Woodrow Wilson, to immigrants

The following message from President Woodrow Wilson appeared in ‘Gateway to Citizenship’, a government handbook for immigrants being prepared for naturalization. The now-familiar tropes about ‘dreams’ and ‘dreamers’ was already being employed almost a hundred years ago:

Woodrow Wilson to immgrants_Gateway

Yes, the propaganda was already there: immigrants ‘enriching us’, and ‘realizing their dreams.’ But the last paragraph shows where it was headed: if America did not commit itself to perpetual ‘enrichment’ and ‘renewal’ by ever-more-disparate immigrants, then we would be a ‘narrow and prejudiced’ kind of ‘family’, and obviously being a family is not desirable; we have to be a people of no fixed genetics or culture or history, just an ever-changing, ever in flux, amorphous collection of people(s). Such is the melting pot; such is ‘civic nationalism’.

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