Italians

Two Mayors Potential 2020 Democratic Presidential Contenders: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti And Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

At least two Democrats who have served as Mayors of their cities are likely to enter the Democratic Presidential sweepstakes.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has spent his entire career in city government, serving on the LA City Council before his election as Mayor of the second largest city in 2013. He has had to deal with the issues facing nearly four million people, and has spent time in Iowa and New Hampshire, hinting of his plans to seek the Presidency. Garcetti has ties to the Jewish, Italian, and Mexican communities as he is ethnically related to all three groups.

Of course, California will also likely be the state that will contribute other potential nominees, including Senator Kamala Harris and Congressman Eric Swalwell, and potentially billionaire and liberal activist Tom Steyer, who has led the impeachment movement against Donald Trump.

Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu offers the rare case of a Southerner who might be able to gain some traction, having served as Mayor from 2010-2018, after earlier service as Lieutenant Governor of the state, and as a member of the state House of Representatives. He is seen as a moderate, in the vein of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton in the past, but most observers would see him as more likely to be a potential Vice Presidential running mate to help a more progressive Presidential nominee.

The odds of Garcetti lasting longer in the Presidential competition than Landrieu seems likely, but at this early point, there is no way to know what the political future holds.

Donald Trump, Fox News Channel, The Evangelical Right, And The “Caravan”

For nearly three years, since Donald Trump announced his Presidential candidacy on June 16, 2015, he has, every day, demeaned himself by his utterances and actions, more every day.

So has Fox News Channel, becoming a propaganda machine for Donald Trump.

And so has the Evangelical Right, which has demonstrated how much they can distort and manipulate the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

Hypocrisy and corruption and a mean spirit has dominated, but now, hard to believe, these three forces have joined together to lower themselves to an even more disgraceful level.

They have promoted the myth of a “caravan” of about 1200 people who are migrating through Mexico, and it is alleged, are about to “invade” the United States with their evil intent, consisting of intentions of rape, murder, and terrorism.

Who makes up this caravan, in reality?

Large number of young children, their mothers, many elderly people make up the bulk of the group, and they are poor and deprived, escaping violence, bloodshed, and fear for their own safety, wanting a better life!

This is often, historically, the reality of immigrants throughout American history, and also, world history, people who are striving for opportunity, a new life, and to avoid death.

How could ANYONE be against such people, who have done nothing wrong, except to be born and living in nations that are death traps for so many, with so much human suffering, that they wish to find “a promised land”?

This is the story of the Jewish people escaping Egypt; the story of Irish and Italians and Jews and Polish and other parts of Europe escaping to America; of Muslims escaping bloodshed and persecution in the Middle East and Africa in coming to Europe in recent years; of people in Central America migrating northward; and of the constant quest for freedom and opportunity and a chance to live, throughout the history of the world!

This is the “American Dream”, how the ancestors of Donald Trump came to our shores; how the ancestors of Joseph P. Kennedy came to our shores; how the ancestors of all of us came to our shores! America is the nation of all nations!

But now we have a President, a news channel, and a religious group who are rejecting the basic tenets of organized religion, and particularly of Christianity, totally rejecting common decency, common humanity, common compassion, for those who are poor, deprived, and facing persecution and death!

The so called Pro Life movement is a farce, and Fox News has no morals or ethics, and Donald Trump is a disgrace to the Presidency and to human behavior, willing to lie and distort for his own advancement. He has no concern for the American people, and has shown he has no consideration about the damage he is doing daily.

It cannot be too soon to see this cancer excised from the Oval Office!

Anti Immigrant Hysteria: 1840s-1850s; 1870s-1880s; 1920s-1940s And Now! Do We Ever Learn?

Part of the ugly side of the history of America is its record of nativism and anti immigrant hysteria.

In the 1840s and 1850s, it was anti Catholic hysteria against the Irish and the German immigrants fleeing from poverty and political turmoil.  The “American” or Know Nothing Party was formed, had some members in Congress, and had former President Millard Fillmore (Whig) win the state of Maryland (heavily Catholic) in the Electoral College in the Presidential Election of 1856.

In the 1870s and 1880s, it was anti Asian hysteria, mostly Chinese at the time, and often led by Irish who had forgotten the prejudice and discrimination they had faced in an earlier generation,and it led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, courageously vetoed by President Chester Alan Arthur but passed over his veto by a two thirds majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

In the 1920s through the Second World War in the 1940s, it was anti “new” immigration, to stop the massive wave of Catholics and Eastern European Jews from coming to America, as well as anti Japanese prejudice, replacing the Chinese who had already been banned from migration to America since 1882.

This led to the horrors of Italians, Jews, and other southern and eastern Europeans denied admission to America during the time of the rise and triumph of Fascism in Italy under Benito Mussolini and Nazism under Adolf Hitler in Germany.

The result was the Holocaust, which America could have worked against by admission of refugees, but just like now, it was Republicans, some Democrats, and conservatives who lobbied against children and women and old people being admitted, due to racism and nativism.

It also led to the forced movement of Japanese Americans into internment camps during the Second World War, as an hysterical reaction to Pearl Harbor being attacked by Japan.

In more recent decades, we have seen growing anti Hispanic and anti Latino discrimination, and now against Muslim and Arab refugees, as if we have learned nothing from our past.

America has been a beacon of hope in a difficult world, and we must not lose our image that the Statue of Liberty represents, so we must salute and applaud President Barack Obama for coming out forcefully against Republican Governors and members of Congress, who are demonstrating the ugliest side of the American experience once again!

“We Are Taking Mexico’s Problems”: The History Of American Immigration!

Donald Trump has become infamous for his racist, nativist statements about Mexican immigration and Mexico.

He tells us that “We are taking Mexico’s problems”!

The history of American immigration is that the United States has ALWAYS taken on the “problems” of other nations’ oppressed populations, with the image of America being the Statue of Liberty, that we welcome those who are denied economic opportunity, civil rights and civil liberties, and are trying to escape war in their homelands.

America is a land of immigrants, and not all of them have been “legal” or “documented”.

People have fled to the Unites States in desperation, to escape deprivation, crime, war, discrimination, prejudice, and hatred.

And each group that has come, there has been fear that some of those arriving might bring in crime, and a small percentage have done so.

But that does not mean that we should hold 98 percent of immigrants who are good people and just want a better life from coming in to America, as the land of opportunity.

If we had done that, our nation would not have been blessed with the major contributions made by millions of immigrants.

And for those who did not get special notice for their contributions, they were still law abiding citizens, bringing up their children to be Americans, and helping the economic growth of the American republic.

We had Irish gangs; Italian Mafia; Jewish gangsters; Chinese opium dealers; and bad elements from every ethnic and nationality group that has become part of the American fabric.

But the overwhelming positive accomplishments of America’s immigrants far outweigh the few cases of criminal elements, and we should not allow stereotyping of any immigrant group to be spread by hateful propaganda.

We have seen the discrimination and prejudice seen in the immigration laws in the 1920s against Jews, Italians, and others from post World War I Europe. We have seen the anti Oriental immigration laws against the Chinese in the 1880s and the Japanese in the 1920s; we have seen the riots and bloodshed against many different immigrant groups over time. We have seen the nativist movements that led to the Know Nothing Party in the 1850s, the anti Semitism of the 1930s and 1940s, and now the Islamophobia of the past decade.

The fact that we have Congressman Steve King of Iowa; former Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado; past Presidential contender Pat Buchanan; Islamophobe Pamela Geller; and a whole slew of right wing talk radio and Fox News Channel commentators who are nativists and racists, does not mean we should take it lying down.

We need to fight back vigorously against such hatemongers, and while we need to work on ending illegal immigration, we should welcome those who are here, and only deport those shown to be engaged in criminal conspiracies.

The Immigrant Children Of El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala And The History Of Children Escaping Persecution And Death!

Nativism in its most incendiary way is rearing its ugly head in regards to the mass migration of women and children, some of them babies, but all under adult age, who are fleeing persecution, bloodshed, and potential death in the unstable nations of Central America, some of the most violent nations on earth.

This is specifically the case of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, with about 90,000 expected to flee their nations, walking on foot, going through tough terrain, many drowning or being overcome by the elements otherwise, but all wanting a better, more secure existence in America.

But the hysteria has grown, that somehow, these women and children are involved in drug smuggling, or are future terrorists over the next generation, or other such ridiculous, hard hearted views of their plight.

One must not forget, however, that this kind of nativism is nothing new in America!

It was visited upon Jews, Italians, Irish, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, and migrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries over the long haul of American history!

This nation refused to open its borders to Jews wishing to escape Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, and very small numbers of children were ever allowed in, and many died in the Holocaust!

Nativism was also utilized against Vietnamese escaping the collapse of South Vietnam forty years ago, with many “Boat People” dying in the South China Sea or the Pacific Ocean, but others making it to America, of all ages.

Cubans escaping Fidel Castro, including many children in the Mariel Boat Lift in 1980, were seen as dangerous and should not be admitted, but eventually were, since they could not be returned to Cuba.

The attempts to bring some Iraqis and Afghans of Muslim religion to this country has been a long battle as well.

But we have a tendency to forget we are a nation of immigrants, and particularly in times of political, social, and economic turmoil, we are the last best hope of mankind to offer asylum!

So now, IF the families of these children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala can be reunited, then they may be returned to their host nations, but that should only be if their lives are not in danger, as to return them to certain death is unconscionable!

But IF the families cannot be reunited, sad as that may be, we have no realistic choice but to house, feed, and educate them, and give them the possibility of the “American Dream”!

If we simply reject these children and young mothers, we are losing the whole purpose of the American experiment, as expressed by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We cannot turn our back on these children and condemn them to death, particularly in a nation which claims to support life itself as a goal!

Supreme Court Bitterly Divided Over Possible Curbing Of Voting Rights Act: A Repeat Of The Compromise Of 1877 Abandonment Of African Americans!

It is clear that the Supreme Court is bitterly divided over the Voting Rights Act, which is hanging in the balance after the oral arguments this week, with Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan strongly challenging Justice Antonin Scalia, who said the act was a “racial entitlement”, which demonstrates that Scalia has no understanding of the history of the denial of voting rights, and the need to continue to monitor what those states that have discriminated are now doing.

The Republican Party abandoned African Americans on this day in 1877, when they agreed to the Compromise of 1877, making their candidate for President, Rutherford B. Hayes President, despite the clear cut lead of Democrat Samuel Tilden in popular votes. Part of the deal was for the GOP to stop being the party that had advanced civil rights through two laws during Reconstruction, the creation of the Freedmen’s Bureau, and the passage of three amendments to the Constitution.

The southern states went ahead and continued a policy of discrimination for the next ninety years on voting, and imposing Jim Crow segregation, and the GOP, the majority party until 1932, did nothing about it, due to the deal set up in the Compromise of 1877.

After ninety years, finally, voting rights, supposedly guaranteed under the 15th Amendment, but not enforced, were restored under the Voting Rights Act, but not before civil rights marchers were beaten up, such as Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, and others slaughtered in the name of promoting civil rights in the South.

But along comes Antonin Scalia, who conveniently forgets that even Jews, and also Italians such as himself, were lynched in the South in the near century in which African Americans were denied their basic rights, including voting.

And he wants the Court to become “activist”, when that is precisely what conservatives claim they hate about the Supreme Court. And so therefore, to hell with the overwhelming vote of the Congress to extend the Voting Rights act in 2006, and let’s wipe out all progress and return us to the states “deciding” if any group can vote, instead of “guaranteeing” the right to vote, the basic element of democracy!

So just as the Compromise of 1877 brought us a President who had NOT won the popular vote, and followed through on taking the GOP out of its civil rights activism, so now, two appointments of another President, George W. Bush, not elected by popular vote, and instead put in by a partisan Republican Court including Scalia, shall repeat history and deny Africans Americans the guarantee of the right to vote granted in the 15th Amendment in 1870!