Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Morning-after: July 4th cookouts and firecrackers. What are we celebrating about?

See also, esp. on the imperfections of the Constitution.

image from

--Scholar (and former Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors) Walter Isaacson, author of a biography of Benjamin Franklin, an American Founding Father: "[T]he Declaration of Independence is, in effect, a work of propaganda," New York Times (July 4, 2004)]


a) Thomas Jefferson: The Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal," also states that "[T]he inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

b) Jefferson first wrote about Indian removal in 1776, 15 years before he was president. Frustrated by growing conflicts between settlers and the Cherokee, Jefferson, then at work with the Continental Congress, reacted harshly. “Nothing will reduce those wretches so soon as pushing the war into the heart of their country,” he wrote. “But I would not stop there. I would never cease pursuing them while one of them remained on this side of the Mississippi.” [See also John Brown, "The War on Terror as an Indian War," (2006)]

c) "Jefferson’s belief that blacks were racially inferior and 'as incapable as children,' ... coupled with slaves’ presumed resentment of their former owners, made their removal from the United States an integral part of Jefferson’s emancipation scheme" (Thomas Jefferson Foundation). See also. Britni Danielle, "Sally Hemings wasn’t Thomas Jefferson’s mistress. She was his property," Washington Post: "Hemings, then 14 years old, accompanied Jefferson [...] .. then 44, in Paris. She wasn’t Jefferson’s mistress; she was his property. And he raped her."

d) Benjamin Franklin: "The Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, Scouring our Planet, by clearing America of Woods, and so making this Side of our Globe reflect a brighter Light to the Eyes of Inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we in the Sight of Superior Beings, darken its People? ..." For more on German-Americans, the largest "white" group in America, see.

e) A series of laws known collectively as the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed by the Federalist Congress in 1798 and signed into law by President Adams. These laws included new powers to deport foreigners as well as making it harder for new immigrants to vote.

f) Andrew Jacksonto whom President Trump has been compared: "After a harassing warfare, prolonged by the nature of the country and by the difficulty of procuring subsistence, the Indians were entirely defeated, and the disaffected band dispersed or destroyed. The result has been creditable to the troops engaged in the service. Severe as is the lesson to the Indians, it was rendered necessary by their unprovoked aggression's, and it is to be hoped that its impression will be permanent and salutary."

g) "On this date, April 27 in 1791, Samuel F.B. Morse was born. If you remember your grade-school history — or you were a Boy Scout who learned 'Morse Code' — his name is still familiar. He is credited with developing the telegraph and the dots and dashes code that bears his name. But there is something else about Morse that your schoolbooks probably left out. He wrote vitriolic anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant essays, published by his brother’s New York newspaper. Morse even ran for Mayor of New York as a 'Nativist' candidate. 'No Immigrants. No Catholics': the Other Morse Code. 'Surely American Protestants, freemen, have discernment enough to discover beneath them the cloven foot of this subtle foreign heresy. They will see that Popery is now, what it has ever been, a system of the darkest political intrigue and despotism, cloaking itself to avoid attack under the sacred name of religion.'—'Brutus' (Samuel F. B. Morse) Foreign Conspiracy Against the Liberties of the United States (1834)." (Huffington Post)

h) “We have for nearly a quarter of a century been receiving several thousand Irishmen annually among us. We have given them land — almost for nothing; employment at far better wages than they could have obtained at home; and political rights equal to those which are enjoyed by the sons of the best and noblest Americans. They have come to us steeped in ignorance and superstition; we have let them have their priests and their churches, and when fanatic Protestants have tried to disturb them, we have resisted it, and have successfully protected them in what we believe to be a mistaken course. They have so behaved themselves that nearly seventy-five per cent of our criminals and paupers are Irish; that fully seventy-five per cent of the crimes of violence committed among us are the work of Irishmen; that the system of universal suffrage in large cities has fallen into discredit through the incapacity of the Irish for self-government; yet we have never countenanced any invidious legislation against them, have never thought of depriving them of the political rights they abused, have never sought to protect ourselves against their misconduct.” (Harper's Weekly, October 20, 1860)

i) Woodrow Wilson, author of the famous phrase, "making the world safe for democracy": “In the matter of Chinese and Japanese coolie immigration, I stand for the national policy of exclusion. We cannot make a homogenous population out of people who do not blend with the Caucasian race… Oriental Coolieism will give us another race problem to solve and surely we have had our lesson.”

j) "For decades, Polish Americans have been the subject of derogatory jokes originating in anti-immigrant stereotypes that had developed in the U.S. before the 1920s." Anti-Polish sentiment, Wikipedia

k) The 1924 National Origin Act ... aiming to preserve American racial homogeny, limited the number of people that could immigrate from a given country to 2% of the number of people from that country already in America by 1890. By doing so, President Coolidge and backers of the bill hoped to stem the flow of Southern and Eastern Europeans, among other groups. (Slavic Immigration to America, 2016))

l) Vice President Henry Wallace, who noted the conversation in his diary, said Roosevelt spoke approvingly of a plan (recommended by geographer and Johns Hopkins University President Isaiah Bowman) "to spread the Jews thin all over the world" ...  FDR's support for "spreading the Jews thin" may hold the key to understanding a subject that has been at the center of controversy for decades: the American government's tepid response to the Holocaust."

m) [I]n 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring aliens from World War II-enemy countries–Italy, Germany and Japan–to register with the United States Department of Justice. Registered persons were then issued a Certificate of Identification for Aliens of Enemy Nationality. A follow-up to the Alien Registration Act of 1940, Proclamation No. 2537 facilitated the beginning of full-scale internment of Japanese Americans the following month. ... Ostensibly issued in the interest of national security, Proclamation No. 2537 permitted the arrest, detention and internment of enemy aliens who violated restricted areas, such as ports, water treatment plants or even areas prone to brush fires, for the duration of the war. A month later, a reluctant but resigned Roosevelt signed the War Department’s blanket Executive Order 9066, which authorized the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment camps.

"We came, we saw, he died!" -- former Secretary of State and defeated U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, about a foreign dictator

o) Donald Trump: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

p) Travel ban [on some people from six Muslim-majority countries] goes into effect despite courts saying security issues unfounded (The Guardian, June 29, 2017). See also, a well as.

[See, on the other hand, the words of the Declaration of Independence castigating George III: "He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners [JB - however the exact meaning/nature of "Foreigners" is unclear/unspecified; scholars need to be consulted]; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands."]
q) "Donald Trump on protester: 'I'd like to punch him in the face'."

r)"The decline and fall of Jared and Don Jr.: Nepotism often ends badly," Jonathan Turley, Opinion columnist, USA Today"Trump does not stand out in his embrace of nepotism in the White House. John Adams, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford Hayes, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and others appointed relatives to high positions. Their failures often heightened the vulnerability of these presidents. Consider Ulysses S. Grant. Grant’s administration reportedly employed dozens of his relatives. He then used his pardon power to benefit family members. One brother-in-law, James F. Casey, stole property from the New Orleans Customs Office but was still reappointed by Grant as collector of customs. Another brother-in-law, Abel Rathbone Corbin, was accused of involvement in a bribery scheme. Yet another brother-in-law, Frederick Dent, made money by selling insider information as an usher. Grant’s reliance on ethically challenged relatives resulted in a scandal-plagued administration that forever tarnished his legacy. Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner described Grant’s administration as exhibiting “a dropsical nepotism swollen to elephantiasis.”


*** (added 8/4/2017)

Miller image from; via  MMc on Facebook

On Trump White House staffer Stephen Miller, see.

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