I have been thinking a great deal about the potpourri of ugliness which has been directed at the "illegal alien" children and refugees in Murrieta, California (and elsewhere) by the Right-wing hate machine.
Some random (but related) thoughts:
1. I wonder how the White Right and its allies and sycophants would respond if it was white children who were sent on a hellish journey to the United States in order to escape rape, murder, sex slavery, and other torments? The Tea Party GOP nativists the love iconography and slogans of "real America" and its nationalist mythologies. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island implore America to:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
2. Black and brown children are not allowed the luxury of childhood. Adultification is the rule for people of color in the United States. Whiteness is innocence, safety, security, and obligatory empathy. For example, if a white child is in crisis the world is expected to stop. The suffering of black and brown children is expected, thus the world keeps on turning.
3. Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs has done yeoman's work calling out the overt lie by Right-wing professional sewer dweller Jim Hoft that refugee children from Latin America will be housed in a "resort". Unfortunately, the White Right's clumsy grey and black propaganda works despite being exposed as a set of lies and distortions because their public is indifferent to the world of facts. Movement conservatism, the white racial frame, white supremacy and authoritarianism are powerful intoxicants--they are political meth.
4. Friend of WARN, Werner Herzog's Bear also has a great piece on today's White nativists and Know-Nothings in the Tea Party GOP. Do check it out if you are so inclined.
5. The Fox News echo chamber and overt white supremacists both live in a world of fictions, delusions, and conspiranoid thinking. Conservatism is a cult-like religion; overt white supremacists have a high place in their temple. Both traffic in made up fantasies about "Christian America" and its historical origins.
When I survey the White Right's websites and other media I want to laugh at the bizarre alternate reality which they have constructed for their jihadists and zealots. I choose not to laugh because the Right-wing noise machine is killing people and poisoning the United States's political culture.
Reality is to movement conservatives as the History Channel is to ancient aliens.
6. Speaking of such matters, Jason Colavito, historian and archaeologist, has a great site where he destroys the White Right's myth making, the foolishness of "ancient aliens" aficionados, and other assorted fantastical thinking. This post on white supremacists and their obsession with Vikings is priceless and fun reading.
7. Do the nativist mouth-breathers in the Tea Party GOP know that their histrionics about plague carrying immigrants from Latin America and how "changing demographics" are "destroying" "the American way of life" echoes earlier white panics about immigrants from Germany, Norway, and other now "white" European countries. The smears that the White Right is throwing at the refugee children and their families in Murietta, California are very similar to how the former's ancestors were treated upon their arrival decades (or centuries ago). Of course, the White Right claims an ancestry back to the founding, the American Revolution, and Jamestown. How so few families could spawn so many Right-wing troglodytes at present is a miracle of reproduction and demographics.
8. Benjamin Franklin was far smarter than the Right-wing Fox News types of today. His smearing of German immigrants is an A-list example of political rhetoric:
"Those who come hither are generally of the most ignorant Stupid Sort of their own Nation…and as few of the English understand the German Language, and so cannot address them either from the Press or Pulpit, ’tis almost impossible to remove any prejudices they once entertain…Not being used to Liberty, they know not how to make a modest use of it…I remember when they modestly declined intermeddling in our Elections, but now they come in droves, and carry all before them, except in one or two Counties...In short unless the stream of their importation could be turned from this to other colonies, as you very judiciously propose, they will soon so out number us, that all the advantages we have will not in My Opinion be able to preserve our language, and even our Government will become precarious."
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.9. Another fun factoid. Service in World War One was an opportunity for newly arrived "white" immigrants to prove that they could be assimilated into the American political project. For example, Norwegian immigrants were very concerned about how their progress towards "full Americanness" could be derailed because their culture was thought to be too similar to that of Germany, America and the allies' enemy during the Great War:
The outburst of American patriotism that accompanied the United States’ entry into World War I presented immigrants with a demand for patriotic conformity. Norwegian-American leaders mobilized to prove their American loyalty within an ethnic context. Carl Chrislock defines the war’s threat to uncritical norskheten (Norwegianness) in his book Ethnicity Challenged: The Upper Midwest Norwegian-American Experience in World War I. Chrislock reminds us that in addition to the war effort’s general anti-foreigner sentiment, Norway’s immigrants were especially vulnerable, since their language, culture, and religion were seen by patriots as too similar to those of the German enemy. In addition, the troublesome neutrality of the old country, its seeming cowardice in the monumental struggle between American democracy and Teutonic barbarism, had to be explained and excused.10. I am not religious. However, I think that folks who publicly claim some type of religion, and thus want to have their faith intrude on the public sphere, should be held accountable to the standards set by their mythological godhead(s). Are white nativist bigots, and white Christian conservatives more generally, troubled by how the "historical" Jesus Christ would be against every position on public policy they endorse and believe in?
One typical expression of the challenge appeared in a column by Julius Chambers in the Brooklyn Eagle in June, 1918, which described a local Norwegian-American family: pro-German immigrant parents and their American-born brood of “shirkers.” The whole family, the journalist concluded, were “worthless, ungrateful creatures.”
In response to such nativist propaganda Norwegian-American leaders called for an end to foreigner-baiting while launching a strong campaign to demonstrate Norwegian-American loyalty...
How are Christian Evangelicals, Dominionists, Reconstructionists, etc. able to maintain--and function on a day-to-day basis--such a high level of cognitive dissonance?
Drugs, brainwashing, a community of like-minded people who reinforce their beliefs while punishing heretics and non-believers? I recall reading about how women who participated in Christian fundamentalist prayer meetings would often have an orgasm while speaking in tongues: their moment of religious ecstasy and revelation was in fact a healing and pleasure filled release.
Nativism is a similar process for Right-wing authoritarians and their populist trolls. Excluding the Other, and indulging in fantasies of violence against them, are precursors for eliminationist violence. The Tea Party GOP's Know-Nothings are public political masturbators and arsonists, who again, are having an orgasm through acts of meanness and cruelty to other human beings.