"The truth will set you free. But first it will piss you off."

Gloria Steinem

Friday, December 1, 2017

Wishing You A Happy "America First" Christmas!

I don't do "political posts."  I do, however, make my positions on certain subjects clear, without regard for the political sensitivities of my readers, because I address the history of these subjects, and the truth they possess, which, despite the Internet, can still be determined through objective study.  But hey, it's the holiday season, so I'm going to structure my holiday greetings according to the new national standard.  Besides, I get to address my running topic at the same time, so it's a win-win.

This new America First attitude has been a goldmine for all lovers of historical irony.  I have spent the past year, with but a few exceptions, addressing the issue of IMMIGRATION.  This past year has been a perfect illustration of why I named my blog “The More Things Change…”  I have had opportunities to point out some of the disturbing similarities between anti-Hispanic immigrant attitudes today and anti-Italian immigrant attitudes a century ago.  I’ve also mentioned my distress when I see people of obvious Italian, Irish, German, Polish (or whatever) extraction using the same arguments against the newcomers as were used against their own ancestors.  I, who am without ethnicity, have watched inter-ethnic infighting take over the question of immigration.  Today, that’s what many people are actually talking about.  When they speak of immigrants, they mean "people who are different from us."

As a historian, I am also saddened by this debasing of our appreciation of the immigrant experience in general.  Our ancestors from northern and western Europe were fleeing oppression and violence, seeking freedom and a new life.  When the Irish, the Germans and then the Italians began to arrive, problems resulted.  Eventually, most of these later immigrants came to be considered as “Americans,” which meant—somewhat post facto--that their ancestors also came here for freedom and a new life.  Today, the descendants of this flood of immigrants denigrate the herculean efforts made to come to America, claiming that these new immigrants are only coming here for “free stuff.”

The third component of this Terrible Trifecta is the fact that so-called “Christians” are spearheading the America First movement.  I find considerable conflict between Scripture and America First, but it seems that those holding power in Washington do not.

Christianity's holiest season is upon us, so it seemed only fitting that I employ Christmas to address the immigration issue in my December post.  I decided to get with the program and try to envision what a celebration of the birth of Christ that is in keeping with the America First approach might look like.  Of course, I went on the Internet and found that someone already had.  I saw the image below at least third-hand, and cannot credit its creator, sorry.

So here's to those of you who celebrate your immigrant history while simultaneously denying the ability of others to earn what is yours by birthright; you who employ THE VERY SAME arguments against newcomers that were used against your ancestors; those who see immigrants as rejecting our values, speaking strange languages, believing in false religions, determined to steal jobs from Americans, and in general "foreign."  You are proving that "The more things change..." and thus validating the existence of this blog.

Thank you, and “Merry Christmas” (I’m so glad I’m allowed to say it now!)