19 April, 2016

Thinking About America and Race

Posted by Socrates in 'Indians', 'Native Americans', America, America's founders, American Indians, Emma Lazarus, history, History for newbies, immigration, jewed culture, jewed immigration policy, nation-building/nation-wrecking, race, Race Denial, Socrates at 1:29 pm | Permanent Link

Son: “Dad, my history teacher said that America was founded by Native Americans – you know, Indians.”

Father: “Well, that depends on what you mean by ‘America.’ The continent of North America – or parts of it at least – was settled by Indians or ‘Native Americans.’ The United States of America, however, was founded by 118 White men [1]. It was founded as a White republic, as Ben Franklin noted – in fact, only White men could vote or hold public office during Franklin’s era. That shows the intent of America’s founders.”

Son: “So, the United States is supposed to be a White country?”

Father: “Yes.”

Son: “Well, then, why are we letting so many brown people into America?”

Father: “That’s a good question, son. Why are we?”[2].


[1] 118 White men created the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution

[2] The Jewish political activist, Emma Lazarus, helped to create the idea that America is “a nation of immigrants” with her famous poem on the Statue of Liberty, which reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

  • 9 Responses to “Thinking About America and Race”

    1. Joe Says:

      “Well, that depends on what you mean by ‘America.’ The continent of North America – or parts of it at least – was settled by Indians or ‘Native Americans.’”

      If one honestly pursues recent archeological discoveries… he would logically conclude that “European” peoples settled the North American continent well-before the Asiatics crossed over from the Bering Straits… so this implicit claim of the “Indians” being here first is totally bogus.

    2. Socrates Says:

      Well, the only thing about Kennewick Man is that there is only one of him, as far as I know. It would be better if there were 5 or 10.


    3. Socrates Says:

      And, re: the Solutreans, I guess there isn’t a whole lot of data regarding them, unfortunately.


    4. -jc Says:

      From the thread, “Jews Control Immigration Policy, Promote Open Borders to Destroy White Nations,” http://vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=79692

      She Wrote a Nation’s Welcome

      Published: January 3, 2012

      Even if Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus” had not transformed the gargantuan Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor from an aggressive monument — “Liberty Enlightening the World” — into a welcoming “Mother of Exiles”; even if she had not provided that crowned goddess with a humane voice that still resonates (“Give me your tired, your poor”); even if she had not asserted a powerful connection between liberty and opportunity, the exhibition “Emma Lazarus: Poet of Exiles” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage demonstrates that there would still be reasons to value her life and work.

      Emma Lazarus is mostly known for her Statue of Liberty poem, but the exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage shows how her life led her to those words.

      In fact, so many illuminating sparks are set off by this show, mounted in celebration of the statue’s 125th anniversary, that its closing section about Lady Liberty comes as an anticlimax. There we learn that Lazarus’s poem was written in 1883 to help raise money for the American-built pedestal on which Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi’s statue — a gift from France — would stand. And though the poem is now the main way Lazarus is remembered, “The New Colossus” was not even cited in the obituaries after she died in 1887 at 38.

      The poem was mounted on the statue only in 1903, after lobbying by influential friends. And it didn’t become popularly associated with it until after the 1920s, a decade when many restrictions were put on how many “tempest-tost” souls should be annually admitted.

      Yes, perhaps some aspects of that poem have become clichéd. In a short film made for the exhibition, there is a curiously grudging aspect to the credit some contemporary writers and historians are prepared to grant America as a place of refuge. Nevertheless, lives are still risked, resources still scrounged and journeys here still undertaken. An average of more than a million people a year were granted permanent resident status in the United States in the decade ending in 2010, more than in any other comparable period in American history. And this does not count the estimated four million illegal immigrants that arrived during the same period.

      What does this have to do with that statue? Absolutely nothing. It was conceived as a commemoration of liberty in honor of the nation’s centennial. It was a mythological declaration of outward-bound triumph, not inward-bound migration. As the show points out, its design was based on a lighthouse that the sculptor had imagined for the Suez Canal, called “Progress: Egypt Carrying the Light to Asia.” Immigration had nothing to do it.

      That is how remarkable Lazarus’s reinvention of the statue was. But where did her ideas come from? She was not an immigrant; she was a fourth-generation American. And she was not among the huddled masses: her family was among New York’s “upper 10,000,” the city’s wealthiest and most established.

      Her immediate family was also hardly renowned for its liberality; while relatives contributed to the Union cause during the Civil War, her parents did not. Her father owned a sugar-refining business; his partner, Bradish Johnson, held slaves on a Louisiana sugar plantation and did not have a reputation for kindness.

      But in “Poet of Exiles,” whose curator is Melissa Martens, the museum’s director of collections and exhibitions, we come to see the origins of Lazarus’s distinctive talents, while also tracing how her vision of the American ideal evolved. The show’s main flaw is that it can be too condensed. As a supplement, Esther Schor’s 2006 biography, “Emma Lazarus,” is invaluable (and Bette Roth Young’s groundbreaking study and other collections of poems and writings fill out a fascinating portrait).

      Lazarus’s roots were in elite Sephardic Jewish families who were leaders of the first synagogues established in New York, Philadelphia and Newport, R.I. Moses Mendes Seixas, Lazarus’s great-great uncle, welcomed President George Washington to the Newport congregation Jeshuat Israel in 1790 and presented him with a floridly written letter, on display here, praising a government “which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” Those words were used almost verbatim by Washington in his response, one of the nation’s first affirmations of religious liberty.

      Lazarus’s great-grandmother Grace Mendes Seixas Nathan is represented here by a notebook of 19 poems, from about 1830, demonstrating a talent not unrelated to Lazarus’s own. And her cousins included Associate Justice Benjamin Nathan Cardozo of the Supreme Court and Annie Nathan Meyer, a founder of Barnard College. Lazarus, born in New York City in 1849, must have been able to take many things for granted; few could claim a more distinguished association with the United States or with the Jewish population within it.

      She must have also been something of a prodigy. Her father published her first book of poetry before she was 18. And though some lines are dewy with Romantic mannerism, the compilation was impressive enough for the 65-year-old Ralph Waldo Emerson to welcome an association with this young poet. (“I should like to be appointed your professor,” he wrote to her, “you being required to attend the whole term.”)

      It is difficult to sort out the peculiarities of that eccentric relationship, along with several others in which Lazarus combined an acolyte’s submission with prideful assertion. But her ambitions led her to the heart of American literary culture. She visited Walden Pond with Thoreau’s biographer, William Ellery Channing, who presented her with Thoreau’s compass. Walt Whitman’s biographer, John Burroughs, showed the older poet her work (which he praised).

      Lazarus also found a place in salons, including a Newport-based club overseen by Emily Dickinson’s mentor, Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The exhibition design evokes a weekly New York salon, where a couple who were Lazarus’s lifelong friends, Richard Watson Gilder and his wife, Helena, held court. We learn too of Lazarus’s European travels, where she met Robert Browning, Henry James and William Morris.

      In all this you get a sense of a young woman skilled at both her craft and her career. Her moral imagination evolved as well; in one poem she may well have evoked the underbelly of the sugar-trade ships that made her father prosperous:

      In that deep, reeking hell, what slaves be they,

      Who feed the ravenous monster, pant and sweat,

      Nor know if overhead reign night or day?

      But alongside her seemingly frictionless ascent were gnawing refrains. One of Lazarus’s closest friends was Helena Gilder’s brother, Charles deKay. After they had attended a concert by the Hungarian pianist Rafael Joseffy, deKay wrote to his sister about that Jewish virtuoso’s “sickening” appearance. And in a posthumous review of Lazarus’s poems, deKay inserted extraneous comments about her being a “Sibyl Judaica,” suggesting that only a Jewish poet could reach “that great world of finance in Europe which is Hebrew, which is so powerful through money-bags and acquired titles, and which seems to use its wealth to so little purpose.”

      Lazarus seemed prepared to overlook such attitudes. But she did not consider Judaism incidental to her poetry or her life. Longfellow, for example, in his 1854 poem “The Jewish Cemetery at Newport” evokes a long-dead world that he thinks is deservedly so:

      The mystic volume of the world they read,

      Spelling it backward, like a Hebrew book,

      Till life became a Legend of the Dead.

      Lazarus, visiting the same place in 1867, signed a visitors’ register (shown here) and wrote her poetic response, “In the Jewish Synagogue at Newport.” Though there are no signs of life, she imagines its worshipers once “found their comfort” there. And her final lines are reverential, chastising, perhaps, her predecessor:

      Take off your shoes as by the burning bush,

      Before the mystery of death and God.

      “The truth is,” she wrote in 1883, “that every Jew has to crack for himself this hard nut of his peculiar position in a non-Jewish community.” She began writing regularly for the journal The American Hebrew and began to study Hebrew. She published “Songs of a Semite” and dedicated the book to George Eliot, whose novel “Daniel Deronda” hit her with the force of revelation. Its story of a British aristocrat discovering his Jewish origins and devoting himself to a Zionist cause kindled Lazarus’s interest in “Jewish repatriation” and “self-emancipation.”

      During this period cataclysmic pogroms took place in Russia, described in 1882 press reports as a “reign of terror” against Jews, encompassing nine months of murder, pillage and rape. Lazarus wrote a brilliant, furious poem:

      Across the Eastern sky has glowed

      The flicker of a blood-red dawn,

      Once more the clarion cock has crowed,

      Once more the sword of Christ is drawn

      A million burning rooftrees light

      The world-wide path of Israel’s flight.

      She wrote to a friend that her work for Jewish causes “may, & probably will fill my life.” She devoted herself to the thousands of Jewish refugees who came to the United States, even admitting to discomfort with some of the more observant as she worked on their behalf, establishing training programs and classes.

      It is out of such experiences that “The New Colossus” took shape. With the easy familiarity of long acquaintance, Lazarus stands firmly beside the statue and gives it voice. She watches the wretched Jewish refuse of Europe’s teeming shores come through this harbor, and sees too what possibilities and difficulties lie ahead in this American Zion. Then she generalizes from the particular and, for more than a century, despite periods of temporary dimming, lights a lamp beside the golden door.

      “Emma Lazarus: Poet of Exiles” is on view through the end of 2012 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Battery Park City, Lower Manhattan; mjhnyc.org.


    5. Antagonistes Says:

      Typical liberalism: You take something solid, meaningful—-and then you subtly try to change what it means.

      They tried to do this with a twin-towers statue. Three WHITE firemen raised an American flag among the ruins. The financiers of the statue wanted one of them to be black. No way, said the White men.

      But look for the statue to be changed, in the future, in the same way that they are changing the portraits on our money.

    6. fd Says:

      I was here first! Who cares…..

      There will be no peace in North America until the government on the Potomac is destroyed. Patrick Henry called the Constitution a misstep, and he described the new government as a consolidation that would be ruled by tyrants with no way to wage war against them. Henry wanted to simply update the Articles of Confederation.

      Article II.
      Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.


    7. rj Says:


      Do you think they might be hiding some of the evidence?

    8. Socrates Says:

      rj: no doubt they are.

    9. Leviticus Jackson Says:

      One thing that always made me always think was very peculiar about the native indians in North and South America is skin color. It doesn’t matter where you go from the tip of Patagonia to Alaska, they are all basically the same color, a kind of bronze. Doesn’t this go against the belief system that those that live in the blazing sun of the tropics are darker and those that live where there is little sun have light skin because of the need for vitamin D. The “natives” of the Americas do not tend to get much darker at the equator except due to being in the sun. The Indians that live in the rainiest parts of the Northwest coast of North America still have jet black hair and bronze skin despite the fact that some areas of SE Alaska get less than 1000 hours of sunshine a year. Could this be that they are such recent invaders that evolution hasn’t started to kick in yet? I really wonder what is going on here?