Nativism: Race and Immigrants

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Immigration to the United States, Racism Pages: 5 (2165 words) Published: November 25, 2012
Nativism is the feeling that immigration and foreigners are detrimental to native-born Americans. Unfortunately, nativist’s feelings are not based on political convenience or logical theories, but on ignorant assumptions that produce religious, racial, and cultural discrimination. Many nativist groups or individuals, both in the past and presently, have one thing in common- the fear of not being in control. The basic thing one has to see is that misinformation and short-sighted fear can often produce the absence of fairness and human dignity. The Ku Klux Klan was a racist group who also committed atrocities in the name of nativism. The KKKs were formed because many people were started to get afraid of the “rising power of the blacks” and also hated immigration and Jews. “What was the rising power of the blacks?” Is it because they were not slaves or maybe because they simply wanted to vote, a constitutional right! African Americans were still treated like property in the South under the Jim Crow Laws. African Americans were denied their constitutional right to vote by various ways of intimidation; but yet the KKKs could do whatever they wanted and be protected by the “constitutional” idea that they had the right to express themselves. The KKKs were also anti-Semitic and anti-Semitism was prevalent in the U.S. To understand immigration better one has to see the factors that produced and produce immigration to America. Industrialization and social changes in Europe produced mass immigration from countries like Germany, France, and Ireland. The Industrial Revolution transformed the small, agricultural society into a manufacturing economy which helped the U.S. to prosper and excel. Social changes were another major factor that stimulated immigration. Political upheavals, religious persecution, and a search for adventure were the basic reason for the relocation of these people. Why would they come to the U.S. to purposely try to create a political or cultural upheaval, if the whole reason they left their homelands was escape these problems? The truth of the matter is that they just wanted to seek a peaceful setting that they could create a family and contribute to American society. There were two types of immigrants- the old and the new. The old immigrants of the past( which consequently was also divided into old and new immigration categories) and the new immigrants of today; mostly the Hispanics and Asians. Most of the old immigrants were Europeans- French, Irish, German, Italian, and Polish. Although the new immigrants of that time were discriminated by the “native” Americans and the older immigrants ( British, French, and German) there was not the same animosity that is seen between present immigrants and native Americans. In the present, 86% of the newest immigration comes from Latin America and Asia while Europe only contributes 10%. The main difference between present immigration and past immigration is that most immigrants from Europe were male and white; however, present immigration is that most of today’s newcomers are from Developing Countries ; therefore, most are colored people who, either are married or have a family. Some may say that new immigrants are less skilled than the old immigrants and that furthermore, they do not want to “Americanize” but actually most of the newest immigrants are educated and professionally trained. The problem with the American government is that they don’t give Hispanics or Asians any opportunities because they know that these immigrants will succeed! In fact what they do is oppress these immigrants until these people get fed up and retaliate for survival; then the Americans say how much a problem immigrants are without knowing that in time of vulnerability any human being is going to act irrational. This is a day to day event in the U.S.; one could say it is “political drowning of an immigrant.” Why is it that these immigrants cannot have equal jobs as the people who have been...
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