Insulting Immigration Images
Today's Wall Street Journal/OpinionJournal's Political Diary (US$3.95 or CDN$45.00 per month, the bastards) has a seering, smart, and stupendously self-promoting item about immigration images through the ages (well, from about 100 years ago). Jason Riley, author of most of the WSJ's stirringly pro-immigration editorials, talks with one Nick Gillespie of one Reason magazine about the half-life of anti-immgrant imagery:
The libertarian monthly, Reason magazine, is always worth reading, and the August/September issue now on newsstands is no exception....[W]hat really recommends this current issue are the half-dozen vintage late-19th and early-20th century illustrations that accompany the text. The images have been culled from long-forgotten political periodicals like Judge and the Wasp, and they add a welcome historical context to the national discussion about America's most recent arrivals....
The images were chosen in an effort to "reflect today's ambivalence....Conservatives like to bleach the racism out of the immigration debate, but that's always been part of it," said Mr. Gillespie, noting that Irish and Italians weren't considered white at the time.... "These images should haunt this debate more than they have. All of the assimilation patterns point to Mexican immigrants being totally indistinguishable from others down the road. But the way these people get talked about as invaders, as rats, as mice, as bugs -- it's something that needs to be countered in a way that only history lessons can."
Reason got those images via the great Georgetown Book Shop, online here.
Ineluctable sign of progress: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) compares immigrants to livestock, not vermin.