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Our Anti-Immigrant Racism Is Rooted in History


Our Anti-Immigrant Racism Is Rooted in History

Sonali Kolhatkar

When actor Sean Penn asked, “Who gave this son of a bitch a green card?” in reference to Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s winning the best-picture trophy at the 2015 Academy Awards, many came to Penn’s defense, saying it was just a joke between friends. But others didn’t take kindly to the actor’s tongue-in-cheek treatment of a serious issue that has affected millions of families.


“I spoke with him about conservative anti-immigrant attitudes.”

I appreciate that the question is accurately framed since the attitude IS Conservative and not representative of all, or hopefully most Americans.

Unfortunately, in this comment/frame, the all-encompassing term OUR is used:

“Our society has targeted immigrants, and by extension Latinos in general, through mob violence and lynchings, criminalization of their legal status, racist bigotry, cultural oppression and police violence.”

When what is instituted by a dominant group–frequently composed of dominator types–is generalized to characterize the WHOLE of society, lost in such generalizations are all those persons who oppose such policies.

One can imagine the type of bullying, threats, and intimidation that would target any white boy who criticized racism before the Civil Rights Movement began to shift the POWER calculus. THAT is how dominators claim consensus.

This is not an American phenomenon. One can look to Europe where there are many more borders and proximity to North Africa and Asia where millions of people have been uprooted by war and conflict in recent years. Right wing anti-immigrant sentiments are spreading as was tragically the case in the 1930s.

What is universally true (and elites know this) is that as wages are cut and social services decreased, the resulting mass of anger requires a target. That’s when elites find it opportune to set up a scapegoat and blame THAT population for the lack of jobs and resources.

This is a very old and ugly tactic. And this type of strategic scapegoating ALWAYS is intensified–with media fanning the flames of hostilities like sports’ casters calling out intense plays–when the elites claim more for themselves and leave less and less to 'go round.

Germany’s financial and social humiliation after WW I had a LOT to do with its martial rise to infamy largely by targeting Jews as the enemies du jour. Note how today’s rise of the imperial martial state also makes use of a Semitic people to serve as the Necessary Odious Other, a/k/a targeted scapegoat population.

In Arizona, Texas and California, the target scapegoat is the Latino. Again, the crux of the problem is that of skewed fiscal options and diminished job opportunities for local citizens.

These tactics are old and should be recognized for what they are. Only the era, costumes, and figureheads change. The script should have been shelved for all eternity.


Without immigrants, British society would bleed to death in every walk of life. British society must appreciate the presence and contribution of the immigrants.Without migration, European society and economy would bleed to death. There is no end to migration in the near future. The overall problem when dealing with immigration, is the need to first ascertain where these people have come from:- If they are from Commonwealth Countries (most likely not Australia, Canada, or New Zealand - there the immigration goes the other way), this can be seen as 200 years of imperialism coming back to bite us. If they are from Eastern Europe, this can be seen as 20 years of moronic EU policy coming back to bite us. If they come from the Middle East, this can be seen as 100 years of never ending scheming and meddling in that particular region coming back to bite us. The people who make me the most ill are the people who decry immigration, then employ immigrant cleaners on crap wages. Yes, it’s much like the Republicans in the US, who stoke hostility against Latino migrants, while all the time depending on them as nannies, cleaners and gardeners. Well of course, they will support any policy that will strengthen their own position whilst damaging the rights of indigenous people and any politician wanting to retain British Values and Liberal values will fall by the wayside. So, the banker from Germany the cleaner from Colombia who cleans his/her office will all vote to strengthen their ‘own’ position, because of course their interests precisely coincide. Its almost as if you think they are all the same. And what on earth are 'British values"? If you are talking about the kind of crap spouted by UKIP and the Tories.


Racism is rooted deeper than history, All kinds of prejudice–religious hatred, classism, homophobia, and misogyny–are rooted in the reptilian brain. We do not need to be ruled by it. We also have a cerebral cortex and can choose to use it.be


I get your point, but racism/tribalism is actually mammalian in origin, allegience to the tribe, herd, pack (wolves, baboons, meerkats etc) over ‘other’ tribes, herds, packs, It depends on a group consciousness in order to manifest. It must have been evolutionarly useful at some point in our history for it to evolve and be a part of our psychological baggage, yet it’s problematic in these days of a global village. Human consciousness needs to shift to alliegance to just one tribe, that of humanity itself, or better still, all sentience. That’s why multi-culturalism is not the answer for it simply reinforces these splintered tribal senses of identity. Wherever they exist, there is likelihood of conflict.


Unlimited immigration is intentionally destructive. Unlimited immigration from Europe resulted in the genocide of native Americans and the theft of their lands. Unlimited immigration today is taking rights away from U.S. citizens to handing out temporary privileges to foreigners. Globalism will end in a world wide slave state.