What Has Been Will Be Again, What Has Been Done Will Be Done Again

Or to finish the quote from Kohelet/Ecclesiastes: “There is nothing new under the sun…”

In the 19th Century the US was gripped with one of it cyclical bouts of nativism, anti-immigrant xenophobia, and anti-minority religious extremism. Just as a frenzy was whipped up about the Ground Zero Mosque, which was actually a Muslim Community Center with a prayer chapel (akin to a Jewish Community Center), and around the building of mosques or the setting aside of land for Muslim cemeteries post 9-11, so too was a frenzy whipped up in the 19th Century around the building of Catholic churches. And just as we are currently seeing a frenzied anti-immigrant xenophobia around Latino and Hispanic immigrants – and lets be honest, its ultimately not going to matter if they’re legal or undocumented, so too did we see a 19th Century analog against Irish and Chinese immigrants, as well as others depending on the part of the US. As we are currently seeing a hard hearted focus to deny sanctuary to refugees fleeing war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria – including those who served as translators/interpreters for US and Coalition Forces and we owe a debt to provide them safe haven, so too did we see a similar hard hearted response to Jews in the 1930s and 1940s fleeing the rising and then consolidating tyranny of the NAZIs. And all too often it is the descendants of the early targets of discrimination that have chosen to lead the contemporary efforts of intolerance, nativism, and xenophobia.

StPatCathExt1

(St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York)

In the mid 19th Century there was tremendous opposition to the building of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, as well as Catholic churches in other parts of the US.

At the Church of the Disciples of Christ on 28th Street near Broadway, the Rev. Joseph Bradford Cleaver spoke under the title “Crucifix Smiting the Cross; or shall the Papacy govern New York City?” He was among those who saw the opening of the magnificent new St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan the previous year as a dangerous sign of Catholic power and warned that Cardinal John McCloskey, who was “enthroned” there, would rule America as the pope’s viceroy and bring on a new Inquisition if Grace were elected mayor.

The church where the Knights of Columbus was founded was similarly denigrated. The New York Times at the time reported on the construction of St. Mary’s in the following manner:

1144002_orig

(St. Mary’s Church, New Haven)

“An Unprofitable Church: Roman Catholic Troubles in New-Haven.” The church on one of New Haven’s finest residential streets had been dedicated five years earlier, but only after a struggle in which the pastor was pressured to accept an alternate site. As The Times put it, “When the residents of this aristocratic avenue discovered that they were in danger of seeing a Roman Catholic church spring up among them, with all that the establishment of such a church implied, they bestirred themselves to oppose the project. The wisest of the Roman Catholics here did not favor it, and St. Mary’s was induced to exchange the lot for a good one in some other locality.” But that site was also deemed “too good” for Catholics, so a lesser lot was found. The pastor refused this, according to The Times, and built the church as originally planned on wealthy Hillhouse Avenue. According to the Times, the parish fell into debt (its parishioners being mainly “servant girls”). “The result shows how foolish were those who persisted in building the church on the spot where it stands,” The Times concluded. “How much spite had to do with it cannot now be ascertained, but the complete history of the negotiations would be very interesting. The edifice was erected beyond the boundaries of the parish, and it invaded the most exclusive homes of wealth and culture. It is an eye-sore on the avenue, a source of annoyance and injury to neighboring residents, and a complete failure as a business enterprise.”

This isn’t all that different than what we heard and saw in the opposition to the Park Avenue Islamic Center aka The Ground Zero Mosque.

Ground_Zero_Mosque_Protesters_8

(Ground Zero Mosque Protestors, New York)

The protestors had been whipped into a froth by the uninformed, but politically very profitable fear mongering of a few self appointed, but largely ignorant, arbiters of what was and was not acceptable in regards to Islam. For instance:

We also saw anti-immigrant imagery that rivals any of the modern anti-undocumented immigrant language we are currently observing. Here are just two examples:

4402908928_28e26ca884

(Anti-Chinese Graphic from The Wasp Magazine, San Francisco)

nativist

(Anti-Immigrant Statement of Principles from The Patriot, Boston)

Similarly Senator Taft sent the following letter to the Jewish War Veterans of the United States indicating his opposition to resettling 20,000 Jewish German children in the US in excess of the immigration quotas of the time.

IMG_2286

(Letter from Senator Taft to Mr. Tarlish, Jewish War Veterans, 1939)

Senator Taft’s position on accepting Jewish German children to save them from the NAZIs and the reasons for it are not too far off from Governor Mike Pence’s in refusing to accept Syrian Civil War refugees fleeing the Islamic State:

Governor Pence Suspends Resettlement of Syrian Refugees in Indiana
 

Start Date:11/16/2015Start Time:12:00 AM
End Date:11/16/2015
Entry Description
Indianapolis – Following reports that a Syrian refugee was among the perpetrators of the terrorists attacks that took place in Paris on Friday, Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement:“In the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris, effective immediately, I am directing all state agencies to suspend the resettlement of additional Syrian refugees in the state of Indiana pending assurances from the federal government that proper security measures have been achieved. Indiana has a long tradition of opening our arms and homes to refugees from around the world but, as governor, my first responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of all Hoosiers. Unless and until the state of Indiana receives assurances that proper security measures are in place, this policy will remain in full force and effect.”The Refugee Resettlement Office in the Division of Family Resources in the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) administers the Syrian resettlement program.###
Location Information:
Statewide
IN

And Governor Pence is only one among 27 governors, all Republicans, that told the Obama Administration they would not accept Syrian Civil War refugees. This is also the position of the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

“Our nation has always been welcoming. But we cannot let terrorists take advantage of our compassion. This is a moment where it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.”

What we are seeing in Election 2016 is not something new in the United States. Just as there are economic cycles and crime cycles and religiosity cycles, there also seems to be extremism, nativism, and nationalism cycles within US society too. All of this has happened before and it will, most likely happen again.

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun. – Kohelet/Ecclesiastes 1:9

 

153 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Chyron HR says:

    FANATICS THREATEN TO DESTROY OUR CIVILIZATION

    Well, technically, he’s right.

  3. 3
  4. 4

    Sad that this well documents and pointed article appears here, and not on the front pages of the New Your Times, and the Washington Post, both of which, frankly, have failed as institutions of journalism and truth.

  5. 5
    Matt McIrvin says:

    And lest people think there wasn’t terrorism back then to give the fears a veneer of legitimacy, there sure as hell was. And people associated it with Catholic and Jewish immigrants.

  6. 6
    RSR says:

    A Catholic Church, St Michael’s, just a few blocks away from us in Philadelphia and the origin of my high school, was burned and destroyed during the Nativist (Know-Nothing) Riots of 1844.

  7. 7
    Chris says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: being American and Catholic is at least half of the reason why I have so much sympathy for Muslim immigrants and for the American Muslim community in the post-9/11 world more generally.

    (Being American and liberal is the other half. It means I react to my own history with “let’s have some solidarity with people who have to endure what we did” rather than “all right, I’m in, now pull up the ladder!”)

  8. 8
    JanieM says:

    Adam, this is great. Thanks for putting it together.

    My rural Baptist maternal grandma had a fit when my mom told her she intended to marry — oh, horrors! — an Italian Catholic, the son and grandson of immigrants.

    Grandma got over it. Too bad not everyone does. Although to be fair, I think my grandma, if she were alive today, would be right back in the soup over Hispanics, Muslims, south Asians, etc. As you say, the lessons don’t stick.

  9. 9
    p.a. says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Capone. Lansky. etc. What is wrong with those people?! (Ignoring Klan, lynchings etc, the right sort of crime, or crime by the right sort of people.)

  10. 10
    Chris says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Oh Lord, yes.

    And it wasn’t even like that terrorism didn’t exist. Fenian Brotherhood in the nineteenth century (as the name might suggest) had a nice Irish-Catholic root. Anarchist bomb-throwers in the early twentieth century tended to recruit disproportionately from European immigrants.

    However, 1) not all, or even most, immigrants were into that, 2) even fewer would have been into it if they’d been treated better upon arrival, and 3) as indicated by the people burning down Catholic churches, it’s not like America would’ve had any trouble producing terrorists even if all the immigrants had been kept out.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Booger says:

    All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again. So say we all. (Cue ‘All along the Watchtower’)

  13. 13
    redshirt says:

    Nice work Adam. Pretty depressing actually.

    We’re a nation of hypocrites – mouthing off platitudes of “Freedom” and “Liberty” all the while oppressing any minority we can.

  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    Rachel Maddow’s opening segment last night touched on these very themes. Well worth watching.

  15. 15
    Felonius Monk says:

    I remember Robert Taft. He was my senator when I was a little kid. But the only resemblence that Mike Pence has to Robert Taft is that they are both ASSHOLES. And yes, even though Mr. Taft has been moldering in his grave for all these many years, his name still resides in the Big Book of Assholes.

  16. 16
    p.a. says:

    @JanieM: There’s a concept that the recently acculturated/accepted tend to be the hardest on the next wave. Burnishing their American-ness, bona fides as it were. Think there may be less of this than in the past, but some quality polling (current and historical) on the issue would be interesting.

  17. 17
    Sam Dobermann says:

    The 19th century anti immigrant frenzy brought on the laws making abortion illegal, state by state. There had been no laws against abortion before about 1870. The push was by allopathic doctors who at that time interpreted the Hippocratic Oath as forbidding all abortion. They wanted to differentiate themselves from other types of medical workers and to get more business delivering babies. It was helped by the idea that “good” WASPy Americans were not reproducing as often as the newcomers — something that is true now.

    In the 30s and 40s Jews were not allowed in even when quotas were not being met. The extreme anti-semitism of that time was as or more intense than the anti Syrian rejection now.

    There is a new book out that was talked about on PBS News Hour: The End of White Christian America. It speaks about the feeling of whites about the big changes and their feelings of unease, I would say panic, that contributes to the Trump phenomenon. They are afraid that the minorities, particularly Blacks would treat them as badly as they have treated minorities.

  18. 18
    AnotherBruce says:

    @RSR: After reading that article, I had to adjust my thinking about Catholic parochial schools. I’ve always thought that Catholic schools were established to teach the articles of their faith. Now I wonder how much of that was due to public hostility towards Catholics.

  19. 19
    MomSense says:

    Thank you for this post Adam. Let’s not be the generation that fails to crush this nativist/white supremacist bullshit. Volunteer. Donate. Speak up. We have to defeat this ugliness.

  20. 20
    hovercraft says:

    While we’ve always had these xenophobes and demagogues what makes them more effective today is the internet, Pam Geller and Frank Gaffney can spread their hatred much further than they would have been able to 100 years ago. When we get riled up we as a nation are far too eager to abandon our constitution and especially other peoples rights. Given our history you’d think we would know better, no matter the oppression and suffering these minority communities always come out the other end strengthened, with the rest of us apologizing.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @p.a.:

    It’s not really that lynchings were okay (because there were a lot of efforts to get federal anti-lynching laws passed), but that they were just so understandable. You’re dealing with Those People, who must have done something wrong even if the punishment was a wee bit out of proportion to their crime.

    Yes, I’m drawing a parallel between lynchings of the bad old days, today’s police shootings, and how similar the excuses made are.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @RSR: Yep, those guys were special…

  23. 23
    Mike J says:

    There was good news this week that almost nobody covered. The 10,000 refugee from Syria arrived in the US.

  24. 24
    SenyorDave says:

    I’m guessing that Pence and most of the 27 governors who wanted to refuse Syrian refugees consider themselves Christians. Was there ever a truer quote than this quote from Ghandi?

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chris: Interesting historical footnote. The bulk of the May Day bombs that prompted the Palmer Raids were never sent. They had insufficient postage and the postal worker that received them from the sender simply put them in storage rather than send them postage due. He was an eastern European immigrant to the US.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: I saw it. I had started working on this as soon as the Trump speech was over and was in the process of finding the images (or sending them to myself in the case of Taft’s letter) when she started her run.

  27. 27
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, I’ll bring a post-WWII propaganda film up that I was posting yesterday that tried to combat this very thing: “Don’t Be A Sucker!”, which compares Trump and his ilk to con men trying to take your money.

    Sadly, since it was produced by the War Department and only shown to servicemen, the message never got out widely. Not that it would have, since no movie theater in the South would have shown it (and probably quite a few in the North). Instead, we got the House Un-American Activities Committee forcing people to explain why they were “prematurely anti-fascist.”

  28. 28
    p.a. says:

    @AnotherBruce: IIRC some Baltimore schools when Babe Ruth was a student were taught in German (Creamer’s Ruth bio). In the 20’s anti-immigrant hysteria 5 teachers/admins here in RI at Mt. St. Charles Academy were excommunicated for continuing to teach in French against diocese orders as the RC Church bent to the prevailing political winds. (Also too the Nat’l RC Church was (is?) Irish-dominated, so an English language bias would be expected.)

  29. 29
    slag says:

    @Chyron HR: If you missed The Daily Show’s coverage of Trump’s ideology test put to his own supporters, you are very much missing out.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: Trump sort of mentioned it last night. Kind of mangled it, most likely intentionally, as one of his supporting arguments about how the President has failed.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SenyorDave: Yep. I tried to find an actual copy of Governor Jindal’s order, but could only find single line quotes, so went with Pence’s. And Speaker Ryan, of course, has made a big deal about showing off his piety.

  32. 32
    NorthLeft12 says:

    Thanks Adam. I enjoy reading your thoughtful and detailed posts. My corporate paymasters? Would prefer that you were somewhat briefer and less interesting.

    A personal anecdote; I had just moved to Eastern Ontario and asked a long time resident why there was not a Catholic church in a nearby town [which I felt was more than large enough to support a parish]. This was in the late 1980’s before Catholics really stopped going to church and priests became very scarce.
    He answered me [very seriously] that if they tried, it would be burnt down before they could put the roof on it. Yeah, this was a rural area that was very Protestant, but I had never [I was about 30] heard this kind of talk before.
    Not sure if they are more accepting of Catholics now, but they have another religion to hate on more.

  33. 33
    scav says:

    The tendency goes all the way back.
    December 3, 1858

    …in 1658, Plymouth Court ordered that any boat carrying Quakers to Sandwich be seized to prevent the religious heretics from landing. A year earlier, Quakers in Sandwich had established the first Friends’ Meeting in the New World. Magistrates in both Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were alarmed by Quaker teachings that individuals could receive direct personal revelations from God. To protect orthodox Puritanism, the courts passed a series of laws forbidding residents from housing Quakers. Quakers themselves were threatened with whipping, arrest, imprisonment, banishment, or death. But driven by conscience, some Quakers repeatedly returned to Massachusetts to preach; four of them, including Mary Dyer, went to the gallows before a shocked King Charles ordered an end to the hanging of Quakers in 1661.

    see also and the Quakers were at least poking back.

  34. 34
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Funny how Republicans never stop and think that some Syrian refugees are Christians just like them. Not that that should matter but they should at least get the facts straight and acknowledge that not all Syrian refugees are Muslims. Plus, before they get here, refugees are carefully vetted for at least two years.

    In any case, Trump should love immigrants given that he has married two of them.

  35. 35
    Matt McIrvin says:

    I was spurred by the recent discussions about Colin Kaepernick to try to figure out exactly when it was that Americans developed their quasi-religious fetish for loyalty oaths and special flag rituals.

    As far as I can tell, it started during this same period: end of the 19th century, continuing through World War I and a bit into the 1920s. A lot of it was sparked by anxieties over whether immigrants would properly assimilate.

    It was also probably associated with the aftermath of Civil War, but it didn’t really happen so much during the Civil War or Reconstruction. It was all during this post-Reconstruction period, when the war was starting to pass into myth. And it was both sides: all those Confederate monuments went up during the same period, and people started to wave around the rectangular version of the battle flag as a symbol of the Lost Cause.

    Around the 50th anniversary in 1911-1915 there was a lot of memorializing devoted to recasting the whole thing as a tragic brother-against-brother misunderstanding, with valiant heroes on both sides (together with the rise of Jim Crow laws). It goes a long way to explaining why some of the same people who get the most het up about the US flag like to wave the Confederate one too.

  36. 36
    cmorenc says:

    At least Trump (hopefully) did the country a favor last night with his blistering anti-immigrant rhetoric in his post-Mexican trip speech Phoenix, destroying the developing MSM that he was genuinely “moderating” his positions to more realistic, tolerant approaches in order to appeal to the broader electorate (and incidentally, perhaps achieve the “tightening” in the horse-race the MSM would rather present to us rather than the horror-show trainwreck narrative they’ve been reluctantly forced into presenting for quite a few weeks, which would lead to the outcome as foregone conclusion and lose public interest in tuning in to cable news). It will be nearly impossible after last night for either Trump or some factions in the media to fool us about who Trump really is.

    OTOH, if Trump’s speech last night in Phoenix somehow really does facilitate enough of a comeback that he’s able to achieve a narrow win in November, we’re well and truly fucked as a country – and I’d be too ashamed to go abroad and have to start with the presumption in local’s eyes as an “ugly American” (much more so than is already the case).

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NorthLeft12: In my defense for today – there are a lot of pictures.

  38. 38
    scav says:

    Trend goes all the way back.
    December 3, 1658

    …in 1658, Plymouth Court ordered that any boat carrying Quakers to Sandwich be seized to prevent the religious heretics from landing. A year earlier, Quakers in Sandwich had established the first Friends’ Meeting in the New World. Magistrates in both Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were alarmed by Quaker teachings that individuals could receive direct personal revelations from God. To protect orthodox Puritanism, the courts passed a series of laws forbidding residents from housing Quakers. Quakers themselves were threatened with whipping, arrest, imprisonment, banishment, or death. But driven by conscience, some Quakers repeatedly returned to Massachusetts to preach; four of them, including Mary Dyer, went to the gallows before a shocked King Charles ordered an end to the hanging of Quakers in 1661.

    Quakers at least poked back. See also

  39. 39
    D58826 says:

    My wife’s Norwegian grandmother had a fit when her daughter brought home a man with the last name of Currens. Only thing that saved the relationship was he was a Lutheran minister just like my wife’s granddad.

    My grandmother arrived in the US from Germany in 1914, just before the outbreak of WWI. She would not speak German in the house or teach my Mom and my aunt to speak it either. They dropped German from the high school language program in the 1920’s. Result was a shortage of translators in WWII>

    We had freedom fries after 9/11 and liberty cabbage (i.e. sauerkraut) during WWI.

  40. 40
    JR in WV says:

    Well,

    Yesterday I finally volunteered to go over into Ohio to GOTV for Hillary. I’ve been contributing money, which is easier for me. I have to get the occasional squeak under the VW fixed, or drive an not as comfortable/economical F-150. Wife will feed dogs while I go.

    I’m thinking 2 or 3 days a week. Depending on how my back holds out, etc, etc. gripe gripe. Getting old sucks, but as Mr Marx (the comedic actor, not the pol) said, it beats the alternative!

    No point to it here, we’re more red than Georgia right now, not quite as red as Alabama, thank FSM!!!

  41. 41
    Davis X. Machina says:

    ”@Mike J:

    There was good news this week that almost nobody covered. The 10,000 refugee from Syria arrived in the US.

    “in each generation, each person is obligated to see himself or herself as though he or she personally came forth from Egypt”.

  42. 42
    JanieM says:

    @p.a.: That may be so, but it has nothing to do with the story I was telling. My grandma who objected to her daughter marrying a Catholic had lineage on this continent for (at the time) more than three hundred years (it’s almost four hundred now). She was hardly among the recently arrived/acculturated.

    ETA: IOW, I have no idea why you addressed that comment to me.

  43. 43
    scav says:

    Trend goes all the way back.
    December 3, 1658 Plymouth Court MA pulling similar stunts against Quakers. Something about the block quote making things mistapear, so trying truncated. Clicking is exercise. (ETA: two-step!)

    …in 1658, Plymouth Court ordered that any boat carrying Quakers to Sandwich be seized to prevent the religious heretics from landing. A year earlier, Quakers in Sandwich had established the first Friends’ Meeting in the New World. Magistrates in both Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were alarmed by Quaker teachings that individuals could receive direct personal revelations from God. To protect orthodox Puritanism, the courts passed a series of laws forbidding residents from housing Quakers. Quakers themselves were threatened with whipping, arrest, imprisonment, banishment, or death. But driven by conscience, some Quakers repeatedly returned to Massachusetts to preach; four of them, including Mary Dyer, went to the gallows before a shocked King Charles ordered an end to the hanging of Quakers in 1661.

  44. 44

    I didn’t hear Trump’s speech last night, so I just listened to part of it. It was deeply disturbing. It actually made my heart speed up, it felt so threatening.

  45. 45
    RareSanity says:

    @Betty Cracker: Although Rachel Maddow can come off as a bit pretentious at times to me, I agree that her piece from last night is well worth a watch.

  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @scav: Yep, the Puritans were looking for religious freedom, but only for themselves. Everyone else had to either conform to their understanding of five point Calvinism or whatever rules they put in place for non-Puritans. We don’t do a very good job teaching or understanding our own history.

  47. 47
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Did not know that. Yet another story of ineffectual terrorists undone by mundane things they hadn’t planned on.

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Actually, it was acknowledged, albeit briefly: one of the primary candidates (can’t remember if it was Trump) specifically said that we should halt all immigration from the Middle East, EXCEPT FOR CHRISTIANS.

    I’ve observed before that the same people who obsessively follow the problems of every [non-Palestinian] Christian community in the Middle East generally completely ignore the similar persecution of Yazidis, Bah’ai, and everyone else… but this was taking it to a whole new level. You can’t even pretend anymore that it’s about being deeply concerned about Islam because Islam is an unusually violent religion; it’s pretty blatant “look out for our own, and fuck everyone else.”

  48. 48
    hovercraft says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    Those are the right type of immigrants. last night he made reference to the Immigration Act of 1965. This is the new goal for the xenophobes and nativists, to go back to the era where there were limits on non-European immigrants, to ‘maintain’ the demographic ‘norms’ of America. Too many of the wrong types of immigrants have come in, which is why when you listen closely you’ll hear that it’s not just illegal immigration that’s a problem but also legal immigration.

  49. 49
    MattF says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And, one could do worse than to look up information on Roger Williams.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: Yep, the plan is to overturn the Immigration Act of 1965 and revert to the highly restrictive and highly European (white) focused one from 1924.

  51. 51
    cmorenc says:

    @D58826:

    My grandmother arrived in the US from Germany in 1914, just before the outbreak of WWI. She would not speak German in the house or teach my Mom and my aunt to speak it either. They dropped German from the high school language program in the 1920’s. Result was a shortage of translators in WWII>

    My paternal grandfather, a German national, wound up here in the US in Boston thanks to the purely accidental exact timing of the initial outbreak of war between Germany and Great Britain: he was a seaman aboard a German merchant-marine ship what was already more than halfway back across the Atlantic toward Hamburg harbor in Germany, carrying cargo valuable for munitions manufacture – at the exact moment Britain declared war on Germany. The ship was less than a day of reaching sea territory actively patrolled by the British navy, and immediately turned around toward N. America, to out-race pursuit by the British navy, and got to Boston harbor in the nick of time to avoid getting caught and sunk or captured. And so young Grandpa Rudolph was marooned in Boston for the duration of the war and wisely chose to stay here afterward rather than returning to a wrecked German domestic scene, even though the environment for German nationals within the US was less than completely welcoming at the time (an understatement). And wound up meeting and marrying another German immigrant, my grandmother, who came here as an indentured servant around 1910 as a frightened 12-year old girl not yet speaking a word of English, accompanied by her 15 yo old sister, via Ellis Island. Back in 2000, I visited Ellis Island and stood on the balcony above the very room where my grandmother went through her initial intake, and could vividly visualize the poor scared not-yet-teenager standing there some 90 years earlier with her sister in that very room below me.

  52. 52
    redshirt says:

    @NorthLeft12: It seems like ancient history, the hostility between Catholics and Protestants, and then I remember that my Grandparents on my Father’s side were both banished by their families because he was a Protestant and she was a Catholic and there’s no way they’re getting married. They did, and lost their families over it, until the end.

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    It was also probably associated with the aftermath of Civil War, but it didn’t really happen so much during the Civil War or Reconstruction. It was all during this post-Reconstruction period, when the war was starting to pass into myth.

    There’s probably something to be said for comparing the Civil War with the Vietnam War. Both of them split the country, in their own way; both were heavily controversial and their legacy loomed large over the country for decades after they were done; and both were heavily, heavily re-written and mythologized some time after the war was done in order, basically, to “heal the country” by making right wing assholes feel better about themselves, with that mythology eventually gaining widespread acceptance as the way it really happened.

  54. 54
    catclub says:

    @scav:

    Trend goes all the way back.

    I know Canada has its own faults and history. But, Why is it doing so much better now with Syrians?

  55. 55
    Carlo Graziani says:

    Yeah, that’s the thing about people. They suck.

    The awful truth about humanity is that if you have a river, and the same tribe controls the watershed and the delta, they can live in peace for centuries. But if you have different tribes controlling the upstream and downstream parts of the river, a conflict over water is nearly unavoidable. The difference between peace and war is the difference between the upstream and downstream folk regarding each other as “brother” or “other”. Nothing else.

    That’s what I find so annoying about economic explanations (“It’s trade! It’s the recession!”) for the cultural resentments of the xenophobic nationalist loons that surged over the GOP’s retaining walls this year. It’s like blaming the water for the water wars. Economic hardship is no excuse for their tribalistic prejudice. In a country supposedly founded on the values of the Enlightenment, their atavistic ethnic particularism is shameful, and something that they would be ashamed of, had they only the required self-awareness.

  56. 56
    Peale says:

    @p.a.: Yep. My grandmother graduated from high school in 1929. Her mother and father sent her to English speaking school, not german school, and apparently my great grandma’s family never forgave my great grandmother for that insult and had very little contact with her grand-daughter after that. I was surprised when my great aunt told me that. It does explain why, even though my grandmother had dozens of cousins, my dad never met any family members from that side of the family.

  57. 57
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    No, we don’t. (and I say that as a recent history degree recipient).

    American outrage at the Quebec Act (one of the “Intolerable Acts”) is a case in point on anti-Catholic sentiment:

    The Quebec Act, under consideration since 1773, removed all the territory and fur trade between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers from possible colonial jurisdiction and awarded it to the province of Quebec. By establishing French civil law and the Roman Catholic religion in the coveted area, Britain acted liberally toward Quebec’s settlers but raised the spectre of popery before the mainly Protestant colonies to Canada’s south.

    More fun in New England…

    Each year in England, November 5th is celebrated as Guy Fawkes’ Day, commemorating the thwarting of the Gunpowder Plot to overthrow King James I in 1605. In Boston, during colonial times, the annual commemoration becameknown as Pope’s Day, and had quickly evolved into an anti-Catholic celebration. Effigies of the Devil, Pope, and people like Tax Collector were fought over by rival mobs and eventually burned in a huge bon fire at Copp’s Hill. Pope’s Day was later superseded by Boston Massacre processions after 1770, and eventually by July 4th celebrations starting in 1785.

    http://www.celebrateboston.com.....y-1765.htm

  58. 58
    catclub says:

    @cmorenc:

    It will be nearly impossible after last night for either Trump or some factions in the media to fool us about who Trump really is.

    But apparently the NYT made a valiant effort to print the softening article they had written and ready to go.

  59. 59
    celticdragonchick says:

    I’m in moderation…

  60. 60
    p.a. says:

    @JanieM: just showing another side of the rejectionist coin; despite being a ‘nation of immigrants’ there’s pressure to fit in to the detriment of the next wave.

  61. 61
    hovercraft says:

    @catclub:
    In a parliamentary system the party in charge gets to actually govern. The conservatives and nativist don’t like it but there’s not a lot they can do about it.

  62. 62
    Barb2 says:

    Indian Wars – genocide. The newspapers were filled with hateful articles about the Indian wars. There was a free genealogy website that had volunteers transcribing piles of 19th century newspapers. I was one of the volunteers. The common daily racism towards people of color was shocking – now not so much with Trump quoting from the the filled rags.

    Trail of Tears, Wounded Knee etc.

    Maryland was a safe haven for Catholics and Jews. I trace two family lines to Maryland, one Jewish and one Catholic.

    The Puritans hung Quakers.

    Trump is trying to resurrect our Nation’s ugly past.

    Thank you, Adam, for this post.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @celticdragonchick: You are free!

  64. 64
    Rafer Janders says:

    And Governor Pence is only one among 27 governors, all Republicans, that told the Obama Administration they would not accept Syrian Civil War refugees.

    Governors can spew this nonsense all they want, but it has no force. A governor has no legal authority to keep anyone from moving to his or her state. States don’t have enforceable borders against the free movement of peoples. If the federal government wants to settle anyone in Indiana, then they get settled in Indiana.

  65. 65
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    the Puritans were looking for religious freedom, but only for themselves.

    Yes, this is true, but it did have a couple of redeeming qualities. First, the Puritans started the original War on Christmas:

    Christmas celebrations in New England were illegal during part of the 17th century, and were culturally taboo or rare in Puritan colonies from foundation until the 1850s. The Puritan community found no Scriptural justification for celebrating Christmas, and associated such celebrations with paganism and idolatry. The earliest years of the Plymouth Colony were troubled with non-Puritans attempting to make merry, and Governor William Bradford was forced to reprimand offenders. English laws suppressing the holiday were enacted in the Interregnum, but repealed late in the 17th century. However, the Puritan view of Christmas and its celebration had gained cultural ascendancy in New England, and Christmas celebrations continued to be discouraged despite being legal. When Christmas became a Federal holiday in 1870, the Puritan view was relaxed and late 19-century Americans fashioned the day into the Christmas of commercialism, spirituality, and nostalgia that most Americans recognize today.

    And second, they regarded marriage as a civil matter and not a concern of the Church. IOW, they disavowed the so-called Christian marriage.

  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Rafer Janders: I know that, you know that, most people who read Balloon Juice know that. The folks these governors are pandering to don’t know that.

  67. 67
    Brachiator says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Rachel Maddow’s opening segment last night touched on these very themes. Well worth watching.

    Yeppity yep. I was watching the video podcast this morning. And I even knew that originally Lincoln was a member of the Whig Party.

    I hadn’t thought about, but found interesting, Maddow’s assertion that the demise of the Whig Party did not lead to good times, or the natural dominance of the Democratic Party, but to a period of confusion and nastiness in which the nativist Know-Nothings could arise and cause mischief. Perhaps those gloating about the possible self-destruction of the Republican Party might be cautious of what they might wish for.

    Also, again and again I find it just sad, but so dismally predictable, that often the people who are out in front scapegoating new immigrants are those whose grandparents previously got a boot up the ass by “real” Americans.

  68. 68
    celticdragonchick says:

    @cmorenc:

    I believe the 13th Amendment made indentured servitude illegal in the United States.

  69. 69
    Peale says:

    @hovercraft: Yep. With a view towards fixing the ethinic makeup of the country. Difficult to explain to my non-voting Asian friends, but basically Trump says that there are too many of you in the country, too, and we’ll not be adjusting those visa quotas until whites are back to 90% of the population.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Felonius Monk: All Holidays Matter!!!

  71. 71
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    That was only because they had no concept of separating church and state to begin with. Marriage was a civil affair because public life, private life and civil affairs were all one and the same. No need to have a “Christian” ceremony that would differentiate from some other faith.

  72. 72
    p.a. says:

    @Peale: The Yellowstone Caldera may go off before 90% is achieved!

  73. 73
    celticdragonchick says:

    @p.a.: That would certainly solve our global warming problem…

  74. 74
    geg6 says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    Now I wonder how much of that was due to public hostility towards Catholics.

    100% of it was. Hell, that anti-Catholic stuff was still strong enough among even polite society when my parents were young and is the reason my mom went to Catholic school until high school. And when she went to public high school, there were guys who wanted to date her but whose parents would not let them because she was a Catholic. My dad really had to buck his family to marry my mom. They were British immigrants of the Methodist flavor and were appalled that he married into a dirty Irish/German Catholic family.

  75. 75
    Brachiator says:

    @cmorenc:

    OTOH, if Trump’s speech last night in Phoenix somehow really does facilitate enough of a comeback that he’s able to achieve a narrow win in November, we’re well and truly fucked as a country – and I’d be too ashamed to go abroad and have to start with the presumption in local’s eyes as an “ugly American” (much more so than is already the case).

    I was listening to one of the local conservative (but not rabidly so) talk radio stations here in Los Angeles. Caller after caller thought that Trump was masterful. One caller compared him to Reagan, “the last truly great president.” A number of callers echoed a similar theme, that Trump was proudly and loudly speaking for the average American worker.

    Now, obviously there may be an element of deliberate programming by the screener and program director. But you cannot easily know in advance whether a caller is going to be “good” on the radio or articulate just because they may fit what the host and producer of show wants. But the enthusiasm and focus of these callers were noteworthy. Trump really fired them up.

    God help us.

  76. 76
    scav says:

    @catclub: Hard to say, but having to wrestle with A) significant determined internal minorities (Quebecois and eventually First Nations) and B) different ties with the rest of the world through the Empire/Commonwealth (admittedly a mixed situation, but at least large chunks of the wider world were viewed more as collegial rather than adversarial. ‘Merka just folded in on itself except when it wanted to play dominance.) Of course, a half-conscious instinct not to be like that sleeping elephant to the south may play a certain role as well. Not that any nation is perfect — ‘Merca just lies harder and louder.

    speaking of which, Israel may be trying to keep up: Israel police chief: ‘Natural’ to suspect Ethiopians of crime

    At a meeting of the Israel Bar Association in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Mr Alsheich was asked why Ethiopian-Israelis appeared to be singled out by his force.
    “Studies the world over, without exception, have shown that immigrants are invariably more involved in crime than others, and this should not come as a surprise,” he responded.
    Research had also shown that young people in general were more involved in crime and that “when the two come together, there’s a situation in which a given community is more involved than others in crime, statistically speaking”, he added.
    The commissioner said this had been the case “in all the waves of immigration” to Israel, and “also with regard to [Israeli] Arabs or [Palestinians in] East Jerusalem”.

    Funny how that scary scary immigrant tag doesn’t seem to apply to the bulk of immigrants to Israel: Europeans, especially from the former Soviet Union.

  77. 77

    There is a great deal new and unprecedented in the US about the current political climate and this election. Racism and xenophobia are not one of those new things. The wild upswing part is at least unusual, but for most of American and even human history, levels of racism and xenophobia that make Trump look tame were the norm. If this wasn’t true, the processes leading to him and this crazy situation could not have happened.

    Horace de Vere Cole got away with impersonating a sultan TO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS by saying “Bunga bunga” for pete’s sake.

  78. 78
    Felonius Monk says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I believe the 13th Amendment made indentured servitude illegal in the United States.

    Robbery and murder are illegal just about everywhere. Doesn’t mean they don’t exist. :-)

  79. 79
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @catclub:

    I know Canada has its own faults and history. But, Why is it doing so much better now with Syrians?

    I’ll take your question to mean, “Why are we eagerly accepting so many Syrian refugees?”
    There is a definite split in Canada over the refugee and immigration question. Fortunately, the split is not even. I think that those who want to help and allow more people in, outnumber those that don’t by about two to one.
    Really, it is all about timing. This issue came to a head during a federal election which gave people a chance to vote their conscience; Conservatives = NO, Liberals = YES. The NDP were also pro- refugee, but not as enthusiastic as the Liberals. This was one of the big issues that helped push the Liberals to a majority government, with a mandate to accept 25K refugees per year.
    A lot of Canadians really felt like we were returning to our roots as good world citizens when the refugees were welcomed to Canada. I am still a little in awe of our response. And very happy too.

  80. 80
    hovercraft says:

    @Peale:
    The only problem with their scheme, is that even of they were to get the numbers they need to enact such a law, there are too many of us already here. Minority birth rates are much higher than whites, there aren’t enough Duggars to keep spitting out white evangelical Christians. Minorities have crossed over the dreaded line already, they now encompass more than 50 % of the population under the age of 18. As shown in Europe and Japan, also in Russia, there is no way to force people to reproduce if they don’t want too. So unless they have a plan to commit genocide, we will outnumber them for the foreseeable future.

  81. 81
    Peale says:

    I actually do want to point out that this “nothing is new here” theme doesn’t mean it isn’t new to the people who are experiencing it for the first time. There aren’t a lot of people left who lived in Japanese internment camps, or who were unable to find wives because Uncle Sam forbid the immigration of women from certain countries, or who found themselves without work because a new boss came and who thought “who can trust those Irish?” I know that 2010 was a low point in anti-immigrant hysteria with the ground zero mosque and beheaddings in the desert, and that 2014 was another low point with “criminal mexican children” and “Obama isn’t making the leaders of African countries disinfect themselves when they come in.” But I really can’t tell if we’re at the beginning of a cycle or the end. What is new, however, is that while Republican Congressmen can show up at rallies protesting busloads of immigrant children and face no consequences in mid-terms (actually, it helps them), Presidential candidates aren’t supposed to do that. Its one thing to note that Goldwater ran on his opposition to civil rights, But I’m not certain I’ve seen video of a rally where he was actually whipping the crowd up like we saw last night. Other people are supposed to do that, not the candidate. This is new to those of us who weren’t alive then to boot and its not actually comforting to know that we’ve been there before and somehow those periods just magically disappear and everyone is fine. Anti-chinese policies were in place for what, 100 years? Why do we think that the it will be so easy to turn this around were we to ever lose the presidency?

  82. 82
    Brachiator says:

    @Barb2:

    Trump is trying to resurrect our Nation’s ugly past.

    The past is never dead. It’s not even past.

    — William Faulkner

  83. 83
    hovercraft says:

    @scav:
    The Israelis from the from the Eastern block countries are also behind the lurch to the right that Israel has taken in the last few years. I’s’ mystifying to me that those who were the most repressed and persecuted, tend to be the most hardline and least tolerant.

  84. 84
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Mike J:

    So why wasn’t there a RWNJ freak-out with Coulter, Hamburg, Limbaugh, etc., leading the chorus? Are they aware of the potential bad optics at this point in the election cycle?

  85. 85
    Paul Gottlieb says:

    Now we understand why Robert Taft was known as “Mr. Republican.”

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @celticdragonchick: The Puritans certainly had a concept of separating church and state. Calvin’s writings specifically note that they are separate entities. They did see both as based on divine authority and serving complementary purposes. Note that they set up both civil and religious institutions when they came to Massachusetts and that they barred clergy from holding positions of authority in the civil government.

  87. 87
    Calouste says:

    @hovercraft:

    So unless they have a plan to commit genocide

    Still 67 days left until the general election…

  88. 88
    Peale says:

    @Paul Gottlieb: “It would be hard for a humane person to resist” calls for family reunification. God it reminds me of Dinesh D’Souza sending spies to record meetings of the campus LGBT groups at Dartmouth because he was worried that they might get too much sympathy. Cause you know, AIDS was just something gays wanted to have so that straights would feel sorry for us.

  89. 89
    Sondra says:

    I was born in 1947 and have a very vivid memory of when my Dad took me over to his boss’s house to swim in his pool. Daddy was house-sitting for him and the house in a very lovely old WASP neighborhood. He told me the boss had extended an invitation to us to use his pool whenever we felt like.

    I was very nervous on the ride over there because even though I was only 8 years old I knew it was one of those neighborhoods that was restricted – off limits to Jews. I was terrified when we got there and no one was home. I remember being frightened that some sort of Jew police would come and take us away. Or what if a neighbor swooped in and started screaming at us.

  90. 90

    @Peale: What makes you think it’s a cycle? We’ve been scared of Messicans for at least since I’ve been alive.

  91. 91
    Brachiator says:

    @hovercraft:

    @catclub:

    I know Canada has its own faults and history. But, Why is it doing so much better now with Syrians?

    You could also point to Germany, which obviously has a terrible and complex history, but which is now in the lead in trying to help refugees. And contrast them with Australia, which has let boat people die.

    The reasons a nation tries to do good are mysterious. And sadly, there is also furious opposition to Canada and Germany’s efforts by nativists and right wingers.

  92. 92
    scav says:

    @hovercraft: See also Puritans high-tailing it out of England to here. They don’t object to intolerance per se, just their not holding the whip hand of it.

  93. 93
    hovercraft says:

    @Calouste:
    Wait are you telling me the FEMA camps are for us ?
    Umm all those mentions of my being a black woman, were just me lying on the internet. I’m a white man who loves NASCAR, and I go duck hunting every chance I get. Yeah I’m a Trump voter, whose been just messing with you libtards.

  94. 94
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: So, in other words, the Puritans sucked in all the ways we know of, and they were cool in ways that we don’t know of, or have forgotten. One of the things that always impressed me about the Puritans – and about the Mormons, too, come to that – is their sense of a commonwealth. If you’re in, then you’re *in* – community is precious, and so is taking care of it. Free public education is probably my favorite of the concepts we owe to Puritan New England.

    @hovercraft: On the Internet, no one knows you’re a Duck Dynastist.

  95. 95
    redshirt says:

    @Brachiator: Leadership makes the difference.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Miss Bianca: They were also quite sex-positive which comes as a surprise to many.

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: Socially learned behavior as a result of differential social organization. They were raised in totalitarian systems. This is what is comfortable for them. So when liberated from those systems they invariably establish systems that have totalitarian impulses.

  98. 98
    D58826 says:

    Uncle Joe today on ‘old little hands’ – ‘This is a guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth that now he is choking on because his foot’s in his mouth – with the spoon’

  99. 99
    rikyrah says:

    Is This Trump’s Backup Plan If He Loses the Election?
    A curious trademark hints at a future Trump venture.
    SEP. 1, 2016 8:08 AM

    This spring, as Donald Trump battled Ted Cruz in the heated Republican primary campaign, the mogul was also tending to his day job, with his business empire staking a claim to some new corporate territory. On April 11—a day when media reports noted Trump had been oddly silent and out of sight following his recent defeat in the Wisconsin primary—a Trump-owned company applied for a trademark on a brand new hotel concept. It was dubbed “American Idea.”

    According to the trademark filing made by DTTM Operations LLC, a Delaware-based company Trump set up in January to manage his trademarks, the GOP nominee was reserving “American Idea” for use in an unspecified hotel services, spa, and/or personal concierge business. Could it be that the candidate running under the banner of “Make America Great Again” was devising a plan to capitalize on Trump-style patriotism for a new hotel or chain of hotels with some sort of America theme? Was this Plan B? A way to convert his campaign into a commercial success, if voters fail to elect him the nation’s next CEO?

    Hope Hicks, the Trump campaign spokeswoman, did not respond to a request for comment.

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    Joe BidenVerified account
    ‏@JoeBiden
    “[Trump] was born with a silver spoon in his mouth that he’s now choking on because his foot’s in his mouth along with the spoon.” -VP Biden

  101. 101
    JMG says:

    The Puritans (my wife is an expert in Colonial history, having worked in a museum in Lexington, Mass.) had their religious beliefs tempered if not changed by the need to survive as a community in an often-hostile environment for which most were woefully unprepared upon arrival. The communitarian impulse in Britain was real but weak. In America, it became a life imperative.

  102. 102
    Peale says:

    @rikyrah: Who says he was only going to establish that chain if he loses? I think he might be the first president we’d have who will hawk his own commemorative coins on HSN.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peale:

    Culturally, I honestly think we’re at the end. Normally if you’re going to get a fascist movement going, you have popular culture (books, movies, radio/TV, etc) behind you. Right now, thank God, we’re at the opposite in popular culture, with diversity and inclusion at the forefront of what’s popular right now.

    I know people are tired of me riding his hobbyhorse, but Zootopia, a family film about the ills of bigotry, has made $1 BILLION. With a B. The Magnificent Seven is being remade with a diverse cast.

    The cultural tide is against Trump and Trumpism, and history shows that you can’t have a mass movement if you don’t have the actual masses behind it.

  104. 104
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    20,000 dead kids on your head is enough to get you into Hell, right?

    Asking for a friend.

  105. 105
    scav says:

    @JMG: Because surviving in a hostile environment means you really have to beat up and exile people with slightly different ideas about church-going — even if they could help with the farming and being part of the community. History charitably shaded for the feel-good tourist expectations.

  106. 106
    hovercraft says:

    @rikyrah:
    Well he’ll have a built in clientele, unless they decide that not only losing to a woman, but the most evil woman on earth, in history, makes him a loser. If any such entity is created, you couldn’t pay me to go anywhere near it. Can you imagine a bunch of these psychos drunk and having fun with their concealed carry guns in the clubhouse or bar, why it could…….. Please proceed Mr Trump.

  107. 107
    Chris says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I know people are tired of me riding his hobbyhorse, but Zootopia, a family film about the ills of bigotry, has made $1 BILLION. With a B. The Magnificent Seven is being remade with a diverse cast.

    And Mad Max got a sequel with a feminist heroine. And Star Wars got a sequel where none of the three main characters fit the default “male, white, American” template for action heroes. And Ghostbusters got that remake with an all-female cast. Even the Marvel Cinematic Universe finally gave us a show with a female lead and feminist overtones.

    And Marvel Comics had a black man take up the Captain America mantle, and a woman do the same for Thor’s. And its most recent breakout character is a Pakistani-Muslim teenage girl born to immigrants. And it’s got TNC writing a Black Panther comic.

    Culturally, it’s definitely a good time to be the kind of person that Trump repels.

  108. 108

    Has anyone as dangerous as Trump ever been so close to being the President?

  109. 109
    Brachiator says:

    @scav:

    See also Puritans high-tailing it out of England to here. They don’t object to intolerance per se, just their not holding the whip hand of it.

    Of course, the Puritans at first went to Holland. But some leaders felt that the country set a bad example::

    In Of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford says that one of the reasons the Puritans chose to leave Holland for the New World was the negative effects the culture of the Netherlands had on the Puritans’ children. Bradford says, “But that which was more lamentable, and of all sorrows most heavy to be borne, was that many of their children, by these occasions, and the great licentiousness of youth in that country and the manifold temptations of the place, were drawn away by evil examples into extravagant and dangerous courses…”

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Even high school teachers sometimes forget that the point of The Scarlet Letter is that Dimmesdale is a goddamned hypocrite who leads the pack that punishes Hester for having his secret illegitimate child.

  111. 111
    gogol's wife says:

    Fascinating story about St. Mary’s in New Haven. I used to walk by there every day. I had no idea of the history.

  112. 112
    rikyrah says:

    The Daily Edge
    ‏@TheDailyEdge
    Trump sure talks differently about Mexicans when he’s in Mexico than he does when he’s in Arizona #TrumpAZ

  113. 113
    Van Buren says:

    @D58826: My (Wisconsin) Danish father’s mother was horrified that he married a non-Lutheran woman with a French name and even worse, had brown hair and eyes.

  114. 114
    Gindy51 says:

    @Miss Bianca: When you’re in, yes, you’re in but if you’re out you’re FUCKED right and proper. Been there done that in June 1996. We lived in Sandy Utah and were shunned because we were not LDS. No one’s kids played with my daughter and she was terrorized at school (gang of boys tried to pull her clothes off at recess). The only one who helped her was one of her LDS classmates named Levi. He pulled the other animals off her and rushed her to the nurse’s office where they called me to come get her. Even after I complained to the highest level not one LDs member stood up for us. I had to go to school with her every damned day until after recess to keep her safe and the fucking little LDS shit who started it never got in trouble because his daddy was a high ranking LDS official.

  115. 115
    hovercraft says:

    @Chris:

    And Mad Max got a sequel with a feminist heroine. And Star Wars got a sequel where none of the three main characters fit the default “male, white, American” template for action heroes. And Ghostbusters got that remake with an all-female cast. Even the Marvel Cinematic Universe finally gave us a show with a female lead and feminist overtones.

    And Marvel Comics had a black man take up the Captain America mantle, and a woman do the same for Thor’s. And its most recent breakout character is a Pakistani-Muslim teenage girl born to immigrants. And it’s got TNC writing a Black Panther comic.

    And those are the exact same reasons the nativists are angry. These are not signs of progress, they are proof of the fact that America is being stolen away right before our eyes. Never mind that there are more movies than ever, and the percentage of roles for white men still by far outnumbers the number for any other group, i’s not fair to punish these poor embattled white men. I remember last year after the Oscar nominations came out and Selma got snubbed, one of the Academy voters said basically, “hey we gave you 12 Years a Slave last year, so sit down and shut up you got your quota, come talk to us in a few years.

  116. 116
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I know people are tired of me riding his hobbyhorse, but Zootopia, a family film about the ills of bigotry, has made $1 BILLION. With a B. The Magnificent Seven is being remade with a diverse cast.

    Love Zootopia. I remember a moment when I realized that the main character was female, but her gender was not the primary driving motive of the narrative. The movie wasn’t about how tough it was to be a girl bunny.

    And Ginnifer Goodwin is just tremendously charming in her role as Officer Judy Hopps.

    As you note, the film is about the ills of bigotry, but not in the ham fisted “eat your spinach” moralizing way of many films. And some of the examples and twists do not come from a single direction.

    Also amazing to me is how the movie’s creators had the creative insight to rewrite the movie, which originally was more focused on the male Fox character voiced by Jason Bateman.

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @scav:

    The Quakers were very, very dangerous to the Puritans because they were all about listening to your Inner Light from the Holy Spirit and not just following the community’s rules. Plus they believed in women’s spiritual equality, which obviously was just plain wrong.

  118. 118
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Brachiator: Yes, the opposition to Syrian refugees in Canada is furious, but it is also small and for the most part only exists through FB memes, media site comments, and bar/water cooler tirades. In short, they are powerless trolls who are an annoyance, and have no input or influence on any government [federal, provincial, county, or municipal] body.

    Virtually every religious organization, most charities, and numerous ad hoc and grass root groups are involved in the process of bringing in and settling Syrian refugees. This is not a government driven effort, but one where the previous federal government was blocking the movement of refugees to Canada, to be replaced by a new government who just did their damn job and finally accepted the refugees who had been fully vetted and sponsored to come and settle.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    It went through many, many, MANY iterations trying to find the story. They always knew that they wanted it to be a story about bigotry and different groups having to learn to live together, but they went back and forth on exactly how to tell that story and how to balance the multiple angles. Obviously, I think it succeeded brilliantly, but I’m a little … prejudiced. 😄

  120. 120
    MomSense says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    In my quieter moments, I soothe myself by saying that what we are witnessing is an extinction burst. The culture has changed. It is never going back. They lost the culture wars and are acting out because they are so fucking bitter about it. Sad!

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @hovercraft:

    It really didn’t help that Ava Duvernay is a woman. People outside of Hollywood don’t always realize just how much of a fucking sexist boys’ club it still is. The racism was bad enough, but the sexism made the movie ignorable.

    I am very proud that the Giant Evil Corporation I work for reacted to that snub by (a) immediately hiring Duvernay to direct a big-budget adaptation of “A Wrinkle In Time” and (b) producing “The Queen of Katwe” with an all-black cast and directed by Mira Nair, an Indian woman. It’s basically a giant dare for the Academy to snub the movie, and I couldn’t be happier.

  122. 122
    scav says:

    @Mnemosyne: All that thouing and not doffing hats to royalty even!

  123. 123
    JPL says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: IOKIYR, at least they think so.

  124. 124
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Miss Bianca: The thing I find interesting about the Puritans is that their church evolved directly into the United Church of Christ, one of the most liberal and tolerant Protestant denominations in the United States (the Unitarians were an early offshoot too).

    And the later outbreaks of extreme Christianist authoritarianism were associated with the Baptists, who were originally pointedly anti-authoritarian and pluralist, insisting on the Priesthood of Every Believer and the independence of churches.

  125. 125
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …though I think the Boston-area officials who responded most enthusiastically to Anthony Comstock’s crusade against anything slightly off-color were largely Catholic.

  126. 126
    p.a. says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Think Northern Baptists would qualifly as Mainline Prots, evangelism or not. Would love to be able to see Roger Williams commentary on Southern Baptism. Imagine it would have to be written on asbestos.

  127. 127
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Has anyone as dangerous as Trump ever been so close to being the President?

    @schrodinger’s cat: In the last fifty years, Reagan, Bush II and Nixon won the presidency. All three of these men were far more of a threat to the United States and the rest of the world that Donald Trump ever could be – because they had plans, institutional support and the means to execute them.

    Trump has none of those things.

    Also, Andrew Jackson, who ran on a platform of open genocide, was elected, and did just that.

  128. 128
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @p.a.: My parents were American (Northern) Baptists, met at a Baptist college in the 1960s. I’d say the church was still pretty conservative-evangelical by mainline Protestant standards. But it didn’t have the conservative political ambitions that the Southern Baptists suddenly got in the 1970s.

  129. 129

    Thank you for the summary of the history anti-immigrant movements in the USA. Almost a year ago now, I wrote a related piece on Syrians at the German border (I’m not clear on whether or not Germany is now accepting refugees. The German government is, however, still working to keep the refugees in Syria, though, leaving them to the tender mercies of Da’esh.)

    But also at the time I touched on this: In the 1930s, the United States turned away Jewish refugees from Germany. This supported the genocide of the Jews of Europe. Some of those Jews swelled the ranks of Zionist settlers in then-Palestine. The genocide in Europe contributed to a base of support for the new state of Israel leading to on-going conflicts in the region. Based on that history, Europe and the USA would be well-advised to accept Syrian refugees, however difficult it is. I cannot predict the consequences of leaving the Syrian refugees to Da’esh, but history suggests that they will be bitter indeed.

  130. 130
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It went through many, many, MANY iterations trying to find the story. They always knew that they wanted it to be a story about bigotry and different groups having to learn to live together, but they went back and forth on exactly how to tell that story and how to balance the multiple angles.

    A story about bigotry could be boring as hell, an essay and not a movie. And a story with a conventional male hero would have been easy and lazy.

    For example, “Brave” was really a dud of a film. The story was muddled, the secondary characters uninteresting, and we were hit over the head with what the protagonist didn’t want (“I don’t want to be a princess!”), but no clear story, or conflict to be resolved.

    Even in Zootopia, the lesson about bigotry really doesn’t make a lot of sense if you break it down. But the proto story about the Fox wanting to be clear of social manipulation, was too dark for kids, and potentially dull. But the narrative of Officer Judy, who wants to do something with her life in a wonderfully realized zootropic universe, is easy to understand and to relate to. And the various characters created to populate the world are fun to watch.

    And putting together a fun, interesting and coherent narrative is tougher than it looks, especially when you got a bunch of writers and maybe go through a couple of directors. Look at Warners/DC and their stream of Superman/Suicide Squad duds.

    I agree that they succeeded brilliantly. But that they avoided so many pitfalls is amazing. I mean, “Finding Dory” is a great success, but it really is kind of a crappy movie. And “Secret Life of Pets” works almost despite some false starts and unnecessary loose ends.

  131. 131
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Bush II convinced me that incompetence can actually multiply the effects of bad intentions rather than blunting them.

    I think a guy who is bursting with murderous resentment but has no coherent plans might have a higher body count. Certainly a greater tendency for baroque evil-emperor style crimes like, say, roasting one’s opponents inside a brazen bull.

  132. 132

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Neither Bush nor Reagan has proposed draconian changes to the immigration act or NATO. I think Trump is way more dangerous.

  133. 133
    sukabi says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: according to Adams post the New York Times is staying true to it’s roots, maintaining the status quo and keeping the pot stirred. That they’ve been able to maintain that act for over a century is quite a feat actually.

  134. 134
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    The majority of 20th-century American censorship was driven directly by the Catholic Church, especially movie censorship. There are several really good books about it.

  135. 135

    @schrodinger’s cat: Trump is spoiling for fights with the USA’s two biggest trading partners: China and Mexico. A depression that makes 2008 look like a picnic is an entirely possible consequence of a Trump victory.

  136. 136
    cmorenc says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I believe the 13th Amendment made indentured servitude illegal in the United States.

    The form of “indentured” servitude involved here is that in return for the employer paying the immigrant’s passage (and taking care of any documentation issues with immigration intake) – the immigrant agreed to pay it off with their labor for a set term. The immigrant was free to walk off the job, but at the expense of a possible judgment for the aliquot amount of monetary debt still owing – and also the number of months or years involved was usually not considered oppressive at the time – I think like four years on a diary farm in the case of my grandmother. And immigration wasn’t about to kick out people of German ancestry pre-WW1 if they didn’t honor their full work commitment, though the overhanging debt could still oppressively follow the immigrant around if it caught up to them.

  137. 137
    Brachiator says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Neither Bush nor Reagan has proposed draconian changes to the immigration act or NATO. I think Trump is way more dangerous.

    This is what makes the GOP leadership surrender to Trump so odd. Trump doesn’t really have any ideas, and doesn’t seem even to have a clear idea of what NATO does. But he is like what would happen if you let my ignorant next door neighbor be president for a week. He would be saying things like, “we’re America. We’re great. Why do we need to have alliances with other nations?”

  138. 138
    maurinsky says:

    I wanted to share this article on Facebook but it linked to the post above yours instead.

  139. 139
    Chris says:

    @hovercraft:

    Yeah. I really hope the current trend is more than a passing fad. As a critic I like commented, as nice as the new Mad Max movie was, it was also just resetting the bar to the standard set by Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor in the eighties.

  140. 140
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Mnemosyne: It would have horrified the old Puritans. “PAPISTS banning everything? That’s our job!”

  141. 141
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I was sloppy in that I did not mean to imply that the church was, in fact, the government for the Puritans. However, religious law and civil law were essentially identical. Church attendance was mandatory. Certain belief doctrines were mandatory. Even if a pastor cannot hold “civil” office, the church has, for all intent, consumed the whole of the government where any matter of faith is concerned. Marriage was considered ‘civil’…but that was only because only Puritans were tolerated to even be in the colony and be married in the first place.

    So in respect of establishing commerce laws or some such, yeah, sure, you have an ostensibly civil government. Oh, wait a minute…your neighbor is pissed off about something and accused you of witchcraft? It gets real hard to see that distinction between government and church when the ecclesiarchy is examining you for your “crime”.

  142. 142
  143. 143
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Felonius Monk: and there is a monument to Taft in DC. It’s a big one too. GAG.
    https://www.aoc.gov/capitol-grounds/robert-taft-memorial-and-carillon

  144. 144
    Woodrowfan says:

    @Brachiator: Have seen the Honest Trailer for Zootopia? It’s great. (and I loved Zootopia!)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOIjmLw0iQc&spfreload=10

  145. 145
    Woodrowfan says:

    ack, have two comments in moderation hell! One with a link to the Taft Memorial in DC and one to Honest Trailers for Zootopia.. stupid moderation..

  146. 146
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    but that was only because only Puritans were tolerated to even be in the colony and be married in the first place.

    Not true. Only men who were members of a Puritan church were permitted to be freemen of the community and thus entitled to a vote. That did not mean that people did not live within the community and adhere to other religious views. Further, since membership in a Puritan church required having to recount a “conversion experience, ” and not everyone had one, there were many children of the original Puritans who were not members of a Puritan church. Couldn’t be until they had their “born again” moment. Look up the Half-Way Covenant; it was one attempt to get around that issue.

  147. 147
  148. 148
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Bleah. Now you are making me get my reference stuff out.

    Okay…looking at Puritans and Adventurers:Change and Persistence in Early America…T.H Breen.

    So the folks under John Withrop had a covenanted militia and you had freemen and bondsmen. Civil and militia positions seem to have been predicated on taking a Resident’s Oath and consequent profession of faith circa 1635 just prior to the Pequot War. (Page 35) Now, that does suppose the possibility of people living in the area who have not taken such an oath or profession of faith…but the ability to participate in civil society seems effectively null. You cannot actually be a part of society if you do not belong to a Congregational church. Now, when you get up to 1652 you get this: “All Scotsmen, Negers & Indians inhabiting with or servants to the English, shalbe listed, & are hereby enjoyned to attend traynings (sic)” So, you can be mandated to be part of the militia, but you cannot be an officer.

    As observed by the author, this should not be taken as a means to view the militia or attendant society as a melting pot. Non observant persons , in my view, even with legal status allowing them to subsist in some fashion, were not likely to be tolerated or respected and did not have any means to actually participate other than as servants, bondsmen or the like.

    Now, if we need to start getting into primary documents and you have something that I have overlooked or am simply unaware of…then I concede. However, from what I know of Puritan attitudes in the 17th century in the Massachusetts Bay, if you did not belong to the church…you were a social ‘nobody’ and likely to be a servant or slave of some fashion. While you may have a legal right to be there, your social choices were constricted to the point of non existence. I would not deem that to be “tolerating”.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I would not deem that to be “tolerating”.

    I never mentioned “tolerating.” You said there were no non-puritans; I demurred. Also, read the link provided at 146.

  150. 150
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Interesting paper…but you run into just what I was just saying:

    The community that most closely shaped the daily lives of non-Puritans is defined by Thomas Bender as “a network of social relations marked by mutuality and emotional bonds….involving a limited number of people in a somewhat restricted social space or network held together by shared understandings and a sense of obligation.” Most non-Puritans, especially those who arrived before 1660, lived in such a “restricted social space;” they began as servants, whose activities were closely controlled by employers and their chances of moving out of this subordinate status was limited by their ability or desire to become church members.

    The colony (for several decades) made it real difficult for non Puritans to actually be, well, participants in society.

    Now, I notice neither of us have actually put a temporal limit on just when changes to this occur. It does appear that after about 1660 or so, you start to have a real chance for non Congregation persons to actually do something…albeit on the fringes of society (IE in farms on the edge of ‘civilization’, on the waterfront as sailors and coopers etc) that the paper mentions. As I was not conversant in the actual time line of when these social changes took place, I will take the hit on that.

    However, from the time of the founding with Winthrop in 1630 to about 1660, you are socially non existent if you are not a Puritan and even after 1660 according to your source, you may still have to eke out a marginal community with like people that exists apart from the colony and under some threat of harassment or censure.

  151. 151
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I mentioned tolerating, which you responded to. You say they existed. Sure. I claimed that Puritans did not ‘tolerate’ other religious sects for purposes of marriage or other civil engagement and if your only real means to subsist in the colony before 1660 as a non Puritan was as a servant or bondsman of some sort (who could not be married without permission anyway)…then ‘toleration’ is not a word to describe your place in that society. Being permitted to exist as a person with little or no legal status does not equate to being a member of that society…which is something your source did get into a bit. (I have not finished it yet & I will read it closely a little later).

  152. 152
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Last bit for now since I have to make dinner. You gave me some great material to look at and I like having my POV challenged. I almost always learn something and you forced me to examine where I was being sloppy.

    Respectful tip of the hat!

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @celticdragonchick: You may also want to look into the conversion experience stuff I mentioned above and how it affected church membership. I was never trying to suggest that the puritans were tolerant of other religious views (Though they did encourage lively debate over what doctrine should be. And differences between congregations were tolerated within certain limitations. The Idea behind that was that as imperfect humans, we may not have worked exactly what God wants from us – but we certainly know that Anglicans and Catholics are wrongwrongwrong – so reading and discussion is important. Quiet disagreement, even if known, was also tolerated to a certain extent – Williams and Hutchinson could have stayed without changing their views if they didn’t make a fuss.). They weren’t.

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