Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jon Stewart on the history of anti-immigrant hysteria

19th-century nativism.
"The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things"
by Thomas Nast, Harper's Weekly, 2 September 1871.
Wikimedia Commons
Jon Stewart puts the US Right's nativist hysteria in historical context.  It's all good, especially since he is responding to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and Bernie Goldberg.  The both get a quick lesson on how Irish and Jewish immigrants were decried in exactly the same terms now used for Latino immigrants.   But the highlight is about the 04:00 mark.
You don't need to worry so much.  What you are demonstrating is the health and vitality of America's greatest tradition--a fevered frightened ruling class lamenting the rise of a new ethnically and religiously diverse new class, one that will destroy all that is virtuous and good, and bring the American Experiment crashing to the ground.  Except you are fogetting one thing.  That is the American Experiment--an ethnic group arriving on America's shores to be reviled and hated, living in squalor (or, if they are lucky, Squalor Heights), working hard to give their children or grandchildren the opportunity to @#$%* on the next group landing on our shores.

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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