“White supremacism was never banished from American political thought, just shoved to the fringe and hushed to a whisper. Now, in the Age of Trump, it’s back in the mainstream and ready to roar.
Witness the words of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on the subject of immigration: “Culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” King offered these sentiments Sunday in a tweet expressing solidarity with Geert Wilders, an openly racist and Islamophobic Dutch politician who has a chance of becoming prime minister in elections this week. Wilders is someone who “understands,” King wrote.
And we understand just what King meant. Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke certainly got the message, using his vile Twitter account to proclaim, “GOD BLESS STEVE KING!!!”
. . . .
“Immigrants — both voluntary and involuntary — have shaped this nation since long before its founding. The first Africans were brought here in bondage in 1619, one year before the Mayflower. Americans have never been a single ethnicity, speaking a single language, bound by the centuries to a single patch of land. We have always been diverse, polyglot and restless, and our greatness has come from our openness to new people and new ideas.
King’s distress about birthrates can be read only as modern-day eugenics. If he is worried about the coming day when there is no white majority in the United States, he has remarkably little faith in our remarkable society — or in the Constitution that he, as a member of Congress, is sworn to support and defend.
President Trump played footsie with the white supremacist movement during his campaign. His chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, waged civilizational war when he ran the Breitbart News site. Trump could definitively denounce King’s racism with a statement or a tweet, but so far his silence is deafening.”
I’m glad that Robinson makes the point that America literally was developed, founded, and built on the backs, free labor, and talents of African American “involuntary” immigrants. (In my Refugee Law and Policy course at Georgetown Law we referred to them as “forced migrants.”)
In fact, of our first five Presidents, only John Adams was self-supporting. The others owed their livelihood to the free labor provided by enslaved African Americans. Sad, but true.