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Hullabaloo


Monday, May 14, 2018

 

Keep out. This means you.

by Tom Sullivan

Tevye the milkman? Golde? Go back to Russia. Tomi doesn't want you here.

If it's not prion disease eating away at them, the reactionary right must have lidocaine drips directly into their brain cases. The numbness towards immigrants on display in the land of “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses ..." is so bereft of self-awareness it is difficult to explain away as anything less.

When, see, that's exactly what this country is based on. Lahren was piling on in solidarity with comments White House chief of staff John Kelly made to NPR last week:

Let me step back and tell you that the vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people. They're not criminals. They're not MS-13. Some of them are not. But they're also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society. They're overwhelmingly rural people in the countries they come from – fourth, fifth, sixth grade educations are kind of the norm. They don't speak English, obviously that's a big thing. They don't speak English. They don't integrate well, they don't have skills.
Journalist and "passionate genealogist" Jennifer Mendelsohn has, as a public service, established Resistance Genealogy to provide thumbnail background checks of the families of Kelly and others on the right's immigrant-bashing squad. As for Kelly, Mendelsohn found:
Kelly’s paternal great-grandparents were both of Irish extraction. One paternal great-grandfather was a blacksmith, the other a railroad worker. His maternal great-grandparents were of Italian extraction. One maternal great-grandfather, John DeMarco, is listed in 1900 U.S. Census records as a day laborer who still did not speak English 18 years after coming to America. He did speak English by the time of the 1930 census, which recorded him as working as a fruit peddler in his late seventies, but not yet a citizen. His wife, Crescenza DeMarco, still had a “No” in the “Speaks English” category 37 years after her arrival.
Mendelsohn told CNN in January:
"I think the first person I worked on was Steve King," Mendelsohn says of the Iowa congressman who in March 2017 said "you cannot rebuild civilization with somebody else's babies."

"I kept thinking, 'This is ridiculous," she told CNN. "How do these people think they have a leg to stand on, looking down on immigrants when so many American people have an immigration story in their history?"

Sure enough, her research pointed her toward King's own immigrant history: His 4-year-old grandmother and her two young siblings arrived at Ellis Island in 1894.
Thanks to digitized census and newspaper records, a little time and some detective skills mean we all ought to think twice before lobbing stones, Tomi Lahren. Mendelsohn showed how it's done in having a peek into South Dakotan Lahren's glass house last September:
Tomi Lahren’s great-great-grandfather was indicted on two separate counts, for “willfully, unlawfully and knowingly” making a false affidavit in connection with a naturalization proceeding, and for forging a naturalization document, in violation of the Naturalization Act of June 29, 1906. The grand jurors accused him of swearing falsely to the date of his declaration, and of altering the original papers (“with a knife or steel eraser or other instrument unknown to the Grand Jurors”) to make it look like his declaration of intention to become a citizen had been executed in 1911 rather than 1909, apparently because he’d let too much time elapse before completing the naturalization process.

But – lucky for Tomi – despite the evidence, the trial jury apparently had sympathy for Mr. Dietrich and acquitted him of the charges. He went on to successfully become a citizen in 1926, ensuring that 90-odd years later, his great-great-grandaughter would be here to compare the Black Lives Matter movement to the KKK and to inadvertently admit that the right keeps hammering on Hillary’s emails to distract from the Russia investigation.
CNN asked Lahren for comment on that bit of family history but received none after running the story in January. In May, her views have not softened. Mendelsohn had more after Lahren's comments to Fox's Jesse Watters:

And Mike Pence and Stephen Miller.

"So, obviously, we all have stories like this in our families," says Mendelsohn, "It's quite common for immigrants to come and not be able speak English. But all of us speak English as their descendants, and that's the point." One slow learners and pot stirrers never seem to learn.

Philosopher (talk about an unmarketable skill) George Santayana emigrated here from Madrid in 1872 and is most famous for the saying rendered colloquially as "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it." Tomi? Meet Jorge.

Family lore says one of my ancestors stowed away aboard a lake freighter in Canada and got off in Milwaukee. He and his sons later captained ore boats on the Great Lakes and owned a steamship company in Chicago, filthy, no-good Irishmen.

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For The Win 2018 is ready for download. Request a copy of my county-level election mechanics primer at tom.bluecentury at gmail.