Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Other: Obama and Fear of the Alien

 “We have in the United States today hard-core, indigestible blocs which have not become integrated into the American way of life, but which, on the contrary are its deadly enemies. Today, as never before, untold millions are storming our gates for admission and those gates are cracking under the strain.”

Senator Pat McCarran 

When Donald Trump says he sent agents to Hawaii to investigate the authenticity of Barack Obama's birth certificate and "You wouldn't believe what they are finding." He was correct. I do not believe what Mr. Trump was implying and, in fact, Mr. Trump never released what they "found," presumably because it would have been too disturbing to the American psyche.

This is not a new phenomenon in American life. Ever since the first English colonists arrived, people who arrived earlier than the next wave of immigrants expressed alarm and resentment about those who followed.  So, in one era "No Irish Need Apply" signs were posted in store and factory windows. 

In fact, as current as Senator McCarran's remarks (above) may seem, they were made in 1952 in support of his "act" which set quotas for immigrants from various (undesirable) countries of origin.

Of course, President Barack Obama will always seem like an alien to some: He was born in Hawaii, our most remote state, to a Kenyan father, and he came of age in Chicago, a very American city, but Obama was working with the dispossessed and the flotsam of our society, and he grew up, in part, in Indonesia, on the far side of the world, consorting with Muslims.

But for me, oddly, he seems far more familiar and understandable than Mr. Trump and certainly I'm more comfortable with him than with George W. or Lindsay Graham,  Rick Walker or any of the Republican jackasses who bray and say such offensive things in virtually every utterance.  I could see sitting on the sea wall with Barack Obama,  eating lobster bisque from the Beach Plum and talking about things, the world, life, where I cannot imagine I'd have much to share with Trump, Graham, McConnell, Boehner, Limbaugh, or virtually any of the haters who comprise that part of American society who want to preserve America for the good, White, Christian people they think belong here and who they think should own this country. 


  1. Mad Dog,
    We love the idea of our country as a melting pot, yet each generation seems to think the recipe is finished and we should stop adding ingredients immediately..continuing to do so will be the end of life as we know it..except it never is..Have any of the current haters and fear mongers EVER been acquainted with a history book? Apparently not, because if they had they'd realize their hate and paranoia is nothing new..God forbid we be welcoming or try and make it easier for the new comers--nope, they should suffer if they come here so hopefully less of them will want to join us..a lovely line of thought, so Christian like..

    Can't imagine dining on the seawall with any of the Republicans you mentioned-least of all Trump..I know I would never be able to refrain from giving him a quick shove off the wall..oopsie..

  2. Ms. Maud,

    "We" do not all love the idea of the melting pot. Some of us feel threatened by it. In New York you heard: "We are NOT a melting pot; we are a salad bowl and the pieces don't blend,even if they live in the same space."
    I think that's changing now.
    As much as I've come to embrace diversity--and this is not where I came from but I've been able now to see its virtues--there is something to be said for the sense of center imparted from a certain level of homogeneity.
    The kids I see growing up in Hampton have a certain centered-ness to complement their insularity.
    As long as they don't fear or resent new comers, and realize there's a bigger world out there and America's great strength is its diversity we should be alright.

    Mad Dog