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.