posts 16 - 23 of 23
yellow and red
Posts: 34

Bad, Bad Immigrants

When the Irish immigrants first arrived in America, they were discriminated against. They were thought to be inferior to the “native” whites that had already settled in America. Like many of the minorities in America, they were heavily stereotyped and many of those remnants can be seen today. As we discussed in class, the red hair, drunkard, short, and violent portrayal of the Irish is false. And while they did face this discrimination, a common misconception was that they came to America, practically as slaves, and had to work extra hard to be accepted in society. In an article that I read during class, Michael Harriot says, “...the idea that the Irish came to America as slaves and had it as bad as, or worse than, Africans. According to these “racialists,” the European blood in the Irish made them pull themselves up by their bootstraps and integrate themselves into the opening arms of American liberty. They never bitched and moaned about their situation…” This is quickly debunked, however. The Irish certainly faced their fair share of hardships, however, they had a large advantage over African Americans -- they were ultimately white. “Their melanin-less skin just afforded them an opportunity to blend in that black people will never get.” This same theory applies to the Italiam immigrants as well. Of course they were discriminated against before, but over time, the color of their skin allowed for them to “become the norm.”

In today’s society, immigrants are still being discriminated against. The victims of this era are the Latinx community and the Muslim community. The population that views the Latinx as murderers and rapists, and the Muslim community as terrorists are extremely prejudiced. Many of the immigrants are coming to America for an opportunity of a better life. They risk their lives, leaving everything behind, only to come to America and be falsely and unjustly accused of being monsters that “ruin” America. It’s simply appalling. As someone that has grown up in an immigrant household, I know that hate all too well. I was born in America, but I was there when my grandparents were getting cussed out for not knowing how to speak English, or when a police officer threatened to take my 65 year old grandfather to jail because he was “not listening to a word he was saying.” I remember that incident like it was yesterday, but I was only eight years old at the time. As a minority, the color of our skin does not allow for us to assimilate as the Irish and Italians did. Yet, we need to acknowledge the degree of hate the Irish and Italian immigrants had to face. The burning of the Ursuline Convent in Massachusetts, our town, and the mass of Italian immigrants in New Orleans are just two incidents that clearly display the disgusting actions against them. Nowadays, you cannot just storm into a building or lynch someone in the city square, but the Latinx and Muslim community face their own struggles as well. Immigrants are being held in detainment camps and families are being separated from each other. It is truly sad.

Posts: 30

Be open minded to differences

As we learned early on in the class, we grow up discriminating things from a young age. And as we grew, we separated things that were like us compared to the other things that weren’t. This is very much like what Americans did to the Irish and Italians and it still happens to this day. Our country has always had a problem with immigrants and we still do today along the Mexican border. If you think of it like this, let’s say you’ve established a very tight-knit group of friends, it is very hard to accept someone new into the group. New people introduce new ideas that can challenge what people have accepted as “normal”. So when the Irish and the Italians came with their own customs, their own religions, and ideologies, many Americans feared them to a point where they considered the Irish terrorists and Italians criminals. I really liked the article from the Washington Post on Irish immigrants and how they stated that it, “teaches us a valuable lesson about stereotyping entire groups based upon the actions of a few”. You can’t base a whole group of people because of the actions of a few people. You can’t just assume that because someone did something bad, everyone else is going to be the same. It’s just not a fair way to think of people, especially if you’ve never sat down and talked to them. Going along with stereotypes is just such a narrow-minded way to approach life and people that it really affects your chance to learn of these new ideas, religions, and cultures. We’re learning about the Irish and Italians moving to the US in APUSH right now as well and I remember reading about Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, they were two Italian immigrants who had moved here in hopes of opportunity, and they were convicted of murder and robbery of two men. There was a lot of evidence that proved to people that they were innocent but however the judge and jury that were on duty during their trial were biased. And this absolutely shocked me when I heard that the judge was biased because you’d think that a judge’s job is to be unbiased. There was so much hate against the immigration of Italians and against anarchism that they were found guilty by the verdict of the jury, which I think is just absolutely unfair especially if there’s evidence that they were innocent.

Posts: 27

We Are All the Same!

In the 1800s and early 1900s, huge waves of immigrants came to America in search of a better job opportunity to earn money. As a result, some groups of immigrants, such as the Irish, were seen by the Americans as a threat to their social status and nativism arose during that time. These groups of people, despite their skin color being white, were portrayed as “colored” people, because they are of lower class people and only the people of high social class can be called “white”. According to Brent Staple’s article, “How Italians Became ‘White’”, he claims that “...separating ostensibly white Europeans into “races.” Some were designated “whiter” — and more worthy of citizenship — than others, while some were ranked as too close to blackness to be socially redeemable.” This shows that Americans during that time did not classify a person as “black” based on their skin color, but rather, on how much rights that person deserve in the country according to their race.

Both Italians and Irish immigrants received terrifying treatments during that time. There were a lot of violence, such as lynching. Many newspapers wrote in a response to these violent acts to support it, claiming that these immigrants do not belong here and encourages more lynching actions. According to Brent Staple, Italian children were described as “utterly unfit — ragged, filthy, and verminous as they were-”. The Americans feared these immigrants not only because of their goals to climb the social ladder to get a better life in a new country, but also on religion. Josh Zeitz wrote in his article: “Rightly fearing that native Protestants wished to inject public schools with an evangelical and sectarian spirit, Catholics created a sweeping, parallel system.” The Americans feared that the introduction of religion to public schools will interfere with the American policy and might eventually bring these immigrants’ status higher, thus the Americans would have less rights. Fast forward to 2019, I still believe that the fear of immigrants still exist. Although this fear is no longer displayed publicly through violence 200 years ago, the imbalance is still there. Immigrants have less rights than citizens, and the idea of “White America” is still pretty common amongst certain people. We need to learn to embrace each other. Stereotypes are not true for everybody, so we should learn to treat each other the same way we would want to be treated regardless of race.

Posts: 16
It’s interesting to see how certain white people were discriminated against in the United States considering that America was brought on by British white settlers. From reading the articles, they both mention that Irish people and Italians were given stereotypes when they arrived and were perceived as a foreign threat or almost even barbaric therefore the already settled white people in power limited their rights. Irish were mainly discriminated against for their religion of being catholic and klans went after them for this. It’s interesting to relate this to today where there are anti Muslim people out here today in America and some of those people who may fear Muslims today are Irish or are of Irish decent. (How the table have turned). Italian Americans on the other hand faced similar discrimination as black people did and faced lynching and were given certain characteristics and traits based on their looks and foreign culture. Skin color also played a factor as those who were more darker faced harsher discrimination. The slow fade of this discrimination leaving due to other discrimination acts is unbelievable because America just faces discrimination against one group after the other, ignoring the fact that we live on the same world were there is an obvious much more to the world than white America.
Posts: 27

Does America like Othering?

It struck me how similar the modern language surrounding immigration in the United States paralleled the language used when addressing the Irish and Italian immigrants of the late nineteenth century. The othering, the genuine fear that these people were less civilized. I knew that the Irish were discriminated in Boston, but I had no idea that it was to such an extent, especially because there is virtually no trace of this in the Boston I know. Most shocking to me of all is to find in “When America Hated Catholics” about how Catholics were viewed as a threat by the Ku Klux Klan, and that the KKK was not just active, but thrived in urban areas to promote anti-Catholic sentiments.

I agree with MunchScream that people are against immigrants because they fear them. When it comes down to it, Americans fear what they don’t know, and feel threatened by differences. Obviously this is true today as it was then, maybe more so, because the immigrants coming into America now have darker skin. Even back then, whiter meant more worthy of citizenship in America. It is unimaginable to me that the Irish and Italians were once the “other.” I’m starting to think America just likes to have one group that is the other that we can pick on, because it feels like we have for almost all of history.

I also think it’s interesting to learn about this history because a lot of the anti-immigration arguments today shield their xenophobia by saying that America cannot have more immigrants because of overcrowding and lack of space. At the time this immigration of Irish and Italians was happening, however, there was ample space, so that debunks a lot of this argument. While there is some logic behind some of the modern arguments against immigration, in my opinion the driving factor in anti-immigrant sentiments in sheer xenophobia and bigotry.

I think yellow123 poses an interesting question about whether someday Central American immigrants will mirror the Italian and the Irish. Will they become ingrained in our society, to the point that my kids find this “build a wall” thing unimaginable? I mean, many think that we as a society are getting more progressive, so shouldn’t this be the natural path that things follow? Yet, this seems to be such a heated debate that I find this outcome hard to imagine. And if we begin to accept Central American immigrants in society, will there eventually be just another group we pick on, as I said earlier? There really is only one way to find out, and that is to wait and see.

Posts: 23

In America, it seems that every newcomer becomes an other. Fear an xenophobia run deep in our culture, whether we like to admit it or not. This hatred is often justified by extreme acts of violence committed by a small minority of a group. For example, a tiny group of Irish people tried to conquer Canada in the late 1800s. This was a goal which did not reflect the interest of most Irish people who simply desired a new life in North America, yet they were blamed and oppressed simply by association.

It is shocking how much the treatment of the first Irish Americans parallels that of today’s immigrants. All too often we hear rhetoric of radical Islamists pouring into our country to terrorize poor, innocent Americans, but the reality of the situation is the same as it was for the Irish. A small group, not supported by the vast majority of Muslims, is giving the United States and our current president fuel to power xenophobia and push an anti-immigration agenda.

Posts: 27

Immigration problem

The problem of immigration has been seen throughout history over and over. It’s a problem because governments don’t want immigrants/refugees sometimes and then other times, the people of the land, to where the immigrants/refugees are coming in, often don't like the immigrants/refugees. Why? Thats a big question. One can say that immigrants/refugees may be disliked by the “native” people because they are new people and different from them, which may be that they are not from the same country or even religion and its even worse when they are opposites and their groups dislike each other, which was what happened in the US.

In the case of the United States and the wave of Irish and Italian immigrants/refugees, the reason they were disliked was because the “native” people were British for the most part. And as we know, the Brits strongly disliked the Irish even before the US was established. Another reason why the Irish and Immigrants were not welcomed was because of the different religions. The British were Protestants I think and so they, by nature, were not going to like or accept the Irish who, at least the new wave of them, were Catholics, which is not liked by Protestants.

I think that immigration in modern age is almost mirrored. The reason is that immigrants are treated the same currently as they were back then. They are disliked and not welcomed because, they are from different nationalities. However, its different nowadays because now the President is encouraging indirectly the hatred of immigrants, going as far as calling animals, not treating them like human beings. He forces families to be split up at the Southern Border and kids are treated really bad, never mind the adults. I read an article and it said that some animals have more rights and are treated better than immigrants arrested at the Southern Border. And its almost as bad outside those facilities in the US. People are discriminated because of who they are. People are racially profiled. We have seen in social media recently police officers being racist to those people. There is this current case of 3 Sheriff deputies almost beating to death a latino for no reason whatsoever

Posts: 27

I feel as if throughout history we constantly see violence between people of different religions and races. It usually starts when a group of people that follow one religion or are of one race begin to think that they’re superior and hold the only truth. We see this through the treatment of Italian and Irish immigrants. “Native” born Americans felt intimidated by Irish immigrants because they were catholic whilst most of America at this time was protestant. Although both are part of different sects of christianity they still feared that the beliefs of the Irish would overtake their own beliefs. In Josh Zeitz article When America Hated Catholics Zeitz says “Rightly fearing that native Protestants wished to inject public schools with an evangelical and sectarian spirit, Catholics created a sweeping, parallel system.” This is what the protestants of America feared. They feared change. We still see this to this day. People are afraid of Muslim immagrints because they believe that their religion promotes violence. During World War 2 the people of the Nazi party displayed hatred and violence towards Jewish citizens. There were many reasons for this but one was because their difference in beliefs. While Hitler and his men identified as Catholic these men and women practiced Judaism. This difference in beliefs looked to him as a justification for torturing and killing them. Southern Italian immigrants were mistreated because they had darker skin tones and curlier hair. This darker skin and curlier hair made people view them as black. This meant that people started to treat them as if they were black. “They were sometimes shut out of schools, movie houses and labor unions, or consigned to church pews set aside for black people.”

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