This is an excerpt from the chapter entitled "The Spirit of Racism":
Post-slavery expressions of the spirit of racism fueled Jim Crow legislation, lynchings, mass incarceration, segregation, gerrymandering, and suppression of voting rights, all in an attempt to preserve the New Europe for Europeans indefinitely. These hatred-inspired tools would attempt to create an invisible “reservation” outside the plantation for the descendants of slaves so that they could live in a separate America, like the Native Americans, and not muddy the waters of the vision of a New Europe.
The spirit of racism was the instrument used to discriminate against Asians and Latin Americans to keep them from finding a place within New Europe, a place that would later become known as the “American Dream,” or more recently, “Making America Great Again.” Interestingly enough, the same tools were used to a lesser extent on the Germans, the Irish, Italians, and Eastern Europeans when they were considered “immigrants.” We see this clearly in the quote from MGA (Vol 1) below:
“Franklin’s vision was not the great American ‘melting pot.’ Indeed, he had a moderate degree of difficulty in accepting the immigration of other non-British immigrants. He expressed the same type of sentiments towards German and Irish immigrants that we hear expressed toward Mexican and other non-European immigrants today.
‘GERMANS, Early Immigrants to Pennsylvania. As few English understand the German language, and so cannot address them either from the press or the pulpit, it is almost impossible to remove any prejudices they may entertain… Few of their children in the country learn English… The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages, and in some places only German. They begin of late to make all their bonds and legal instruments in their own language, which (though I think it ought not be) are allowed in our good courts… In short, unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies, as you very judiciously propose, they will soon so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not, in my opinion be able to preserve our language, and even our government will become precarious… Yet I am not entirely for refusing to admit them into our colonies. All that seems to me necessary is to distribute them more equally, mix them with the English, establish English schools where they are now too thickly settled… I say I am not against the Germans in general, for they have their virtues. Their industry and frugality are exemplary. (1753)
IRISH, Political Influence Through Mass Migration. It is a fact that the Irish emigrants and their children are now in possession of the government in Pennsylvania, by their majority in the Assembly as well as a of a great part of the territory; and I remember well the first ship that brought many of them over.’
Their children aren’t learning our language. The signs in their neighborhoods aren’t in English. Soon they might outnumber us and take over our government. I’m not saying we should refuse to let any of them into the country; we need to spread them out among other English-speaking neighborhoods. I’m not against them in general; they have their virtues. They are hard workers!
These are the words of Benjamin Franklin about the Irish and the Germans! The fear of losing ‘what’s ours’ has existed since the beginning of our nation. This fear drives us often to villainize others and results in division, discord, and racism. It was not God’s vision of America that its vast wealth and resources be limited to a few nor that the virtues that its Founders sought to achieve be only spread to a few.
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