Category Archives: Leaders

Donald Trump’s Nativist Impulse

Definition of nativism

1: a policy of favoring native inhabitants as opposed to immigrants. 2: the revival or perpetuation of an indigenous culture especially in opposition to acculturation.

20th century history

In the 1890-1920 era nativists and labor unions campaigned for immigration restriction. A favorite plan was the literacy test to exclude workers who could not read or write their own foreign language. Congress passed literacy tests, but presidents—responding to business needs for workers—vetoed them. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge argued need for literacy tests and its implication on the new immigrants:

It is found, in the first place, that the illiteracy test will bear most heavily upon the Italians, Russians, Poles, Hungarians, Greeks, and Asiatics, and lightly, or not at all, upon English-speaking emigrants, or Germans, Scandinavians, and French. In other words, the races most affected by the illiteracy test are those whose emigration to this country has begun within the last twenty years and swelled rapidly to enormous proportions, races with which the English speaking people have never hitherto assimilated, and who are most alien to the great body of the people of the United States.

Responding to these demands, opponents of the literacy test called for the establishment of an immigration commission to focus on immigration as a whole. The United States Immigration Commission, also known as the Dillingham Commission, was created and tasked with studying immigration and its effect on the United States. The findings of the commission further influenced immigration policy and upheld the concerns of the nativist movement.

Following World War, I, nativists in the twenties focused their attention on Catholics, Jews, and south-eastern Europeans and realigned their beliefs behind racial and religious nativism.  The racial concern of the anti-immigration movement was linked closely to the eugenics movement that was sweeping the United States in the twenties. Led by Madison Grant’s book, The Passing of the Great Race nativists grew more concerned with the racial purity of the United States. In his book, Grant argued that the American racial stock was being diluted by the influx of new immigrants from the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and the Polish ghettos. The Passing of the Great Race reached wide popularity among Americans and influenced immigration policy in the twenties. In the 1920s a wide national consensus sharply restricted the overall inflow of immigrants, especially those from southern and eastern Europe. The second Ku Klux Klan, which flourished in the U.S. in the 1920s, used strong nativist rhetoric, but the Catholics led a counterattack. Adapted by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativism_(politics)

21th century history

In his 2016 bid for presidency, Republican Donald Trump introduced nativist themes hostile especially to Mexicans and Muslims. Journalist John Cassidy says Trump is transforming the GOP. into a populist, nativist party:

Trump has been drawing on a base of alienated white working-class and middle-class voters, seeking to remake the G.O.P. into a more populist, nativist, avowedly protectionist, and semi-isolationist party that is skeptical of immigration, free trade, and military interventionism.

Donald Brand, a professor of political science, argues:

Donald Trump’s nativism is a fundamental corruption of the founding principles of the Republican Party. Nativists champion the purported interests of American citizens over those of immigrants, justifying their hostility to immigrants by the use of derogatory stereotypes: Mexicans are rapists; Muslims are terrorists.

Adapted by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nativism_(politics)

The anti-immigrant focus of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign reminds historian Bernard A. Weisberger of shameful past eras that conflict with America’s self-image as a place of refuge for people from many lands.

By Bernard A. Weisberger

It has so far annoyed but not really surprised me that Donald Trump, despite being an obnoxious bully, has defied expectations with a steady rise in the public opinion polls. It may be that his buffoonery and megalomania are simply more attractive to some early voters than rival candidates, with their solemn professions that what pushes them into the grind of campaigning is their dedication to promoting the public welfare.

But I am considerably more than annoyed when Trump puts himself at the head of the armies of the new nativism by using his bullhorn to echo the warnings of the movement’s Cassandras against the supposed “hordes” of undocumented immigrants pouring through our “open southern border.” His point of attack is the so-called “anchor babies”, children of pregnant mothers who supposedly sneak into the United States so that their children will be born here and automatically become citizens.

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The hidden, malodorous and unproven subtext is that these children, entitled to the privileges of citizenship, will open the gates to legalizing the entry of family members, swarms of whom will qualify for welfare state entitlement programs, so that they may live in happy idleness at the expense of ¨real” American taxpayers. None of these suppositions has yet been proven by any serious evidence.

So thus far, disgusting enough. But when Trump dipped into the gutter to add to this repertory of lies and half-truths one of the oldest and rankest, namely that Mexico was emptying its prisons and asylums to let rapists and thieves run free on our streets (a charge eagerly snapped up by the likes of O’Reilly and Limbaugh, and left unchallenged by many of Trump’s rivals for the nomination) I boiled over. That’s crossing the line that separates debate from shameless indecency.

Historical Background

I am a historian of the United States and have heard it all before, sometimes almost verbatim and no less gross. Our works of history rightly celebrate our role as a land of asylum and opportunity for people from almost everywhere on the globe. It’s a pillar of our cherished self-image as exceptional among nations. But they often overlook or minimize the contrasting truth that there was always stiff resistance to that hospitality.

Listen to this: “America has become the sewer into which the pollutions of European jails are emptied.” Substitute “Mexican” or “Latin American” for “European” and it could be straight out of Trump’s latest eruption. But it’s from a newspaper published in the 1850s by supporters of an anti-Catholic and foreigner-hating movement that began as a secret society whose members were ordered, when asked nosy questions, to say: “I know nothing.”

Eventually, the “Know-Nothings” emerged into the open and organized themselves into a political organization that campaigned in 1854 as “the American Party.”

In that first off-year foray, the new entry won a number of state and local offices and some seats in both House and Senate. The basic glue that held Know-Nothing-ism together was hatred of the alien (especially the Irish). The slither of the Know Nothings into the American Party was a way of “protecting” America from the Pope’s minions and other evil foreign influences.

Happily, 1854 was only a flash in the pan. When the party ran a national ticket headed by so respectable a figure as ex-US President Millard Fillmore, they won only a single state, Maryland.

By the time Abraham Lincoln ran for the Senate in 1858, two years before his presidential campaign, as many as half of the American people were the offspring of Europeans and could not trace their ancestry back to the stirring days of 1776. But if they looked at the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln said in a campaign speech in Chicago, they found the words “all men are created equal” became “the father of all moral principle in them, and they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration, and so they are.”

This self-evident truth of equal creation became the “electric cord that link[ed] the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men everywhere.” To be American was not about ancestry but to commit oneself heart and soul to the ideal of equality.

Defining Citizenship

A few years later, Lincoln was dead along with some 600,000 casualties of the Civil War, and a radical Republican Congress oversaw writing the Union’s victory into the Constitution via the Fourteenth Amendment. Its opening clause proclaimed, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

That flipped the prewar position, in which state citizenship was necessary to become a United States citizen, leaving room for states to refuse citizenship to “undesirables” like Negroes and foreigners. Now, no state could deny its born or naturalized resident citizens “the equal protection of its laws” or the guarantees of the Bill of Rights.

The Fourteenth Amendment clearly intended to make sure that the newly freed ex-slaves would have their full civil rights, though it would take a Fifteenth to specify that voting was included. The inclusion of children born in the United States to recent immigrants was almost incidental. That is the “error” that the enemies of birthright citizenship aim to correct. They argue that almost no other nations outside the Western hemisphere show such foolish generosity. Somehow, this is one issue on which they are willing to forget or forgo our proud exceptionalism.

Meanwhile, American ports began receiving the first waves of an enormous and transformative mass migration, some 31 million between 1860 and 1930. They represented a “new” immigration: Chinese, Italians, Greeks, Poles, Russians, Syrians, Slovaks, Serbs, Armenians. To many so-called “old stock” Americans, millions of these newcomers were dangerous and unworthy, and to the members of an Immigration Restriction League which included in its number many of “the best people” of New England the immigrants were of the “wrong” religions and nationalities. Poet Thomas Bailey Aldrich explained that through our “unguarded gates” pressed,

a wild motley throng Men from the Volga and the Tartar Steppes Flying the Old World’s poverty and scorn; These bringing with them unknown gods and rites Those, tiger passions, here to stretch their claws.

The same old charges were recycled, newcomers threatened the jobs of Americans; they swelled the statistics of crime, violence and dependency; they clung stubbornly to their religions, customs and languages and could neither absorb nor understand the values of genuine Americans.

Eventually, the gates began to swing shut on unrestricted immigration. There was denial of entry to those convicted of crimes in their home countries, which might include rebellion against tyrannical regimes. Then, rejection for those harboring contagious diseases.

A third barrier, literacy tests, never quite made it into law but in 1921 and 1924, laws were enacted that set overall limits on immigration, divided by “national origins” quotas that favored the descendants of pre-1860 immigrants, while sharply narrowing openings for the children and grandchildren of those who had come later. Asians were barred completely.

But those who squeezed through narrowed gates did what immigrants have always done when given a chance, assimilated the American values of the time, grabbed educational opportunities provided by the public school system, and by the millions took out the naturalization papers that gave them the ultimate step in acceptance, participating in democracy on an equal footing with the snootiest Mayflower descendant. So armed, they entered American politics and, over time, changed it for the better.

An Era of Liberalism

A three-decade period of liberalism following the Depression, World War II and the assumption of an American global presence resulted in a 1965 change to the laws that replaced national origins quotas with others based on family reunification, specially needed skills, and refugee status. They erased the barrier to Asians altogether, setting off a new and continuing wave of immigration, still in progress.

But none of this will continue if the likes of Trump and his allies can help it. The children of that slandered “new” immigration helped to build our cities and dedicated their working lives in mines, mills and factories to make us a mighty industrial power. They fought and died in our wars. But for some “real Americans” that hasn’t been enough. So here we are again, in a period of reaction, staring into the ugly face of nativism.

Trump’s announced intention to deport 11 million “illegals” while building a wall from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico at no cost, details conveniently not provided, is simultaneously savage and ludicrous. Yet what troubles me deeply is the possibility of this kind of cesspool politics finding wider acceptance, or being ignored apathetically by large numbers of Americans.

Even more disturbing is the sluggishness of the response from Republican and Democratic opinion makers. Where is the outrage? Why is the counterattack left largely to Hispanic organizations? Why isn’t every decent media outlet shouting a few, simple home truths over the bullhorns of those insisting on their xenophobic lies? Such truths as these:

–The “illegals” are not indolent. For years now they have been picking our crops, nursing our elderly, cleaning our homes and babysitting our children. They are not freeloaders. That honor should be reserved for people like rancher Cliven Bundy who grazes his cattle on federally owned land but refuses to pay federal fees and taxes.

–They do not take jobs from Americans. Their bottom-of-the-ladder, low-wage service jobs don’t pay enough to attract American workers, white or black. Probably as many or more job losses are caused by employers moving operations abroad, or automation, which is a generic problem for all of today’s workers.

–They are not “takers.” They contribute positively to the economy through sales and excise taxes, and cannot claim Social Security, Medicare or other benefits because it would reveal their undocumented status, which makes them vulnerable to threats and exploitation by their bosses.

–Their crime rates are comparable to those of the general population, allowing for differences in income and living conditions.

It’s true that completely unregulated immigration may no longer be feasible. But the movement of people from poor and turbulent nations to wealthy, stable and reasonably free ones is happening all over the world. Our governments must come together in trade and economic treaties that level the playing field by helping to enrich and empower poorer peoples. Trade pacts need to elevate the status of working men and women rather than maximize the profits of corporations promising that some of the swag will mysteriously trickle down to “the lower orders.”

Until that miracle happens, no walls will keep desperate and courageous, motivated people from taking big risks to evade or scale them. Far better to provide our undocumented with reasonable and non-punitive paths to citizenship.

That can’t take place when truth is befogged by racist and hateful lies, which is the reason that every school should teach and every network newscast should repeat this essential reality: the story of our nation’s long practice of welcoming immigrants and opening a wide door to full rights is an American triumph, all the more so because it has been achieved over constant resistance and with many relapses and setbacks.

Should Trump and associates ever get their way, the symbol of America would change from the Statue of Liberty with her uplifted torch lighting the path through the golden door to one of the Wall, complete with searchlights, guard towers, barbed wire and watchdogs. May it never be so.

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/09/15/donald-trumps-nativist-impulse/

 

 

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George Kenneth Butterfield, Jr.

G.K._Butterfield,_Official_portrait,_114th_Congress

The leader of the Congressional Black Caucus George Kenneth aka “G. K.” Butterfield, Jr. is having a big year

Congressional Black Caucus is shaping debate on gun control, police brutality

Rep. G.K. Butterfield is a former NC Supreme Court justice, attorney

Colleagues say he’s fostered good relations with GOP leaders

“If we asked, ‘Who do we need?’ With every qualification, we would be writing the name ‘G.K. Butterfield.’ He is the right person for this time in history.”

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo

“They see what they see on television but (non-black people) don’t really connect the dots. (They’re) good people but they don’t fully understand the problem.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Black Caucus chairman

Using the ‘bully pulpit’

Much of the Congressional Black Caucus’ visibility this year has come in the form of rallies and press conferences to lobby for gun control legislation, criminal justice sentencing changes and improvements to police-community relations. The CBC, and the Democrats, have limited power this term because of the Republican majority in Congress.

The sit-in was the group’s most high-profile action, but it didn’t get the results Democrats wanted. Congress is on a nearly two-month break, after the House left without votes on gun control proposals for expanded background checks and “no-fly, no-buy” bills keeping suspected terrorists from buying guns.

“The CBC cannot be silent or passive as the black community is in crisis,” said Cleaver, who is among the scheduled speakers at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo

Adapted by: Anna Douglas: 202-383-6012, @ADouglasNews

 

Black lives does matter

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The Rangers lost to Minnesota last night, and I’m almost embarrassed to tell you I know that.

‘I’m in my office, watching the game, and then all hell breaks loose in our city.

‘Reporters in our newsroom were scrambling. Producers were yelling. We turned off the lights, just in case … and I kept watching the game.

‘It was another shooting in America. It was in our city this time, and police officers were being killed, but it was a couple of blocks away and the Rangers were being shut out.

‘This is what I have become. This is what too many of us have been for a long time now.

‘We’ll fly our flags at half-mast, we’ll say all the right things, we’ll make promises we won’t keep, and then, nothing will change.

‘Our lives will go on, while the lives of so many others won’t, because we expect it now and we accept it.’

‘They run into the darkened alley where we won’t go. They run into the buildings we run from. They look for the person we try to hide from.

‘But they’re not allowed to make the human mistakes that we all make, because they have the power of God strapped to their hip and the authority to use it.’

Hansen did not shy away from the issue of race. He openly acknowledged that white people get tickets for crimes that black people often get shot over and acknowledged the need for accountability among police officers.

‘A white man in America doesn’t die for selling cigarettes on a street corner, he gets a ticket. A white man in America doesn’t die for driving with a broken tail light, he gets a ticket, too. And the officers who abuse the badge and the power they have should be punished, but too many times they are not.’

The last paragraph is telling of what America has become. ‘A white man in America doesn’t die for selling cigarettes on a street corner, he gets a ticket. A white man in America doesn’t die for driving with a broken tail light, he gets a ticket, too And the officers who abuse the badge and the power they have should be punished, but too many times they are not.’. We have to understand as a society this is why Blacklivesmatter. The law has to be implement equally in this society.

http://bipartisanreport.com/2016/07/10/legendary-sportscaster-gives-stunning-response-to-dallas-police-shooting-calls-lt-gov-a-fool-video/

This is a good thing….

by:  Thomas Christopher Famous

Today I witnessed something first hand that brought tears to my eyes. As I was sitting in my car in downtown NYC I heard loud shouting behind me.

I walked down the block to see what was going on and there I saw thousands of persons walking up Broadway blocking traffic with placards in hand.

As I got closer I heard their chants. ” Hell No the racist cops have got to go!!”

What was shocking to me was not that people were protesting or shouting “Black Lives Matter!!” or “Racism must end!!” but it was that the majority ( 70%) of the protesters were young white persons.

It is disheartening to know anyone looking like myself or my sons can lose their life at the hands of a racist police officer. Yet at the same time what I witnessed today lets me know that there are people who do not look like us who will stand up for us.

Nowhere in my life have I or most persons that I know have ever seen so many white people stand up in public for issues affecting Black People.

In my own country one can literally count on one hand how many whites will come out and protest on issues affecting black Bermudians.

‪#‎blacklivesmatter

 

Derivatives

What is a derivative?

The term derivative is often defined as something – a security, a contract – that derives its value from its relationship with another asset or stream of cash flows.  There are many types of derivatives and they can be good or bad, used for productive things or as speculative tools.  Derivatives can help stabilize the economy or bring the economic system to its knees in a catastrophic implosion due to an inability to identify the real risks, properly protect against them, and anticipate so-called “daisy-chain” events where interconnected corporations, institutions, and organizations find themselves instantaneously bankrupted as a result of a poorly written or structured derivative position with another firm that failed; a domino effect.

A major reason this danger is built into derivatives is because of something called counter-party risk.  Most derivatives are based upon the person or institution on the other side of the trade being able to live up to the deal that was struck.  If society allows people to use borrowed money to enter into all sorts of complex derivative arrangements, we could find ourselves in a scenario where everybody carries these derivative positions on their books at large values only to find that, when it’s all unraveled, there’s very little money there because a single failure or two along the way wipes everybody out with it.  The problem becomes exacerbated because many privately written derivative contracts have built-in collateral calls that require a counter-party to put up more cash or collateral at the very time they are likely to need all the money they can get, accelerating the risk of bankruptcy.  It is for this reason that billionaire Charlie Munger, long a critic of derivatives, calls most derivative contracts “good until reached for” as the moment you actually need to grab the money, it could very well evaporate on you no matter what you’re carrying it at on your balance sheet.

Adapted by:

http://beginnersinvest.about.com/od/stocksoptionswarrants/a/what-is-a-derivative.htm

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