Image credit: Gage SkidmoreOpinion: The Trump Administration and the Rise of Nativism in the US A Lenhardt March 17, 2017 Opinions, Politics Since President Trump’s inauguration, his administration has pushed hard to pass a number of controversial bills and executive orders. Examples include the now infamous travel bans, the second of which was temporarily blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii on Wednesday, and the contentious budget proposal announced earlier this week. Ignoring how one might feel on any of these issues for the moment, let’s focus on a disturbing trend that is underlying all of President Trump’s proposals: nativism. The last time nativism was popular in America was the 1920s, when the US government passed some “immigration reform” in the form of the Emergency Quota Act and the Immigration Act of 1924. These policies were based on racism and fear of other cultures, hidden under the guise that America was for Americans. During the same time period we see the Ku Klux Klan backing the nativist ideology that was common in the ’20s, citing some absurd white superiority argument. If we jump even further back to the mid 19th century, we get to the Know-Nothings, a party devoted to practicing religious discrimination because they were scared of the great influx of Catholic immigrants that was occurring at the time. Or perhaps consider the most infamous nativist movement: the National Socialist Party in Germany, better known as the Nazis. When we look back at the nativist movements of previous centuries, we see they are fraught with problematic ideologies and backed by some of the worst organizations in history. The most troubling thing is that in the past few years these trends have risen back into the spotlight, perhaps most recognizably in the Trump campaign, especially the crowds of thousands shouting to build a wall to keep immigrants out. The rhetoric that comes with these movements is no better: Trump has called immigrants rapists, criminals, and terrorists, spreading fear throughout the public of an invisible enemy; he has said that these people are stealing our jobs and wish the country nothing but harm. The most prominent example of this is the president’s executive order that bans travel from a handful of Muslim-majority countries. Even more troubling is that these sentiments are not only appearing in the US. The Brexit vote signified a hatred arising for immigrants in Europe, and bans on travel between European Union countries have been imposed due to mounting fear during the refugee crisis. In many European countries there have been political movements that expressed real animosity towards immigrants and have been spewing the same kind of dangerous rhetoric that we’ve seen in the US. We must be vigilant towards these changes and strive to be inclusive, because if we don’t, demagogues will try to distract us from the real enemy with fake nativist ones. We must promote inclusiveness because that is the only way we can show the greater public that they have nothing to fear. Love 0 000000 Data privacy The next click will forward you to a social network, where your IP address might be saved by the provider.