My Country: White or Wrong



Two thousand eleven was a watershed year in the American tapestry past, present and future.

For the first time since the founding of our republic the majority of babies born in a calendar year were not White.

For many Americans, particularly The Tea Party types, it’s a hard  swallow.

Generally unsaid, the truth of the matter is that, in immigration, race, religion and ethnicity are the root issues.  It far and away transcends taxes, deficits and even war.

The Founding Fathers were overwhelmingly White, Protestant and men.  No women, Jews, Blacks, Native Americans, Asians or Latinos signed the Declaration of Independence or The Constitution.  One Catholic signed the former and two the latter. [Interestingly no Baptists, Southern or otherwise, signed either.]

That’s too bad.  It would not have hurt if the Founding Fathers heard from viewpoints opposed to slavery, Indian ethnic cleansing and for gender equality.

A paranoid nativist strain has run through our history. Until the 20th Century anything that was not White and Protestant was suspect and to be feared as “un-American”.


Irish Not Wanted

The nativists’ big immigration issue of the 19th century was Catholics.

Simply put, this was their White Protestant country.  The Papists, such as the Irish who were flooding into our cities, were not going to take it away from them.

Beginning in the 1890’s East European Slavs…read Jews…were also on list of those who needed to be feared.

My 1920 copy of the New Pictorial Atlas of the World describes American urban Jews as a group “…that live more like animals than human beings…” It goes downhill after that.

Like 2011, 1920 was also a shed water year.

For rural White Protestantism the issue was Prohibition.

Who drank?

The teaming masses in cities — Catholic Irish and Italians. Prohibition pushed by the White Protestant rural crowd was a tool to control these “undesirable” foreign-types

In 1928 Southern Democrats, given the choice of a “Dry” Protestant Republican (Herbert Hoover) or a “Wet” Catholic Democrat (Al Smith), held their collective noses and supported the Party of Lincoln.

The 1960 election settled the Catholicphobia issue.

There are other “others”.

As far back as the 1800s, the Chinese Exclusion Act was a West Coast response to the peril of immigration from what was then called The Far East — China, Japan and their neighbors.  It wasn’t until the last 50 years that the Statue of Liberty has opened its arms to those from Asia.

The New Fear: Hispanics


Which all brings us to 2012 where the new group to be feared are Hispanics. Under the guise of cracking down on illegal immigration, Hispanics are the latest boogyman in America.

Yes, yes, yes.  I know what you are thinking.  The current issues and laws are not about race.  They are about legal versus illegal immigration.

Maybe so. Maybe not.

Maybe Republican efforts to tighten voting standards have nothing to do with race.

Nevertheless, I can’t help but thinking that if all these illegals were “McKenzie from Montreal” and not “Martinez from Mexico” the volume of The Tea Party nativist hue and cry would be a few decibels lower.

Do you really think Florida Tea Party leader Bill Landes would have accused Governor Scott of a “stab in the back” for failing to enact the Tea Party anti-immigrant proposal if all those illegals looked a bit more like him?


12 Responses to “My Country: White or Wrong”

  1. Reality Check says:

    Projection is so damaging!

  2. Watcher says:

    I have 3 wingnut buds who send their “hate of the day” email forwards,,,,its ugly….mostly their targets are “illegals” but there is always a nasty word or two about “lazy welfare mothers”….equal opportunity bigots

  3. go google it says:


    i googled DUI Terri Miller, Terri Ann Miller and Miami Hearld, in all the internet no “Top 3” ranking comes up.

    But I did find Judge Miller’s lawyer still likes to have the article of Miller running against Deluca on his website.

  4. don't have a cowan says:

    Sam, Sam, Sam, there you go again, always the race card. Obama is not a failure because he is black, he is a failure because he is a Muslim born Marxist Monster. Give us a ticket with Alen West and Condi Rice and we would have a great Country. And we do need to check the voter roles to make sure only US citizens get to vote.
    If we get Marco on the team, maybe folks like you will start to understand that ii is not about race.

  5. Christine says:

    Perhaps it is not a nationality or race issue at all. Perhaps it is more a socio-economic issue than anything else. Illegal “Hispanics”, like the Irish Catholics who arrived to escape the grueling poverty in their country, often arrive in this country with few educational or material assests. Caring for these individuals places a burden and sometimes a strain on the remainder of society. If the “non documented” arrivals from the south, showed up with a college education and a bank account, the response would, I am sure, be much different.

  6. GOPapa says:

    Christine is right. This is a socio-economic issue. If the Hispanics were millionaires like the ones buying property in Miami, nobody would care. It is only the underprivileged that create the objection and it has nothing to do with them being Hispanic. If millions of poor Norwegians came to America, they would elicit the same reaction.

  7. challenge says:

    It is sad that the group that brings up race the most is the democrats. I always thought they were for equality, but they are always using the race card whether it is part of the situation or not. It is really sad to see it used every time one of their own does poorly.

    It is a great way to divide and conquer to attempt to get re-elected. This has been used to much and people are now immune to it and look at it for what it is (in most cases). It is sad that such an important issue is nothing more than a prop for the democratic party.

  8. Sam Fields says:

    Dear GOP Papa,
    You need to read a few history books.

    Beginning in the 1880’s millions of poor Norwegians, Swedes and Danes immigrated to this country. They went to Nebraska, Minnesota the Dakotas etc.

    My late wife’s family, the Pedersens and Hellebergs, were part of that migration. To person they were like the rest of Scandos— White and Protestant (Lutheran).

    Perhaps the history books failed to record all those nativist demonstrations against these poor Scandinavian immigrants and only recorded the ones against the Catholics, Asians and Jews?

    Anytime you want, I will share the family’s secret recipe for lutefisk. Don’t forget to bring the lye.

  9. GOPapa says:

    Always the insult from Sam. “Go read a history book”.
    First of all, the Scandinavians moved to a wilderness that nobody else really wanted (except the Indians). Because of this, they were not visible to the rest of the country.
    The poor Irish, Italians and Jews were jammed into big cities and were very visible. Because they were big cities, they became a political force, like the Irish in Boston, Jews in New York and Italians in many cities. Having this underclass represented in Washington and seeing them on the streets of our biggest cities was vastly different than immigrants in Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas. Scandinavians were not the same type of poor. They were self-reliant farmers who had meager livings, but still lived in what today we call single family homes. The urban poor were crowded into disease-filled tenements, with some resorting to crime (the Mafia followed the Irish gangs). As much as you want to slant the story to fit your Democratic view of how Republicans want to victimize Hispanics, it remains a socioeconomic story. I never hear about anyone sending those rich Hispanics moving into South Beach back.

  10. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    Some of the comments are quite troubling today esp. concerning the Irish, and Italians. First of all some of you state that the mafia was concerned(italian/irish)that because so many of this demographic where poor, living in dirty tentaments, etc that alot of these people resorted to the Mob. The mob being italian, Jewish, irish etc. never cared about the poor etc, they where and are just for themselves($$). The mob was never concerned about the poor and others. All they concerned themselves was w/ again the $$. They used the poor and disadvanataged to get what they(mob) wanted regardless who they used(poor) to gain momentum. Basiclly, what some of you are saying is the Mob recruited these poor people, to join them. The Mob used these people to excell. There is no loyality amongs thieves. And yes the white race is declining. To counter your story buddy, why does someones race, etc, mean that they will govern better, just because they are of a certain ethnic group. It goes to my point say you run in a heavily black section of town, being black will make you a better canidate to hold office then say someone is in th e minority. When i hear this kind of rheroric it trouble s me in thinking that some of you would be so narrow minded.. Thats why i don’t need one ethnic group or another, I don’t need the mob, or any other gang to prevail ,or certain ethnic ancersty. Just me.

  11. jack latona says:

    Sam, always glad for the chance to educate you. You say the writers of the Constituion did not hear about opposition to slavery, ethnic cleansing of Native Americans and in favor of gender equality. In fact they heard a great deal about slavery and specifically allowed the banning of the importation of slaves as of 1808. (Art,V.) Also they limited counting slaves for representationpruposes to 3/5. This has been widely misunderstood: had they counted as a whole person while still not allowed to vote, the South’s grip on the House and the Electoral College would have been even greater. Thier view of Native Americans is reflected in the same Article II, Section 2 and Section 8 which authorizes trade with the tribes. P.S. the Declaration of Independence charged the English wiht loosing “Savages” on the Frontier. As to gender equality, its time had not yet come, but John Adams got more than an earful from his spouse,Abigail.

    Jack is a former Fort Lauderdale City Commission. Thanks for clarifying this, Jack.

  12. Sam Fields says:

    Dear Jack
    Blacks are 3/5 human and subject to be bought and sold like farm animals.

    Women have zippo

    Native Americans are called “savages” because they want to retain the land that has been theirs for eons and the colonials want to ignore the Treaty of Paris of 1763.

    Those parts of the Declaration and the Constitution are not our proudest moments.

    Call me naïve, but I believe that if those groups had, had someone there to represent their interests these great documents would have been a bit better.