Monday, August 02, 2010

A HISTORY LESSON YOU WON’T LEARN AT GLENN BECK UNIVERSITY

















I had never heard this story until I read about it on Common Dreams.

"FOX News host Glenn Beck's reportedly German (Catholic) immigrant ancestors would be ashamed. As we learn more about Beck's inciting rhetoric against the Tides Foundation--his latest liberal obsession--and a troubled man's foiled armed assault on the liberal foundation in Oakland, and as the fear-mongering in Arizona against Mexican immigrants by Gov. Jan Brewer reaches absurd levels of "terrorist attacks" and "drug mule" accusations and Neo Nazi border patrols, I can't help but be reminded of the Bloody Monday riots that took the lives of at least two dozen immigrants and Americans in Louisville on August 6, 1855. Beck's German ancestors would have reminded the TV host what happened this week in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1855, when a nationally prominent newspaper editor repeatedly let loose the hounds of hatred and fomented what would become the worst anti-immigrant massacre in US history--of German and Irish Catholics. A Connecticut Yankee turned Louisville Journal newspaper editor, George Prentice was considered the best known commentator in the nation, according to the New York Times, who described him as a "bitter, unrelenting political foe, and several times had street fights." And, as the great editorial voice of the anti-immigrant Know Nothing party, Prentice relished attacking the "foreign hordes" of Germans and Irish that poured into the Midwest. Fearful of an election upset, he penned a series of editorials that would unleash the wrath of hired thugs on Louisville's darkest and bloodiest day.
On the eve of the riots, Prentice declared: "Let the foreigners keep their elbows to themselves to-day at the polls. Americans are you all ready? We think we hear you shout 'ready,' 'well fire!' and may heaven have mercy on the foe."
Fueled by rumors and booze, drunken mobs roamed the German and Irish wards the next day with rifles and muskets and pitchforks and torches, leading to street fights, leaving behind the smoldering remains of destruction, strewn and burned bodies, and at least 22 dead--most historians place the deathtoll much higher. In the process, hundreds, if not thousands of immigrants and sympathizers fled Louisville." (Click here for more.)

8 comments:

Jon said...

When I was a kid my Grandma mentioned that she had witnessed a lynching when she was a girl. I had just learned about the Ku Klux Klan and the NAACP's crusade against lynching. I was upset but asked her what happened and who was lynched. "Oh, it was a German fellow. I guess he was a bit of a nut and he didn't know when to shut up. He got some fellas riled up, don't you know."

Timmy said...

I don't think the current day resentment of ILLEGAL immigrants quite equates to that of lynching & murdering LEGAL immigrants. tisk-tisk, Doctor...

Jon said...

Timmy, My father and grandmother were immigrants. They were legal because they were white. If they were Chinese they would have been illegal. Because they were white they stepped off a boat and wandered off into New York without anything more than a quick eyeballing at the port. OK got that? White=legal, Chinese=illegal. Arbitrary and racist? You betcha.

Globalization has forced the greatest international migrations in the history of humanity. A tiny portion of those migrants are being forced across the border into The United States. Generations of US backed warfare in Central America and the economic destruction of Mexico's small farmers by NAFTA have forced mass migrations in those regions with some of the migrants coming across the border into this country.

There are millions and millions of people in this world who can't go back where they came from because where they came from doesn't exist anymore.

Labeling some of those border crossers as illegal creates a convenient fiction. For whom is it convenient? For the people who freely move capital across borders without any hindrance or question of legality. They cross borders looking for cheap labor and labor crosses borders looking for decent work.

The fact is that global labor is being reduced to a third world living standard and, believe me, millions of Americans would be sneaking across borders right now if they had any place to go.

Meanwhile, back in The States, as the Cadets would say, whole cities are being destroyed and millions of people are being economically marginalized but that's not the problem. No sir. The problem is that some of the people at the bottom of this shit heap called capitalism are there illegally, or as you would say ILLEGALLY.

Timmy, you're a fool.

Timmy said...

"Where THEY came from doesn't exists"? What about where I CAME from? Why are you soooooooo frucktrucking offensive, Dino Martino? I always thought that Germans WERE white, just me... Irish; I wrongly assumed were WHITE too. And, as far as NAFTA goes, it certainly was NOT my idea. How about calming your far-flung ass down to a simmer? Tell ya what, let's meet at the next RALLY! "GOT THAT?" (what a marroooooon...) I don't mind cruisin' back into 'Hell A' to by you a beer at a Mexican club in the hood.

Jon said...

Timmy, you're starting to get my point. At one time the Irish were not white. They were the enemy. They were overrunning America and destroying it. That's what some people were saying anyhow. At the time my Grandma immigrated, the 1920's, the Irish had become white and America was about to be overrun by the Yellow Peril. There are still people immigrating here from Ireland and China and many of them are illegal but now the problem is supposedly Mexican in origin. The entire US steel, rubber, glass and automobile industries are shipped overseas and millions of jobs are lost but that's not the problem the problem is immigrants. I don't believe it.
The problem is capitalism.
Offensive? I only said one thing about you personally. OK, I apologize. You're being played for a fool.

Timmy said...

Yep, I'm getting your point, alrighty. Offensive is the nature of your battling-boxer style of thinking. It starts with automatically accusing someone of being a "racist" & it rapidly goes downhill from there. Why would any law-abiding person be judged a racist simply because they want existing laws enforced? I am a mixture of 3 ethnic human races (that I know of). So because I obey the laws of the USA, I am a racist? A Nazi? A Klan member? Man, I better get my ass kicked.

Jon said...

Timmy, are you feeling guilty about something? I didn't accuse you of racism anywhere. I said you were being played by big money and big money has always used immigration as one of the many race cards it plays. You know what they say about the law? It forbids both the rich and the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the street and steal bread. Final word is yours bro'. I say my prayers and sleep like a baby.

Timmy said...

My final words, Jon, You know what they say... "I love you like my sister". I AM guilty about something: trying to communicate intelligent thought with a superior mentality. I'd still like to buy you a cold beer sometime...