choice but to give everything up and focus on rebuilding at home.
Let me ask you this: do you admire Winston Churchill? Were you, as a Brit, offended at all when Obama returned the bust of Churchill? Whatever brilliance Churchill displayed in waging WWII (and there’s debate about that), he was indisputably an unrepentant supporter of colonialism and had abhorrent, racist ideas about the colonists under his rule. He even got his start swashbuckling through the British colonies.
Witness the Brits universal admiration for Churchill vs. the massive debates in America about having statues of General Robert E. Lee. Just like Churchill, we will all readily admit to Lee’s military brilliance. But he is so tainted by just what it was he was fighting for, that we’re pulling down his statues. This despite Lee being known to have personal reservations about slavery and even the War, unlike Churchill’s full-throated advocacy of even the worst of Britain’s colonial policies. Are Brits ready to pull down Churchill’s statues? Do you find it startling that I’d even ask such a thing? Then I’d humbly submit Britain still has a ways to go in transcending its colonial past…
Britain may not have been influenced as much by slavery, but they were influenced much more by their colonial ideas of racial superiority. I don’t think Brits have given up on the notion that they “civilized” the “brutes” in Africa and Asia.
As late as the 1960s, in the Mau Mau rebellion, the Brits carried out what would certainly be considered genocide, in order to put down the “savages”. It was far crueler than anything the KKK did in the South, and although it was done thousands of miles away, it had the full support of the British people.
At any rate, that racism is alive and well: witness the xenophobia that led to Brexit, an attempt to enforce the natural “wall” that Britain has with the rest of Europe. While there are plenty of eastern European immigrants in Britain “stealing” the natives’ jobs, they’re white, so the focus was on the brown refugees that white Brits no longer wanted in their country.
I’ve been to Britain a few times, and I could certainly feel the racism of white Brits against me, far more than I ever experienced in America or the rest of the world. I’ve been told that in Britain, South Asians (I’m Indian American) are viewed the way blacks are in America, while blacks in Britain are more assimilated the way Asians in America are. To me, that feels about right…
“By some miracle, this sluttish rabble produced seven of the country’s Presidents, and an innumerable mass of her greatest generals.”
So you’re saying immigrants were stealing our jobs even back then? 🙂
Actually, because of how incendiary talking about race with seriousness can be, I find the most insightful comments come from comedians. Hiding truths behind a protective veil of laughs.
Regarding choosing between white and black to ally with, Richard Pryor once joked that the first English word new immigrants learn as soon as they step off the boat is n*gger. I’d argue it’s not strictly black/white: it’s the descendants of slaves vs. everyone else. Even recent African immigrants (e.g. Nigerians, Kenyans, etc.) often ally themselves with whites, or are viewed more favorably by whites, than African Americans who have been here for generations.
And Louis CK joking about immigrants taking all our jobs: “But maybe, if someone without contacts, money, or speaking the language steals your job, you’re shit”
Chris, you wrote:
“This is the unspoken American Dream, embraced by centuries of immigrants to this country: If I work hard and experience success, one day my grandchildren can blindly persecute people just like me.”
I am a 2nd generation immigrant. I grew up speaking Norwegian. My heart fractures at what’s going on w/this country regarding immigration. I have many friends throughout the world who long mightily to come here. I beg them not to; it simply is no longer safe. My folks came here to follow the American dream, & they did. My grandma came here without knowing any English. She dropped out of school in the 8th grade–it was just too hard. But she always longed to be a pediatric nurse, & she would’ve been a great 1. No telling how much potential we lost because we didn’t have programs in place like Lau then. Now, people complain they’re just too much money. So yes–I’m discouraging my friends from around the world from coming here, but not because I wish to persecute them, but simply because I know they may very well be persecuted like no generation of immigrants has been persecuted before.
On another note, I could wish that the word “blindly” had not been used in this context. Unfeelingly–yes. Cruelly–yes. Ignorantly/stupidly–yes. But what do we tell our blind kids when we use the word like this? & how might it make them feel about themselves & later impact on their self image? Just wondering? I’m an adult. I can put my big-girl pants on & deal. But what about our children who happen to be blind? Thank you for considering. Your Webservant
My background is kind of interesting; though I have little detailed knowledge of it. My maternal grandmother was a Jack Mormon and I am fairly sure that my maternal grandfather came West out of Appalachia and may have had a largely Scotch-Irish background. On the paternal side, I know that my father’s family came out of the deep South and could have been plantation and slave owners prior to the Civil War. Late in the 19th and early 20th centuries they had a ranch in West Texas. I know very little regarding my paternal grandmother’s background. Family histories indicate that on both sides there were forebears who were in America prior to the Revolution. I have a brother, who is somewhat racist and a sister, who is a down the line nativist and evangelical Trump supporter. In general, I have little contact with the extended family.
Personally, I served during the Vietnam conflict and used the GI bill to obtain an engineering degree and have a fairly good life. That along with significant reading has enabled me to escape my background and develop liberal attitudes in a classical sense; politically I am fairly liberal as well, though not extremely so. In extremely liberal Seattle, that makes me almost a centrist or in some circles conservative.
This is right on the mark. However you failed to mention that American nativism tends to wax and wane. We are in a waxing period at this time. Those periods seem to more or less coincide with periods following heavy immigration and when the American lower middle and working classes are not doing well economically. That is certainly true at this time, with the very high economic inequity, the major societal shifts occurring, lack of economic and health care certainty, and that many of the immigrants are poorly educated and fleeing from Central America, i.e. brown skinned. All this makes demagoguery very easy. The Republican party and especially Trump and Fox have perfected this.
Most of my immigrant ancestors came here is the post-Civil War mass influx, but there is one Anglo-Saxon branch that dates from earlier times (according to family stories). I have a special contempt for anyone with an Irish, Italian, or Polish surname spewing White supremacist/ xenophobic screeds, because a century ago, their ancestors didn’t count as White (looking at you, John Kelley, and you Tomi Lahren).
“This is the unspoken American Dream, embraced by centuries of immigrants to this country: If I work hard and experience success, one day my grandchildren can blindly persecute people just like me.”
Man, you can turn a phrase. I’m envious.
We get the same thing here in Australia, mostly since WWII. When I was at school in the 1970s and 80s, the Aussie-born kids of the Greeks and Italians and Yugoslavs were considered no different from us Anglo-Celtic types (although our parents didn’t see things the same way). I even married one. Now it’s the Australian-born kids of Chinese and Lebanese and Indians that our kids are at school with, and they all sound the same, and they will in due course all marry each other, and we’ll be the stronger for it.
It can’t happen soon enough.
My ancestors on both sides have been here before the Revolutionary War. The first paternal male ancestor came as an indenture servant. My great great grandfather was a moon shiner. Which disgust his two sons. One became a preacher the other my great grandfather a doctor.
On my mom’s side one of my great grandfathers from Germany was fleeing justice. His family was wealthy and influential. He had a violent temper and while in their equivalent of west point hung up his superior officer by his thumbs in a barn and horse wiped him. His family smuggled him into America where he became a Law Man with the reputation of always getting his man dead or alive preferably dead. Tempers still run in mom’s family and most of my youth she spent teaching me self control.
I could keep naming illustrious ancestors but actual anyone of us who have roots very far back into our history would tell similar stories.
Actually the current crop of immigrants are better in many ways than the older immigrates. I remember talking with my congressman when He had a town hall meetings about Social Security when Bush II wanted to privatize it. I pointed out that our problems with the program was mild and solvable compared to other advance countries. We both agree mainly because of immigration and the kids they have the first few generations after coming here. He was Tom Feeney, Hardly a liberal. I actual walked streets and knocked on doors for him during his campaign. This anti immigrant stance of the current GOP is new. I miss the old GOP.
My mother’s parents came to the US without legal permission (there were no laws covering immigration until about 1924, except for Chinese) from what they’d describe as a shithole country (Sweden).
My forebears jumped on the boat to come to America in the desperate hope they could make a better home for their children. It took five generations for them to the get to that place where their children were able to go to college. It is something I do not forget ever.
When they arrived, they were laborers, tenant farmers, soldiers, or housemaids. They struggled to keep food on the table, but they were constantly improving their lot, little by very little. They were able to settle in eventually, but they were from England, Denmark and Scotland. For sure their children were not snatched from their mother’s arms. I for one, have not forgotten how fortunate my family was to be in the safe arms of the US. I served my country and in turn was helped to go to college: the first of my family to do so. It was a brave, new world for us even generations after the first ancestors arrived here.
When I see what we are doing to the people on our southern border, I weep with frustration and anguish. To think their children may never see their parents again, that they are being swept away without a trace, sits heavy on my heart. I am sick with worry for where we are headed as a country. I hope you are right that the new immigrants will endure. I also hope they will be better than us.
This is excellent, Bette. It perfectly describes the path that generations of Americans have taken. You will see from my post above, that I was also able to get a University education due to military service. I will never forget that I had a helping hand up and am willing to help others. The actions towards the refugees from Central America in my opinion is abominable and certainly is not in accordance with “The New Colossus” on the Statue of Liberty pedestal.