Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Immigrant Bashing From the Past

Think Progress makes note of some immigrant bashing from America's not too distant past:

Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Languages or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion. [Benjamin Franklin, 1751]

"The Irish fill our prisons, our poor houses. ... Scratch a convict or a pauper, and the chances are that you tickle the skin of an Irish Catholic. Putting them on a boat and sending them home would end crime in this country." [Chicago Post, 1868]

[A] set of citizens, German and Irish, wanted to get the Constitution of the U. S. into their own hands and sell it to a foreign power. [Theme of an American Nativist Party rally, 1844]

Today, instead of a nation descended from generations of freemen bred to a knowledge of principles and practice of self government, of liberty under the law, we have a heterogeneous population, no small proportion of which is sprung from races that throughout the centuries have known no liberty at all... In other words our capacity to maintain our cherished institutions stands diluted by a stream of alien blood, with all of its misconceptions respecting the relationships of the governing power to the governed. [Rep. Albert Johnson, 1927, justifying the 1924 National Origins Act]

The number of purely white People in the World is proportionally very small Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are Germans also, the Saxons only accepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. [Benjamin Franklin, 1751]


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