I am sick and tired of hearing from prominent democratic politicians say “this is not the america I/we know” and “America has a long tradition of welcoming immigrants” when Donald Trump attacks immigrants and muslims. Trump’s racism and xenophobic attacks on immigrants, Muslims and people of color is exactly what America defines who they are. Trump just brings true America to the light, to make America “white again” as the current Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi described Trump’s agenda. We should never forget that both “American” and whiteness are socio-political constructs that have evolved over a long period of time, always seeking exclusion and supremacy.
Compare and contrast yourself the following historical pattern, and Trump’s current attack on the four Congresswomen of color, telling them to “go back to your country,” literally held them not Americans.
We should never forget how Irish refugees were treated when they arrived in the United States during Irish Potato Famine (Great Hunger) in the 19th century. In 1798, Congress passed three “The Alien and Sedition Acts” These laws gave the president powers to deport foreigners as well as making it harder for new immigrants to vote.
Trump’s Muslim ban from entering to the United States is not without precedent. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, banned all Chinese from coming to the United States, with a few exceptions: teachers, merchants, students, travelers and diplomats. And later all Asians were banned.
In the late 19th Century, newly-arrived Italian immigrants were treated worse than animals. They were met with racial prejudices in the United States. This is one of the saddest histories about immigrants in the United States: On March 14, 1891, eleven men were lynched to death by a mob seeking “justice” for a murdered policeman. The victims were all Italians.
During World War I and the Great Depression, Jews and people of Mexican decent were often targeted as scapegoats. More than a million people of Mexican descent were repatriated to Mexico during the Great Depression (60% were American citizens).
The most persistent form of antisemitism is constructed that Jews are religiously, economically socially unacceptable in the mainstream white-America- relevant to Trump’s America, keep praising Neo-Nazis. In 1930s and 1940s, the State Department officials systematically denied visas or rejected Jews refugees fleeing Nazi Europe.
Let us also not forget the Japanese Internment Camps. President Franklin Roosevelt signed an Executive Order#9066 – from 1942 to 1945- 117,000 people of Japanese-descent Americans be interred in isolated camps in reaction to Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese forces (majority of them were American citizens). This remains the worst atrocious violations of American civil rights in the 20th century by the United States’ Government.
Lastly, but not least, America spent much of its history despising, harassing and marginalizing Catholics. Catholics were viewed as theological abominations and traitorous fifth columnists.
Slavery, Jim Crow, social segregation laws, racial-profiling and police brutality on black and brown people. All these are [is] America. What are you trying to tell us..? If you want to make a change, get up and make the change. Stop lying the public to what you don’t believe.
When you look back at the true, hidden history of the United States this strand of anti-immigrants is very powerful. The United States has a long tradition of treating immigrants with open discrimination and even violent hostility, and still a very very deep hatred of immigrants in this country. Donald Trump does nothing new to America, but repeating exactly what we’ve learned from the history books.