tv Roxanne Dunbar- Ortiz Not A Nation of Immigrants CSPAN September 19, 2021 11:01pm-12:12am EDT
mark sanford reflects on his political career and discusses the future of the republican party. find more information on your program guide, online at booktv.org. now, here's a story in roxanne dunbar-ortiz on the founding of america. >> peter maravelis here, hope to find all safe and well. the net and city lights live we are thrilled to back in the house our dearly beloved roxanne dunbar-ortiz celebrating the release of a new book. it is titled "not a nation of immigrants: settler colonialism, white supremacy, and a history of erasure and exclusion." it is published by a friend over at beacon press. city lights live is a virtual reading series the falls and the footsteps of her instar calendering the time of the defendant. we are beaming two from the unseeded ancestral grounds of -- where we continue to celebrate the works of authors we know and love with readings, discussions and forums moving into the fall
season. roxanne dunbar-ortiz is no stranger to city lights peewee both publisher books and also featured are infants at the store. she is a scholar and lifelong activist with an involvement in the international indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. she is the winner of the 2017 man and cultural freedom prize and visit author of numerous books including an indigenous people's history of the united states which is a recipient of the 2015 american book award come city lights recently published a book loaded a disarmament history of the second amendment. she makes her home in san francisco, and joining her tonight and conversation is another friend of city life. would like to have with us the former poet laureate of san francisco alejandro murguia. alejandro murguia is the author of numerous books which include the seven front, and this were called love published by city lights, and are both winners of the american book award. his nonfiction book the medicine
of memory highlight the mission district in the '70s during the nicaraguan solidarity movement. is a founding member of the first director of the mission cultural center and he was a founder of the rope dalton cultural brigade and co-editor of the wonderful anthology fall can't, poetry from central america. also published by city lights. currently his professor in latinx studies at san francisco state university, the six san francisco poet laureate and the first latino poet to hold that position. so before we begin i i would e to remind you all we were posting links in the chat function of your zoom dashboard with which you may purchase books there will be hosting q&a at the end the discussion so please do post comments and questions in the same location. so please join us now and giving a warm welcome to roxanne dunbar-ortiz and alejandro murguia. welcome to city lights live. >> great, thanks and thank you, peter for the introduction, and welcome everyone to this most fascinating and interesting
evening that i think was shed light on a lot of issues that are currently on our minds perhaps. and, of course, i want to welcome roxanne dunbar-ortiz, our guest artist today, and congratulate her on the publication of this really quite fascinating book. i've had a chance to take a peek at it and like i said it raises a lot of interesting questions. some want to start by asking roxanne, so why, why not an italian book? not a nation of immigrants. what inspired your desire to investigate that subject? >> yeah, , it kind of, it goes back to my activist and scholarly work with north american native people in
particular, and native scholars started, well, in the 1990s, analyzing what kind of colonialism the united states, which it doesn't call itself a colonial nation state, colonizer. they think they were colonized by the british, but actually they were just british citizens, you know, the wanted their own empire. so there's a difference. self several colonialism, it's not new. it's always been known as one of the main type of colonialism is a middleman, like garage in india that plays the role --
like the garage pics of basically administrators go to the colonies come so it's very easy to sort of kick them all out because there aren't that many of them. they don't really settle, raise their families for generations like south africa or new zealand or australia, argentina, paraguay and the united states in canada. so settler colonialism is really how the u.s. nationstate was founded. and immigration really started with the nearly 2 million irish, starving refugees in the 1840s. up until then everyone who came came to create a polity, to create the united states.
from the very beginning from 1607. but when the irish famine people came, it was already created. it was pretty much set in stone. they were reaching the pacific in 1848 taking half of mexico and sort of completing that vision that they had on independence was to reach the pacific and come to dominate the pacific and chinese trade. >> so your argument in a way is that it's not really a nation of immigrants but sort of economic expansionist class that later on actually turned against immigrants? >> well, it turns against immigrants but they built this industrial powerhouse, first of
all, in the cotton kingdom. that didn't really quite because slavery was legal, enslaved africans. they had this unpaid labor force they kept importing and reproducing slaves. so they didn't have a labor issue. but after the civil war when they really started building the ancestral northeast, they needed huge amounts of labor, and also for building the railroads. so this is when immigration, the first immigration law ever passed or ever mentioned, you know, emigration was 1883. and that was to exclude chinese who at the same time the builders of the railroad were actively recruiting and bringing, but they were contingent.
they didn't have citizenship status. they were not settlers so they were horribly treated and exploited. so that was the beginning of immigration, or exclusion, what i call basically exclusion. u.s. immigration has always been based on exclusion, but they did develop ways to americanize, some have called it like new orleans historian had irish became white. how they became white, started acting like white people, like white settlers and that it d how they became settlers, the americanization process. so i go through that in chapter seven which i call columbus, you know. basically they have something for everyone, for the italian immigrant they give them
columbus as their ancestor so he was first boundary even though he didn't land -- >> so another character, historical character that you do a really good job of kind of recasting his true history is someone that been in the news kind of lately, and i talked about alexander hamilton. so what's up with alexander hamilton? >> yeah, that's the first chapter of the book. it's basically about the founding of the united states, and his very important role. he's always portrayed as kind of a businessman and he owned slaves. he did slave trading. he married into one of the largest slave owning families can certainly the largest in new york, the shy of her family. so he did that come was a businessman -- scheidler. he was basically military.
he was washington's right-hand man. he was the general. he led armies. so there's a really military, militaristic content of the constitution that very rarely gets red but fortunately there's this historian law professor at stanford, greg a brass key, who has analyzed, very lucky to have had his work because i wouldn't have understood that much, that this concept of the fiscal military state which united states is, it's a state made for war and it makes sense not only endless war so we talk about now but there's no been a day in
u.s. history without war. never a day, no one has been able to show me that day if there was one. but most of those were in the 19th century were against native americans and mexicans. and they don't count, you know, apparently. >> part of your book and obviously deals with the question of mexico and the whole status but especially about the border, right, which for me anything for a lot of people has always been a zone of in one sense of conflict but then in another sense well, migration north and south and south and north have been part of the human dna on this hemisphere since there's been humans, right? i know you have your own sort of insight and perspective on the question of the board of a tell
us about what you're thinking that in the book regarding that. >> well, i might take this opportunity is if it's okay d an excerpt from that chapter. it's chapter eight, the border. it's just a short bit that sort of may be sets the stage for discussing about it. so donald trump began his bid for the presidency in july 2015 by criminalizing mexicans who attempt to migrate to the united states. they are bringing drugs, they are bringing crime, they are rapists which he repeated and expanded upon for the following 16 months of stadium rallies, promising to build the wall across the entire border, and answered by chance of build that wall.
however the steady stream of undocumented families with children as well is unaccompanied children crowded at the border crossing seeking asylum, were not mexican citizens. rather, desperate families and children from honduras, el salvador and guatemala. refugees from dysfunctional governments, drug gang violence, and lack of employment. people running north for their lives and the lives of their children. they were refugees from the chaos and wreckage of the violent 1980s u.s. counterinsurgency wars and coups in their countries to destroy democratic left movements that were supported by majorities of those populations. but indeed the refugees, mostly poor mestizos of el salvador and honduras, along with large
numbers of mayans from the guatemalan highlands were at the u.s.-mexico border. a search that begin in mass in 2014 during the obama administration, a fox news host tapping interviews mexican haiti are bonus he said that the asylum-seekers were from, quote, three mexican countries. [laughing] so in the years leading up to trump's campaign, a mexican immigrant population in the united states shrank by 300,000. by 2016 many more mexicans in the u.s. had returned to mexico than the numbers entering the united states. while the tension -- while the attention of undocumented mexicans -- detentions of undocumented mexicans were at a 40 year low.
texaco was no longer the top origin country among the most recent immigrants to the u.s. thanks to his mexican hating top aide stephen miller, donald trump was aware of the power of historical mexican hating come for attracting and building white nationalist base. miller grew up in the 1990s in the affluent white west side of santa monica, and oceanside enclave in los angeles county in the larger los angeles area. people of mexican heritage numbered 3.5 million out of 9 million population in los angeles. during miller's high school years that you, youth organization had an active presence, and he began nourishing a hatred for mexicans, and found mentors to
educating and white nationalist politics. at trump's stadium rallies, miller's ideology reverberated as trump conjured an invasion of animals, raving about the dangers of the salvadorans, ms-13 gang whose members, none of whom are mexican, comprise only 1% of all gang members in the entire united states. on sunday august 3, 2019, patrick, a 21-year-old resident of suburban dallas, texas, drove 634 miles to the walmart supercenter in el paso, and with a rifle, , a civilian version of ak-47, shot and killed 22 people and injured 23 more, targeting
mexicans. a mexican citizens were among the dead, while most of the others who were dead or injured were u.s. citizens of mexican descent. the self-identified mexican hating murderer wrote a manifesto that he posted on a white nationalist website more than an hour before he started shooting. the four page manifesto is titled the inconvenient truth. apparently referencing al gore's 2007 book and subsequent documentary film on inconvenient truth which one of catastrophic climate change. so under the cover of being concerned about the environment blaming what he called hispanic immigrants for polluting and causing overpopulation in the u.s., he revealed his true
motive riding, this attack is a response to the hispanic invasion of texas. they are the instigators, not me. i am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion. this is what white nationalists claim to be a program of white genocide. when u.s. americans talk with fear or hate about latinas, hispanics, or that there are too many of them, they are usually talking about mexican-americans, not cuban-americans or argentine americans. importantly, unlike other latin american nations there is a 200e united states and mexico. and there is an ancient connection between mexico and the southeast and southwest of
what is now the united states. with migrations back and forth, roads and trade, a large indigenous agrarian civilizations of what is now the united states in the southeast and southwest originator in central mexico centuries before european invasions. in the cherokee and muscogee and pueblo and migrations north, they carried the sacred corn food and the green dance with them. the people who became known while speaking mexican aztecs ultimately ruling that central mexico migrated from what is now the u.s. southwest, while the relatives who did not migrate, the hopi people, , still residen the original homeland. the language of the mexican people was widespread in new
mexico when the spanish, over several decades, explored it, then invaded it and occupied it in 1598. those centers of migrations and exchanges prior to european colonization live in the memories and stories of the indigenous people's north and south, who were cut off from one another, the spanish, then british and u.s. colloquialisms. although not enunciated by the mexican haters and u.s., this affinity of north and south threatens the legitimacy of federal colonialism and artificial border that the united states established and militarized but cannot control. mexican hating is a form of indian hating.
>> so, very powerful with that, roxanne. there's also i guess other questions that come to mind, in particular not so much the future, because we can't predict it, but what about the present, right? i know again title of your book is "not a nation of immigrants" which as an agent or you kind of dismantled that myth that we hear this welcoming inclusive nation, but perhaps that's not the case. we seen it more recently not just with donald trump and miller and all those xenophobic people, but even inadvertently
perhaps with the biden administration, or if i may say, raise the issue of kamala harris, , talking to central american diplomats and literally uttering the phrase do not, right? i'm sure it's like a title for your next book. [laughing] yeah, , i could've use that tit. i couldn't have imagined it though. it's every administration. obama was called the border in chief -- deporter-in-chief. he deported more people than trump or bush or i think that anyone ever has, , maybe everyoe put together. >> so what do you attribute this schizophrenia to? as you mentioned several times in your book and you just quoted obama, but john f. kennedy
quote, all these presidents and politicians, and it's become a standardized trope of the united states, right? we are a nation of immigrants, right? but what sort of place that more as a propaganda as opposed to something really concrete and specific? >> yeah, you know, i think it has a lot to do, for one thing, with the long, long centuries of african slavery, of having disposable labor, literally disposable labor. and then importing workers, many of them starving, some of them being oppressed from eastern europe and italy.
and then the contingency of chinese workers that is, i think i would say the united states is touted as the first capitalist state, the first capitalist nationstate founded as such and embedded in the constitution. so we know, i mean, it's getting worse and worse and it's so obvious now that the labor is, the race to the bottom for cheap labor has a lot to do with that demonization of immigrants. because they are recruited and then they are made contingent. like all the silicon valley near us. most of them are on pieces they could be kicked out. they were. they were deported, the muslims,
when trump was deporting muslims. they are very necessary now in the technological world but they are very contingent. it creates a large, even a majority, population that has to be obedient in some ways and accept whatever is given to them. because often they come from countries where, you know, there is violence or poverty. they are usually sending i think i have the statistics in the conclusion, but i was really shocked to know that the remittances, i knew about remittances to mexico of course, that's very important to the philippines, but all of africa, that the remittances from the united states of the african immigrants to the united states, you know, not black people
descended from slavery but immigrants, is much more than the gdp of those countries. they are totally dependent and that makes him contingent, too, because it's not just them individuals, but whole extended families. >> so -- >> bit makes for a very weak population of really expressing, you know, when they kept saying oh, latinos started voting for trump. i think they try to maneuver however they can, you know, contingent people to be safe and for the families to be safe. >> for some countries like, take haiti, for instance, where the average salary before the earthquake was $90 a month, an immigrant sending $100 a month or $50 a month to haiti is like
practically doubling the income of that country. but also bringing up kd, notice that we have come a new you aware of, different immigration policies, right? if you're a cuban, well then you're welcome to come but if you're a haitian, then you have to go back, right? and if you're a salvador you and you get thrown in a concentration camp, right? that again if you're a cuban you get financial aid. you get assistance in getting housing and perhaps getting a business started. you are treated in a completely different manner. so even the question of immigration or migration or asylum is problematic, how we approach it. >> yeah, it's totally, you remember in central america the interventions in central america, how they welcomed, they were fighting the culture war so they welcomed in the immigrants, any asylum-seekers from
nicaragua. because that made nicaragua look bad. >> right. >> but it would know about any salvadorans and hondurans and guatemalans who are suffering genocide in guatemala, would not allow the in because they were friendly governments to the united states. >> so ultimately, perhaps from your perspective having just intensely researched this topic, right, and to top of that's going to be on the table for a long, long time and an issue in coming elections, right? i guess perhaps for the foreseeable future, and perhaps from a altruistic or humanistic point of view, , without being o altruistic somewhat practical, what is the solution to a complex question like immigration and, of course, wrap
up with the question of asylum, right? and also the burdens placed on the home countries, right? like to see breast in a turkey or greece, right? where humanitarian crises are caused by refugees and the refugee floods are caused by wars or do civilization of these countries economically, politically or militarily. so what is going to be the solution for a country like the united states that is kind of like the final where everyone wants to come? ..
>> so, you know, we the people of the united states allow ourselves not to be aware of any of these sort of ugly things that we might be able to do something about, you know, if we put our minds to it. i think there's never really been an antiwar movement in the united states. some things claim to be antiwar but there was an antivietnam, a war. but it was clear afterwards that -- that didn't mean, you know, don't covert invasions of central america or what they were doing in afghanistan in the 1980's. it doesn't just start -- so
immigration and asylum seeking, almost anyone who wants to come to the united states is economic, it's not -- i don't think it is really all because it's such a great place. it is a place where you can be free to sleep under a bridge. >> right. >> that you can be free of political prosecution as long as you're apolitical and stay out of things. but, you know, i thought i would mention for people who don't know where does this nation of immigrants comes from is a mythology. i thought that it was something that people went by that was a
saying but created in 1958, it was created by john f. kennedy notably the first child of immigrants to run for the presidency, also the first catholic. i think it was partially a piece of propaganda to support his upcoming presidential campaign. he was a senator. it's a book. he published a book as a best seller. it's always been a best seller. 40 different revisions of it and different introductions you can look at amazon and whoever introduces it and it's a piece of propaganda. >> fairly recent on top of that. >> yeah. >> yeah.
wow. >> when i was raving against the termination of immigrants and in 2005i wrote -- i call it a rant but monthly review calls it a blog in which i said this is not -- stop saying this is the nation of immigrants. but i had no idea that it was invented by john f. kennedy. it was just, you know, that it -- it covers colonialism and makes it looks like it's this wonderful country that most immigrants who have come since the irish refugees have not come to take land, you know, that's a distinct difference between settlers and immigrants is land. so they come for jobs, generally, you know, they come for jobs or to start a business but usually in urban areas and
even if in towns, they don't come to be ranchers, a bunch of land. you touch upon that in your book. >> the united states expanded, et cetera, et cetera. i think you put almost brutal touch to how aggressive and violent this quest for land and expansion which wasn't as you point out, not immigrant based at all but settler, capitalists, the state which is nice, right, that's even better than the industrial military because it's all about money, right? >> yeah. it's about money. it's a capitalist and it's
interesting because that makes it almost like a giant corporation. >> yeah. >> sort of handing out to smaller corporations. i mean, you would certainly have say exxon is a small corporation compared to the united states government, but it operates almost like -- operates almost like a corporation so i keep trying to get democracy out of that but i don't think it has hardly anything to do with democracy or even republicanism, you know, the old, you know, in the political science in terms of the republican party. so it's a -- so distant and the money involved in getting elected to office and so forth, so i think at the urban level sometimes cities, sometimes, you
know, can create a form of democracy. we seem to have a little bit more of it here in san francisco than -- there's almost no democracy. >> yes. >> so given final or an impression what did you as a writer takeaway from doing this research and working on this. how long did it take you by the way to -- >> well, it was interesting because i had had the contract for the book for 3 years and i was traveling a lot still with my indigenous people's history of the united states and giving a lot of talks around the country and i enjoyed that because i'm retired from teaching and a lot of it was university students, you know, and without having to grade papers or anything, i got to do
the fun stuff of teaching and, of course, they were shut down in march 17th, 2020. after about a month, trying to figure out what to do being all isolated and everything, i said, oh, i have a book contract, i better get to work on this book, you know, no excuse now. so basically i wrote it between may and december of last year. i worked 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. i always took sundays off. >> that's good. read the sunday paper and i was totally, it kept me sane, i think, because that was leading up to the election and then, you
know, the trump, i was able to tune that out because there was nothing i could do about it. but it did have a big effect on me that i did do -- i had done quite a bit of research already. you know, i had set up the whole thing. i knew exactly, i had the chapters outlined but one thing that really amazed me was how much research material is accessible online now. i've always gone to the library, you know, and done work, but iti was really impressed with that that i could find something that i needed so i found a lot of great literature and still coming out on immigration and also the black lives matter
protest across the country were taking place. the statute is coming down. so i would -- we are working into my narrative, you know, because i had ended up doing a whole chapter on columbus but it did affect it and i think the other thing that really -- that really made -- made a difference in how i constructed the book. you know, i probably would have dealt with chinese immigration, if you can call it immigration even. very differently had it not been for the attacks on chinese
taking place and all asians because, you know, people knew you could tell the difference between chinese and a thai and vietnamese and japan, but it was directed at chinese wuhan trump inspired, wuhan flu so i ended up, longest character in the book is on chinese exclusion. and it's called yellow peril, you know, so it goes back to marco polo. it is so deep in the west, the mistrust for china. so and you see the chinese bashing even on the left, you know, china is going to take over, you know, they are building these roads, you know, so they can get the military. that's exactly the language of marco polo in the 12th century.
these people are well organized. they could form armies and come and take over europe. that was probably the most important original discovery i made and it really had to do with what was happening, the attacks on chinese and we live here in san francisco, our population is 50% chinese. i live in new chinatown. so i don't see this even though some of these incidents did happen in san francisco, i feel very comfortable with the best neighbors i've ever had, you know, chinese neighbors. so i hadn't deeply enough, when i started the book as i got into that research that was really
profound to me, the listening roots of that and how difficult it is going to be with it. >> u.s. has more ships in the south china sea pointed at china. >> yeah. and i was going to add something about, so in one way this question is ancient and did its precedent and evolved a lot about the identity and the constant changing face of the united states because show that more and more people are
multiracial. maybe a nation of immigrants in that sense, it'll be from the future generations that are, in fact, multinational or international. sort of confirm the fear of the white nationalist that that would? >> of course, aye had generations of students teaching and then talking to, you know, traveling and talking and then this new -- watching this new young generation protesting last year, it gives me hope in the future. i find that when i don't go out and talking and interacting with young people i tend to get more pessimistic, that was a lovely thing about the black lives matter led protest is that i could let know what is going on and it gave me hope because,
yes, they accept each other, they know all their roots, you know, it's not like they become hamoginized. i'm black and nigerian. and they, you know, they -- but they also have relations with each other this i think we almost couldn't in your generation imagine. as experienced in nicaragua, the revolution that warmth and, you know, friendship and community but they seem to have it. >> yes. >> it comes from those rule child abuser that they are made
of. comments -- where is peter? there is peter. >> we have quite a bit. i'm not sure how many we will be able to get around to but very engaged audience tonight. could you share your thoughts and developing an internationalist revolutionary analyst with emphasize on indigenous nations. >> yeah, i do think that it's -- i can't speak for, you know, every country where indigenous peoples are -- certainly we see it very importantly in bolivia and perú, ecuador. but in the united states and canada and especially let's talk
about the united states that people, not every single one but in general made people who know their own history have been brought up in their own culture and know that oral history of their experience was the united states. the only people that know the true history of the united states. descendants of enslaved africans know like in 90% of really important segment of it. in time and -- and the economy but in terms of taking conquest and taking the continent, this was a 100 years war. the revolution itself where they were fighting mostly native
people. they were -- with the northwest ordinance laying out how to -- how to conquer the continent to conquer northwest territory and the ohio valley became 5 different states of mid western states and then to go on. so they had this vision and carried it out methodically in this hundred year's war that ended symbolically in 1890 massacre of the wounded knee refugees trying to turn themselves in to the government unarmed and that was the signal of the end of armed resistance by native peoples when they were then put in reservations. so i do believe and, of course,
i know i taught native american studies and i know i have my doctorate in history but i decided that probably right after wounded knee decided that i would -- i understood, you know, that you can't really understand the united states without understanding the experience of native people. so i do believe in the united states in particular even though native people are a tinny minority, they have a significant land base that can be expanded, for instance, to be all of the national forest, everything that deb haaland is now in charge of in the department of interior was land
taken by the federal government without treaties and should be restored to the appropriate native nation. and including the national parks which were the most sacred places for native people. why wouldn't they be yosemite, grand canyon sites, so this idea of land back is very important because i think mostly people who think about changing the united states, you know, progressive people want more democracy and more that is mostly urban, urban people and they don't understand the importance of the land that even today george washington the real
estate man, even today real estate is still the main basic commodity. we could see that in 2007 and 2008, that was a crash of the real estate market. so land is central in the united states so historian scholars, activists i know outside of native scholars activists and just ordinary people know that, you know, and that knowledge is so important to spread and native scholars -- there's a really large body of literature now when i wrote an indigenous people's history of the united states there was a lot. i couldn't have written the book in the year 2000 because -- in
1970 there were 3 native americans with ph.d's, three. now there are hundreds and hundreds if not thousands. and makes a difference, so they are, you know, harvard teaching history now. they're having an effect. so i think it's very important to understand that to have real change in the united states real change that is also necessary for humanity is going to even survive or living mammals of any kind are going to survive the climate catastrophe that it's really important that people acknowledge and recognize and
listen to, follow this native leadership. >> i have a comment, how would you address claim that creating these identity political movements even if indigenous is just creating a new property for a group of new to use against the larger whole of the working class? >> yeah, you know, i think there's confusion about identity, so-called identity politics that i think her main point is that native people, our nations, our policies, they come
the reading. so -- but i do think that african-american identity or descendants, you know, descendants of enslaved people have a particular -- a particularity that goes beyond just skin color, being black because that's an intergenerational trauma. it's not the same as black -- an african immigrant or even haitian, as poor as haitians are, they have the confidence, they made the first actual revolution in the world. people's revolution,
decolonization in the early 19th century. so as much as the united states tries to destroy haiti and destroy inspirational that comes from that, there's self-confidence in haitians and jamaicans, trinidadians, they have their own state but descendants of enslaved africans in the united states do not have their own state and i think this is a particular issue that is sort of, you know, and i think it's reduced to color, color lines and that isn't, you know, that isn't very productive for actually bringing about change even though i think that
african-americans try constantly to make the point, you know, but how that's too much to handle for a lot of people, you know, is to deal with that. i think in the united states being as it is a corporation people tend to incorporate themselves, you know, whether you can call it communities but sometimes pretty artificial and i'm not sure that's a root problem but you know, manifestation issues we have to deal with. >> we have time maybe for one more logan comments it seems that the myth of quote, unquote, nation of immigrants is primarily about, quote, becoming
white as you also mentioned. how do people of color eventually become included or not in the myth. they are particularly thinking about how some multiculturallistic approaches to history pushed the narrative of immigration? >> yeah, it was really interesting when the civil rights movement became cool, you know, especially with black power but in the 50's and 60's suddenly all of the immigrant groups that had tried so hard to americanize and not to be hyphenated people were hyphenating themselves. they tried so hard to become white and suddenly they wanted to reclaim, you know, their ethnicity so not to be white.
so that was one thing but i think that -- that i really -- i think the amount of effort that went in especially by theodore roosevelt before, during and after his presidency in americanizing, he was a terrible racist. he thought only, only anglo-saxons, germanic, he didn't think scotts were pure bread, he was a eugenist. eugenics. that's the worse and, of course,
black people were off the charts as well. they had problems with dark italians because they mostly came from sicily or southern europe, people were darker, horrible racism against them and how to americanize them when the whole columbus myth, 400-year anniversary of columbus in 1892. identifying italianness when most of the italian immigrants came they came from, you know, districts italian nationalism wasn't that much and millions came and went back, they came to make money and then go buy a piece of land back home.
but -- but really working on them between the catholic church it also reformed the catholic church is very peculiar in the world with this america. the knights of columbus which was found by irish catholic, but it was mainly then picked up by -- by italian immigrants. so, yeah -- >> let me add something in part to that question potentially asked, right. and i think before and it's correct that before the process of assimilation was that you became anglo, you became white. nowadays i think the process of simulation is going the other way, right?
so, for example, the proliferation of ethnic food, for example, right? you didn't find that 50 years ago or even 30 years ago, right, or even how little words into our language, right, from japanese or from spanish and especially, right, so that the united states, hope from my perspective is that the united states is becoming more multicultural anyway so the best thing is to embrace that multiculturalism so that everybody speaks a little bit of spanish and maybe a little bit of a nation language and maybe a little bit of italian and we all become more internationalists in that sense instead of strict nationalism that everybody both the left and the right wants to
force you into which is what i don't believe in at all. forgive me, but i'm not partial to borders of countries which i find to be a totally 18th century construct, that was a big deal then but nowadays internationalist sort of society, notice all the countries in silicon valley they call themselves multinationals for a reason, they don't respect borders, they don't have borders, their flag and their county is the dollar and people like ourselves that are always told oh, no, you have to be a patriot of the country, you to defend the borders of the country and you have to have turf like a gang banker
some -- banger. why? we should all be able to cross the border in that sense? that would truly solve the problem of immigration. >> yeah, i think the european union -- >> exactly. >> that's positive. other marxists who started but all growing the same thing, sugar, instead of diversifying and exchanging with each other, you know, and the united states -- mentor of mine in geneva, she
really nailed it at one time during this southeast asian, you know, the united states. the united states intent on breaking up any kind of regional -- regional unity in exchange because capitalism, incorporatism wants to keep people separated from each other. >> exactly. >> that would play right into that when we play nationalism. of course, these quite nationalists that exist, growing up in rural oklahoma i've always known that they are there. they've been so empowered first by reagan. people forget about that. >> yeah. >> yeah. and trump, they are really a
force now to reckoned with. >> nobody says that we are nation of laws. now we are just nation of -- >> that's a good last word. [laughter] >> i think we will end it right there. [laughter] >> thank you, both so very much. it's been such an honor and always a pleasure to have both of you. >> thank you, everyone, thank all of you for coming and friends and people i don't know personally. i really appreciate it. my hope definitely contact me if you have questions about the book. i'm easy to find. reddirtfight.com it's my website. >> that was historian roxxane
dunbar ortiz. she will join us live on sunday october 3rd. to take your calls on the work on the native mesh and women's movements as well as reviews on america's founding. roxxane dunbar ortiz live on sunday at noon eastern. >> here is a look at some publishing industry news. democratic senator elizabeth warren of massachusetts and congressman adam schiff of california contend that amazon is promoting misinformation about the covid-19 vaccine through the company's book search tour on algorithm, senator warren and congressman shiv wrote letters to amazon chief executive andy with concerns and asked for review of algorithm n. her letter senator warren described how searches on staff for pandemic titles, quote, consistently highly ranked and tagged books about falsehood and covid-19 and
cures. representative schiff asserted assertedand amazon spokespersond today inquiry saying, quote, we are constantly evaluating the books we list to ensure they comply with our content guidelines and as additional service to customers at the top of relevant search results pages, we link to cdc advice on k covid and protection measures. also in the news stephanie grisham, aide to melania trump has written book about the white house, i will take your questions now will be released october 5th by harpercollins and according to reports is said to be critical of the former first lady. miss grisham resigned from her position after the white house following the capitol riot on
january 6th. in other news the national book foundation has announced that former librarian and author nancy pearl will be recipient of this year's literarian award. she introduced the idea of having the city's residents all read the same book and inspire the one book, one city programs established in locals across the country. she will be honored at the book awards in new york city on november 1st. and according to npd book scan, print book sales were down just over 5% for the weekending september 4th. book tv will continue to bring you new programs and publishing news and you can also watch all of our past programs any time at booktv.org.
♪ ♪ ♪ >> here is a look at some of the best-selling nonfiction books according to book people bookstore in austin, how trauma affects our brains and bodies in the body keeps the score. after that, in forget the alamo, authors brian burro and jason sanford look at what they called the battle of alamo.
next at travel guide by the late writer anthony bourdain. not a nation of immigrants in which historian roxxane dunbar ortiz rather a product of settler colonialism and slavery. dunbar ortiz will be our guest live on monthly call-in program in-depth sunday october 3rd. some of these authors have appeared on book tv and you can watch their programs any time at booktv.org. >> so our keynote speaker this afternoon for our event is john tamney. i'm sure many of you know his name. he's executive director of freedom work center for economic freedom but i think for our purposes more importantly i consider him maybe the best financial journalist in the united states today. he knows
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