Schlafly: Today’s Immigrants Totally Different From Europeans

Phyllis Schlafly has been beating the anti-immigrant drum from the moment Obama took office (never mind that far more immigrants came to the United States under Bush than under Obama, who has actually increased deportations). Now she’d like you to know that today’s immigrants are totally different from her German-Swiss ancestors and other Europeans:

Schlafly criticized President Obama for calling the U.S. “a nation of immigrants,” saying, “The problem is that the immigrants coming into our country today are not the same sort as the immigrants who contributed so much to building our great country. The immigrants who came to America in the 1920s and ‘30s were different – with very different motives.”

“It’s quite true that America was built by hard working people from all over the world who sought a place of freedom where they could realize their dream,” she said. “But today’s immigrants don’t have the same motivation, the same love for America, the same desire to be part of the American culture and dream.”

One undeniable trait among conservatives is this: The world begins anew constantly. The past, with all the lessons one might learn from it, disappears so that they can repeat the same arguments decades after decade while remaining totally oblivious to the fact that they’re saying the same thing that was debunked long ago. Her anti-immigrant predecessors said the very same thing about those European immigrants that she is so zealous to defend.

She conveniently forgets the “No Irish Need Apply” signs and the people who spread the same “diseased immigrant” myths about German, Italian, Greek and every other immigrant group that came here. With each new wave of immigration, the same dehumanizing things are said about them. But here, I suspect, it’s just a pretense. She’s trying very hard not to give the real reason why she finds today’s immigrants worse than previous ones: Because they’re dark-skinned.

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  • cptdoom

    But today’s immigrants don’t have the same motivation, the same love for America, the same desire to be part of the American culture and dream.

    Which is why nearly all the cab drivers in DC are immigrants, mainly African and Asian, as are a huge proportion of the small business/shop owners in most neighborhoods. Pretty much like the Italian or Jewish or Slavic immigrants a century ago, and other groups before them.

  • donkensler

    I don’t know what she’s talking about WRT to “immigrants who came to America in the 1920s and ’30s” when, in the wake of the Immigration Act of 1924 (enacted to stop the flow of those nasty immigrants from Italy and Eastern Europe who Schlafly now considers to be the salt of the earth), immigration slowed to a trickle.

  • raven

    Does this mean we can send Bobby Jindal back to India? He can take Dinesh D’Souza with him , assuming he is out of jail.

    And Ted Cruz back to Alberta, Canada or Cuba? He can take Marco Rubio with him.

  • John Pieret

    The WASPS who were the elite in the 19th Century would have surely looked down on Schlafly’s German-Swiss ancestors. Now that she has climbed the ladder to respectability, she has to keep kicking those behind her in the face, lest they topple her from her place.

  • sunsangnim

    My conservative brother once said something similar. He said that immigrants in the past made an effort to assimilate into our culture, and the immigrants today refuse to do so. I said, “We’re in a Mexican restaurant right now. You like their culture, otherwise we wouldn’t be eating here.” He was speechless for a moment, but then said that he questions their loyalty. I hope the restaurant staff didn’t hear him. Who knows what they would do to the food.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    “It’s quite true that America was built by hard working people from all over the world who sought a place of freedom where they could realize their dream,” she said. “But today’s immigrants don’t have the same motivation, the same love for America, the same desire to be part of the American culture and dream.”

    That’s what every generation of established immigrants have always said about the next generation of immigrants after them. Whatever the fuck kind of name Schlafly is, I’m sure her immigrant ancestors have been on both the receiving and the giving end of such childish hypocrisy. Just like my ancestors.

    Schlafly is, and always has been, the poster-child for lazy, stupid, complacent white suburban housewives, who married into their comfortable position and henceforth see — and hate — EVERYTHING outside of their narrow range of experience as a threat to their comfort and stability.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    John Pieret “The WASPS who were the elite in the 19th Century would have surely looked down on Schlafly’s German-Swiss ancestors. Now that she has climbed the ladder to respectability, she has to keep kicking those behind her in the face, lest they topple her from her place.”

    Ahhh, The Story of America.*

     

    *

    1. Come to America with your wave of immigrants, reach for first rung on ladder.

    2. Get hands kicked away from those above.

    3. Get hands kicked away from those above.

    4. Get hands kicked away from those above.

    5. Lift yourself up one rung.

    6. Start kicking down.

  • D. C. Sessions

    He was speechless for a moment, but then said that he questions their loyalty.

    Well, yeah, there is that. They’re Catholic and therefore their first loyalty is to the Pope. You can’t trust the Catholics and it would be insane to put one in any position of real responsibility. Especially as President or a Supreme Court Justice.

  • eric

    @8: its difficult to say which animus the conservatives feel the strongest; against letting in swarthy people, against letting in catholic people, against letting in poor people, or against letting in most likely Democratic party voters. Its probably (E), all of the above.

  • http://timgueguen.blogspot.com timgueguen

    Ironically right wingers seem to have missed that their brand of Christianity has been growing considerably in Central and South America in recent years. So some of the people they’d love to kick out of the US, regardless of their immigration status, are now potential allies in their war against libruhs and Teh Gay Agenda.

  • Bruce

    Ben Franklin was right. America is going downhill, now that we have started to have these strange immigrants from Germany into Pennsylvania here. They call themselves now the Pennsylvania Deutsch, but they’re such different people from normal, with the triangles on the backs of their buggies. Why can’t America go back to the good old days when I was young, in the early 1700’s?

    And what’s this with these Indians, saying we should go back another hundred years before that?!! Crazy!

  • hunter

    cptdoom @1: Ditto Chicago. And — horrors! — the majority are Muslim! (At least in my neighborhood.) And Little India is just a few blocks west.

    Add in the Latinos and the Vietnamese, and you have Schlafly’s worst nightmare. And what makes it even worse, we all get along just fine.

  • whheydt

    Somebody should point out the Schlafly one of the most prolific American writers, Isaac Asimov, was brought to the US as a child from Russia by his father in the early 1920s. Asimov’s father owned and ran a series candy stores in NY.

    for a more recent example, there is a guy who does TV and electronics repair out of his own shop that I go to when I need that done. Really nice guy. He’s a Pakistani immigrant.

    As for assimilation…she may not know it when she sees it. My grandparents (both from Denmark) only spoke Danish at home when their kids were young because they thought their English was none to good and didn’t want the kids to learn bad English from them. They both came to the US in the first decade of the 20th century (both were born right around 1880). When I knew them in the 1950s and 1960s, I thought their English was pretty good. I have the cookbook my grandmother’s sister sent her (from Denmark) with unit conversion my grandmother made in the back. She clearly didn’t know that the standard abbreviation for “pound” was “lb.”. She wrote it as “pd”.

  • scott

    Well, to be fair, let’s look at who’s caused the most trouble in the world for the last hundred years or so. Is it the Mexicans, or the Germans? Seems pretty clear to me who’s dangerous and ought to go.

  • caseloweraz

    Bruce: They call themselves now the Pennsylvania Deutsch, but they’re such different people from normal, with the triangles on the backs of their buggies.

    It’s even worse than that. They put distelfinks on their barns. Distelfinks, I tells ya! Why, it’s the first real step on the road to degradation! And before you know it your son will be playing for money in a pinch-back suit…

    Oh, wait — that was Iowa.

  • amyjane

    When my Dad came here from The Netherlands in the 1920s he noticed that he and his blond mother and brother were treated better than the Italians at Ellis Island. My grandmother never learned to speak good English. Even my blonde father was subjected to a teacher who asked why she had to teach these filthy little foreigners. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    The only good thing about Phyllis Shafly is that she is old and will go away sooner or later.

  • echointhecaves

    “One undeniable trait among conservatives is this: The world begins anew constantly. The past, with all the lessons one might learn from it, disappears so that they can repeat the same arguments decades after decade while remaining totally oblivious to the fact that they’re saying the same thing that was debunked long ago.”

    That’s not quite right. The really sad thing about conservatives is that they’re really just liberals from 50 years ago. Conservatives support interracial marriage (mostly), but not gay marriage. Conservatives support Social security (mostly) and medicare (mostly), but not obamacare. Conservatives support the ability of people to immigrate to the US (Irish and Italians and Germans), but not modern immigration (latinos). Conservatives at the time hated social security, medicare, and non-English immigration.

    Conservatives really are just liberals from fifty years ago. And the children or grandchildren of today’s conservatives will support gay marriage. There’s really no such thing as a conservative. A hypothetical religious conservative would have to be a biblical literalist who objected to all the amendments to the constitution. Such people do exist, but are thankfully a minority.

  • zenlike

    echointhecaves says

    Conservatives really are just liberals from fifty years ago.

    Bull. Fucking. Shit.

    Liberals from 50 years ago actually wanted things to change regarding interracial marriage, social security etcetera, conservatives of those days wanted things to stay the same or even move backwards. The exact same people who now rail against smm would have been railing against interracial marriage 50 years ago. Conservatism is a mindset.

  • k_machine

    For those who haven’t seen it, Benjamin Franklin warning America about “swarthy” people:

    “Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.

    24. Which leads me to add one Remark: That the Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth.”

    So be on the lookout for swarthy Frenchmen and Swedes everybody

  • garnetstar

    My Italian grandparents, who immigrated in the 1920’s, would beg to differ with Schlafly. They weren’t eager to be part of American culture: they lived most of their lives in Italian-American neighborhoods and never learned enough English to be understood well by native speakers. They made no effort at all to assimilate, they lived (and, thank God, cooked) Italian-style the rest of their lives. And so do my parents and all of my generation. Just because we’re native English speakers doesn’t mean that we have “assimilated” in any way.

    What my grandparents wanted was jobs and education for their children, which, at the time (their skin not being dark), they did get. America could keep the rest.

    So, I was in college before I drank a beer (we started drinking watered wine at dinner at about age seven) or learned what “salad dressing” was (“salad” means vegetables with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt. What’s this “dressing”?). My nieces and nephews, three generations in America, still think that everyone has salad and wine for dinner every single night of their lives.

  • Al Dente

    scott @14

    Well, to be fair, let’s look at who’s caused the most trouble in the world for the last hundred years or so. Is it the Mexicans, or the Germans? Seems pretty clear to me who’s dangerous and ought to go.

    At one time the Germans were warlike and mean,

    But that couldn’t happen again.

    We taught them a lesson in nineteen-eighteen,

    And they’ve hardly bothered us since then.

    –Tom Lehrer, “Mlf Lullaby”

  • DonDueed

    Wait… Ben Franklin thought Swedes were swarthy?

  • whheydt

    Re: amyjane @ #16…

    My mother–it was her parents that came from Denmark–had a rather different problem in school in the 1920s. She was cute and blonde (Danish parents, after all) and one of her teachers doted on her because she was so Nordic. The teacher was an American Nazi. (Yeah…they existed.)

  • felidae

    It isn’t their work ethic Ol’ Phyllis is concerned about– it’s the amount of melanin in their skin. There is so much ugly packed into that woman that it seeps out of the pores in her skin. Most of the Mexican and Central American immigrants I have encountered are extremely hard working and law abiding and willing to do jobs white folks won’t do

  • pixiedust

    @21

    Next verse:

    “Sleep, baby, sleep, In peace may you slumber

    No danger lurks, your sleep to encumber

    We’ve got the missiles, peace to determine

    And one of the fingers on the button will be German.”