Wednesday, January 04, 2012

An example of anti-immigrant prejudice against Slavs, Italians, and Jews, from "The Passing of the Great Race"

Racist tome by Madison Grant, published in 1916. Here are a few paragraphs that Italian anti-immigration advocates like Tom Tancredo and Joe Arpaio would do well to look at, because Grant's talking about their grandparents. It's a type of historical discrimination that, alas, has been forgotten much too soon (pages 89-91):

"These new immigrants were no longer exclusively
members of the Nordic race as were the earlier ones
who came of their own impulse to improve their
social conditions. The transportation lines adver-
tised America as a land flowing with milk and
honey and the European governments took the
opportunity to unload upon careless, wealthy and
hospitable America the sweepings of their jails and
asylums. The result was that the new immigra-
tion, while it still included many strong elements
from the north of Europe, contained a large and
increasing number of the weak, the broken and the
mentally crippled of all races drawn from the low-
est stratum of the Mediterranean basin and the
Balkans, together with hordes of the wretched, sub-
merged populations of the Polish Ghettos. Our
jails, insane asylums and almshouses are filled with
this human flotsam and the whole tone of Amer-
ican life, social, moral and political has been
lowered and vulgarized by them.

With a pathetic and fatuous belief in the efficacy
of American institutions and environment to re-
verse or obliterate immemorial hereditary tenden-
cies, these newcomers were welcomed and given
a share in our land and prosperity. The Ameri-
can taxed himself to sanitate and educate these
poor helots and as soon as they could speak
English, encouraged them to enter into the po-
litical life, first of municipalities and then of the

The result of unlimited immigration is showing
plainly in the rapid decline in the birth rate of
native [white] Americans because the poorer classes of
Colonial stock, where they still exist, will not bring
children into the world to compete in the labor mar-
ket with the Slovak, the Italian, the Syrian and the
Jew. The native American is too proud to mix
socially with them and is gradually withdrawing
from the scene, abandoning to these aliens the
land which he conquered and developed. The
man of the old stock is being crowded out of many
country districts by these foreigners just as he is
to-day being literally driven off the streets of New
York City by the swarms of Polish Jews. These
immigrants adopt the language of the native [white] Amer-
ican, they wear his clothes, they steal his name
and they are beginning to take his women, but they
seldom adopt his religion or understand his ideals
and while he is being elbowed out of his own home
the American looks calmly abroad and urges on
others the suicidal ethics which are exterminating
his own race."

1 comment:

Lori said...

One wonders whether this Madison Grant is any relation to present-day nativist blowhard (cloaked as an environmentalist) Lindsey Grant.