Originally published 04/21/2013
Sarah Kendzior is an anthropologist who recently received her PhD from Washington University in St Louis.In 1901, a 28-year-old American named Leon Czolgosz assassinated US President William McKinley. Czolgosz was born in America, but he was of Polish descent. After McKinley died, the American media blamed Polish immigrants. They were outsiders, foreigners, with a suspicious religion - Catholicism - and strange last names.At a time when Eastern European immigrants were treated as inferior, Polish-Americans feared they would be punished as a group for the terrible actions of an individual. "We feel the pain which this sad occurrence caused, not only in America, but throughout the whole world. All people are mourning, and it is caused by a maniac who is of our nationality," a Polish-American newspaper wrote in an anguished editorial.
Originally published 04/21/2013
¡Ya Es Hora! March & Rally for Immigration Reform. Via Flickr.The big immigration debate is finally happening. The grand bargain, if there is one after the hysteria over the arrest of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will likely include a path to citizenship for “illegal” immigrants and tightened border security. What will remain unchanged in whatever deal is struck between Democrats and Republicans is the idea that citizenship as the prerequisite for rights. Citizenship, as political scientist Hannah Arendt wrote in 1951 in The Origins of Totalitarianism, is the “right to have rights.”
Originally published 04/18/2013
Lu Lingzi, from a Facebook photo.Cross-posted from Madmen of Chu."How happy it is to have friends come from afar." This line from the opening passage of the Confucian Analects greets one everywhere that tourists congregate in China. Despite its having become a marketing cliche, it still expresses a profound truth. Bridging the distance between people is a basic human act. It is what makes families from isolated individuals, communities from disparate families, nations from disconnected communities, and what makes peace possible in a divided world. That joy is today mixed with sorrow, as we have lost a friend who came from afar. Lu Lingzi, a young graduate student from the city of Shenyang in the northeastern province of Liaoning, China, was killed in Monday's attack in Boston.
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