Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Timeless Cry: "Damn those lazy, no-good _________, who are ruining the country!" (fill in name of unpopular ethnic group)

This post at H&R nicely sums up Tom Tancredo's (R-CO) dispicable, racist, and hypocritical stance on immigration. In short, after calling Miami (aka Little Havana) a "third-world country" and getting some predictable blowback from politicians representing South Florida, Tancredo responds with this:

''Moreover, the sheer size and number of ethnic enclaves devoid of any English and dominated by foreign cultures is widespread. Frankly, many of these areas could have been located in another country. And until America gets serious about demanding assimilation, this problem will continue to spread.''

What makes for some choice irony is that Tancredo himself is the gradson of Italian immigrants (you know, the ones who started all those "Little Italy" enclaves found in many major cities). What did an immigrant-basher in 1891 have to say about the trend at that time? Well, here's Rep. Henry Cabot Lodge (who I think was Veronica's father in The Archies) discussing immigration in the late 19th century:

"that immigration to this country is increasing and...is making its greatest relative increase from races most alien to the body of the American people and from the lowest and most illiterate classes among those races." He was speaking principally of the Italians, but also the Russians, Poles and Hungarians. He observed that these immigrants, "half of whom have no occupation and most of whom represent the rudest form of labor," are "people whom it is very difficult to assimilate and do not promise well for the standard of civilization in the United States."

And as Radley Balko wittily points out, Lodge seems to have missed the mark on the Italians:

In fact, the grandson of two of them grew up to be a modern-day Henry Cabot Lodge. Perhaps next century, a grandson or granddaughter of today's Mexican immigrants will grow up to become a leading voice against the next wave of immigrants, too -- the next Tom Tancredo. It's the American Dream!


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