In the title of my previous post, I used the term Know-Nothings. That was a deliberate (if also somewhat facetious) reference to the political organizations of the mid-1800s that were primarily focused on keeping America white and Protestant. Calling themselves ‘nativists’ (though excluding the indigenous populations), they were intent on keeping America for Americans.
If that sounds familiar to you, you’ve been paying attention. Though the specific parties dissolved, their adherents never left. They became the Ku Klux Klan. They opposed President Kennedy solely because he was Catholic. They became White Power. They want a fence to keep Mexicans out. They refuse to accept that President Obama is a citizen. They will not admit that their own ancestors were immigrants. They believe that freedom of religion only applies to their own Protestant sects.
I don’t have a clever wrap-up, here. Just a feeling of sadness at the way some things never change.