American white supremacist groups have a long and ugly history of using
anxieties over immigration as a recruitment tool. It's happening again,
with a vengeance.
CNN pundit Lou Dobbs has made himself a "specialist" in channeling
nativist, nationalist and even white supremacist rhetoric.
The Minutemen have been transformed from an extremist "citizen border
patrol" to part of the neocon establishment. Has their leader sold out,
or bought in?
American history is marked by waves of immigrants--from Germans in the
eighteenth century to Mexicans in the twenty-first--and by nativist
backlashes against them.
Welcome to Nashville, Tennessee, the unlikely symbol of the biggest
American immigrant resettlement since the Industrial Revolution.
It's also the white-hot nexus of the new American nativism.
The nation must address the working-class anxieties underlying the anti-Hispanic sentiments now rising in Middle America--and Congress must pass an enlightened immigration bill that is
both sensible and humane.
With or without a comprehensive immigration bill, a working-class
immigrant Latino movement is emerging--allied with progressive
groups--that could reverse a tide of xenophobia and make significant
The vitality of the new Latino-led immigration movement could provide
the spark to jolt the civil rights movement out of its complacency and
create a shared notion of an imagined future.
Grassroots activists tap into the momentum of the immigrant rights
movement to bring blacks and Latinos together on shared concerns.
As they push for immigrants rights legislation--and brace for the
inevitable backlash--a diverse array of emerging leaders have their
eyes on a larger prize.