‘Assimilate or Leave’ has Always Been U.S. Immigration Policy
The Democratic Left or DemLeft has denounced as racist Trump's recommendation that "the Squad" of four left-wing Members of Congress go back to where they (or their ancestors) came from if they do not like the United States. The DemLeft has doubled down on this accusation by defining the Squad as "women of color" even though Rashida Tlaib is no more a person of color than Donald Trump.
The truth is instead that the Democratic Left has put into practice advice misattributed to Joseph Goebbels: "Accuse the other side of that which you are guilty." The DemLeft is itself the real purveyor of divisive racial identity politics that undermine American Nationalism; the force that has held our country together for more than 240 years and has made the United States the greatest nation on earth.
American Nationalism is Inclusive of All Who Share Our Values
It is very easy to be an American Nationalist. We come in all colors so there is no "us" to look like, and we have freedom of religion so there is no "us" to pray like. You must however share our collective national values to be one of us. This is far from a new concept as shown by the Prussian reformer Johann Fichte's (1808) Addresses to the German Nation. Fichte "…did not divide man-kind into Germans and non-Germans, but rather into those who believed in the spontaneous originality and liberty of man and those who did not. The former, Fichte held, were Germans, no matter what their racial or political affiliation; the latter were not" (Koppel S. Pinson, Modern Germany; its History and Civilization).
American Nationalism is similarly inclusive of all who share our values, and it has zero tolerance for discrimination against any American's race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Theodore Roosevelt's 1894 essay on “True Americanism” elaborated of recent immigrants, "An immense number of them have become completely Americanized, and these stand on exactly the same plane as the descendants of any Puritan, Cavalier, or Knickerbocker among us, and do their full and honorable share of the nation’s work."
The proposition that people who do not like the United States should go back where they or their ancestors came from predates Donald Trump by almost 200 years. The “Annual Register” of 1820 said of Caucasian immigrants from German-speaking countries, "…if they cannot accommodate themselves to the moral, political, and physical state of this country, the Atlantic Ocean will always be open to them to return to their native countries." Theodore Roosevelt added of predominantly Caucasian immigrants, "It is an immense benefit to the European immigrant to change him into an American citizen. To bear the name of American is to bear the most honorable titles; and whoever does not so believe has no business to bear the name at all, and, if he comes from Europe, the sooner he goes back there the better." Donald Trump has therefore said nothing that has not been said many times before, and by some of our nation's most respected leaders.
Fichte's and Roosevelt's premise was therefore quite simple: anybody who shares our values is one of us, and those who do not share our values do not belong among us, except perhaps as temporary visitors. There are serious questions as to whether "the Squad" and other members of the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party share American values.
"The Squad" is Racially Divisive, Balkanizing, and Un-American
Let's start with Squad member Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) who said, "We don’t need any more brown faces that don’t want to be a brown voice. We don’t need any more black faces that don’t want to be a black voice.” If a white member of Congress said, "We don't need any more white faces that don't want to be a white voice," we would wonder where he kept his sheet and hood, and we would probably find them. Squad member Ilhan Omar added, "This is not going to be the country of white people." If a Caucasian member of Congress said, "This is not going to be the country of black people," we would expect and probably find a sheet and hood.
Theodore Roosevelt would have almost certainly opined that we don't need any faces of any color that don't want to be American voices. Those that want to be white, black, or brown voices should go back where they (or their ancestors) came from, and the white voices can take their sheets and hoods with them. A story by Robert A. Heinlein meanwhile features an African-American President of the United States who says, "A group calling itself La Raza had better mean the human race -- the whole human race -- or they'll get the same treatment from me as the Ku Klux Klan." This is exactly the treatment that any form of divisive racial identity politics -- Black nationalism, White nationalism, Nation of Islam, or La Raza -- deserves.
Squad member Rashida Tlaib tweeted: "When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free?" Tlaib's Palestinian people just to want to be free to abuse and terrorize Jews, Christians, Muslims who do not share Hamas' depraved ideology, women and LGBT people, but the bottom line is that if Tlaib considers herself a Palestinian, she should follow Theodore Roosevelt's advice, renounce her American citizenship, and move to "Palestine." Tlaib also argued "…that Palestinians are not responsible for terrorism or vitriol, even as she has lambasted the president’s use of words and called Israel a white-supremacist nation." If Tlaib's Palestinian people are not responsible, then who launched all those rockets and arson balloons at Israel -- the bogeyman?
Ilhan Omar tweeted, "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel" while adding, "It's all about the Benjamins ($100 bills), baby" -- an obvious reference to Jews and money. Omar apologized for this remark but is apparently sorry only that she got caught because she later joined fellow Squad members Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez to support boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. BDS is nothing more than a way to support Hamas without violating laws against providing direct material support to a terrorist organization. Israel, and not Tlaib's Palestinian people, shares American values on the rights and dignity of women, LGBT people, and people of other religions. Omar also equated the Somali deaths during the battle of Mogadishu to those of American soldiers.
These issues have nothing to do with the color of "the Squad's" skins (at least one of which is Caucasian) and everything to do with the content of its character. Theodore Roosevelt and the author of the material in the Annual Register of 1820 would have probably reached the same conclusion as President Trump.
Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history, and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.