Party Like It's 1899

Party Like It’s 1899

Ku Klux Klan Cross Burning

by William B. Turner

 

So the big news from the ongoing debacle at the White House today is

the report that the so called president complained about immigrants

coming to the United States from “shithole” countries, mostly

apparently including African nations and Haiti, so mostly “black”

people.

 

During the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth

centuries, the United States saw a dramatic increase in immigration

from the nations of southern and eastern Europe, such as Greece,

Italy, and Russia, as opposed to the nations of northern and western

Europe, such as England and Germany, where most of the people who were

already here had come from. They brought strange languages and

religions to the English speaking, overwhelmingly Protestant, United

States.

 

Though we have no record of anyone using that term, those were the

“shithole” countries of the time, and the native born inhabitants of

the United States openly worried about the large numbers of them who

were coming here. Repeatedly during his second term, President

Theodore Roosevelt worried openly about what he called “race suicide,”

by which he meant the concern that native born women were having fewer

children than immigrant women, which threatened the existing culture

of the United States, or so Roosevelt thought. Several generations on,

we now know that, while immigrant women tend to have large families,

their children adjust quickly and have smaller families, more like

their native born peers.

 

Obviously, at the moment, we have no way of knowing if that trend will

continue to obtain with current immigrants, but we have no good reason

to think that it will not. Insofar as history is the only real guide

we have for what will happen in the future, we have no good reason to

think that the new immigrants, certainly a smaller wave relative to

the existing population than the one at the turn of the last century,

will overwhelm the United States. Insofar as many of the new wave of

immigrants are African or descended from Africans, they will look more

obviously different even than Italians and Greeks did at the start of

the 20th century, but that is a trivial difference, except to anyone

who wants to make it a non trivial difference, which some no doubt

wish to do, but only for reasons that are at best ridiculous, or

pernicious at worst.

 

So, just more embarrassment from President Shithole.