Wednesday, June 4, 2008

O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs' Speaking Point Written in the 19th Century


For some time I have been wanting to write a post that exposes the fact that the present day nativist diatribes are in fact the tired diatribes of earlier generations.of haters.

Here’s an excerpt from the book titled “Un-American Immigration: It’s Present Effects and Future Perils” published in 1894. I believe you’ll notice a striking familiarity with it’s tone. Thanks to Google for scanning this book in so we can easily access it for study.

This is just a small portion of this text, as you can see.

Here’s the link on Google: Un-American Immigration: Its Present Effects and Future Perils : a Study.

(Thank you to John Lamb for this lead.)

Discrimination against other immigrants, especially Catholics was especially virulent during the Nineteenth Century. Nineteenth century Protestant American "Nativist" prejudice against Irish Catholics reached a peak in the mid-1850s with the Know Nothing Movement, which tried to oust Catholics from public office. Much of the opposition came from Irish Protestants, as in the 1831 riots in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In rural areas in the 1830s riots broke out among rival labor teams from different parts of Ireland, and between Irish and "native" American work teams competing for construction jobs.

(1854 NY Times Ad) It was common for Irish people to be discriminated against in social situations, and intermarriage between Catholics and Protestants was uncommon (and strongly discouraged by both ministers and priests). One response to this prejudice was the creation of a parochial school system, in addition to numerous colleges, that isolated about half the Irish youth from the public schools.[citation needed] After 1860 many Irish sang songs about signs reading "HELP WANTED - NO IRISH NEED APPLY"; these signs came to be known as "NINA signs." (This is sometimes written as "IRISH NEED NOT APPLY" and referred to as "INNA signs"). These songs had a deep impact on the Irish sense of discrimination.

Posters compared the Irish to Blacks, who were considered an inferior race.



(Editorial Cartoon from mid-19th Century depicting "filthy Irish")

(Mid-19th Century Cartoon equating Irish and Blacks)


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9 comments:

Bartman said...

Immigration is a policy issue, determined by Congress and therefore by the voters at large. It is their RIGHT to decide via the ballot box what the immigration policy of this nation shall be, just as it is the right of the residents of any other foreign nation to do so as well.

Denial of immigration rights to a certain group is NOT oppression because oppression is an action. Simply saying "you can't come here" is not oppressive.

Voters can deny immigration for any reason they want. They can be completely arbitrary and capricious in their decision. It's perfectly legal, perfectly Constitutional, and even perfectly moral. In our Republic immigrants are the equivalent of business partners or even marriage partners. Allowing them to come here is allowing them to have a say in you and your families future.

In some ways it's more consequential than marriage - you can at least divorce your wife, but it's pretty hard to kick out a naturalized citizen.

It's funny: one of the prime lobbyists for the 1965 immigration act was the nation of Japan - a nation that has all but completely closed off immigration to "inferior races."

As for that "No Irish Need Apply" on the old poster you have? It's the title of a show tune. Such signs never actually appeared on business doors.

Bartman said...

FYI, that first cartoon looks for all the world like a caricature of a Jew, not an Irishmen, to me.

ragemail said...

Bart, are you denying that the Irish, Germans, Chinese and Southern Europeans, amongst others, were not subject to horrible treatment by nativists? Or worse, that such treatment is appropriate? If the former, then I put you in the same category as Holocaust deniers. If the latter, then I put you in the same category of the amoral Nazis.

Bartman said...

Bart, are you denying that the Irish, Germans, Chinese and Southern Europeans, amongst others, were not subject to horrible treatment by nativists?

I didn't mention their treatment here at all - I was talking about their right to immigrate here in the first place.

Denying them the right to come here is often referred to as "oppression," when it clearly is not.

Vis-a-vis the occasional mistreatment of immigrants, I can only say that powerless people sometimes act unlawfully when they feel their leaders are not acting in their behalf. That's when vigilantism emerges. Such acts are usually out of a feeling of desperation.


Or worse, that such treatment is appropriate? If the former, then I put you in the same category as Holocaust deniers. If the latter, then I put you in the same category of the amoral Nazis.

Mistreatment of immigrants was not nearly as widespread as you suggest, so I am not a "holocaust denier."

What have I done or said that implies I'm a Nazi?

ragemail said...

Denying basic rights to undocumented immigrants and their families is immoral. Among the rights denied are such basic rights as the right to habeas corpus, incarceration of innocent people, extended incarcertion for civil offenses, inadequate or non-existent medical care, separation of families, solitary confinement, summary proceedings without due process, involuntary use of psychotropic drugs, refusal to allow visits by family members, pastors, human rights advocates or attorneys, amongst a great many others. Arguing that these people do not merit rights because they are undocumented is amoral since it connotes that no morality exists which justifies its application to such people.

Bartman said...

Denying basic rights to undocumented immigrants and their families is immoral.

Could you link to documentation supporting these allegations?

ragemail said...

Bart, you know perfectly well that the ill-treatment of detainees has been amply documented. You need only scroll down the page on your browser (as I am sure you have) to see the series of Washington Post reports extensively documenting such ill treatment. There are extensive posts on this blog with references to sources. Suffice it to say that I cannot give sight to those who prefer to be blind.

Symsess said...

I'd argue that our denying another the ability to migrate is an act. It’s an act because we oppress other people and countries in order to maintain our status as a wealthy nation. Therefore it becomes essential that we create a force to uphold our immigration laws.

The only analogy I can muster now would be a mother telling a child he can't have a cookie. That's a 'law' and not an act. In this instance the child can determine whether or not to accept the act of punishment and take a cookie anyway. However, if the mother refused to feed the child at all her command has become an act, both the act of refusal and of denial. The only way this mother could enforce her ‘law’ would be to actively keep the food from the starving child. If you’re hungry you’re going to eat regardless of the punishment.

As American citizens we can decide how things should be done. That’s a great idea, but not one we see as a reality today. The Iraq War is an easy example. What we do not have the right to do, though, is oppress others. No law can deny basic human rights in ethics and morality.

soopermexican said...

I support your comments, Bart. Well said, and argued.