Not Just “A Nation of Immigrants”

(Late-night thoughts about political rhetoric copied from my Facebook status)

I know that the statement “America is a nation of immigrants” is supposed to promote inclusion and diversity, especially in response to anti-immigrant sentiment, but can we take a minute to think about who that excludes? Because some Americans are descended from people who:

a) Were here before European immigrants showed up or

b) Were forcibly brought as slaves (calling that “immigration” seems grossly misrepresentative, if not inaccurate).

This might be semantic nitpicking, but can we talk about the value of immigration while remembering that the US has never been *only* a nation of immigrants?


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