Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about our current atmosphere of normalizing bigots from the White House on down. I am speaking here philosophically, what can your modern bigot really believe in?
Even a modicum of science shows that there are no “races” among human beings, but only one “race,” human. Once again, don’t misunderstand, I know that bigots are really big on the Black vs White thing, but once you get beyond that, bigots must be confused these days.
You really have to wonder how many of those Neo-Nazis and Neo-KKKers in Charlottesville and elsewhere even know the history of their bigotry.
Steve Bannon must know that it was not that long ago that Irish Catholics were not considered were not considered “white.” At the same time, Catholics were considered “UnAmerican” because of their religion. The idea was that because their loyalty was directed toward the Pope that they were incapable of participating in a liberal democracy. Sound familiar?
And don’t even get me started on whatever the hell “Aryan” might be.
After the Irish, during the early part of the 20th Century, southern and eastern Europeans were not considered “white.” These two paragraphs sum up the situation pretty well:
Between 1880 and 1910, almost fifteen million immigrants entered the United States, a number which dwarfed immigration figures for previous periods. Unlike earlier nineteenth century immigration, which consisted primarily of immigrants from Northern Europe, the bulk of the new arrivals hailed mainly from Southern and Eastern Europe. These included more than two and half million Italians and approximately two million Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as many Poles, Hungarians, Austrians, Greeks, and others.
The new immigrants’ ethnic, cultural, and religious differences from both earlier immigrants and the native-born population led to widespread assertions that they were unfit for either labor or American citizenship. A growing chorus of voices sought legislative restrictions on immigration. Often the most vocal proponents of such restrictions were labor groups (many of whose members were descended from previous generations of Irish and German immigrants), who feared competition from so-called “pauper labor.”
To add fuel to the fire, new developed “intelligence” tests were widely used to test soldiers for the armed forces in World War I. The main developer of the test, Lewis Terman, believed (early in his career) that…
The tests have told the truth. These boys are ineducable beyond the merest rudiments of training. No amount of school instruction will ever make them intelligent voters or capable citizens. . . . They represent the level of intelligence, which is very, very common among Spanish-Indian and Mexican families of the Southwest and also among Negroes. Their dullness seems to be racial, or at least inherent in the family stocks from which they come.