On this day: Xenophobia in America

This anti-Irish propaganda image was published in American magazine in Harper's Weekly on the 2nd of September, 1871. Created by famed German-born caricaturist Thomas Nast

This anti-Irish propaganda image was published in American magazine in Harper’s Weekly on the 2nd of September, 1871. Created by famed German-born caricaturist Thomas Nast, the man commonly credited with creating the modern-day image of Santa Claus, it was titled “The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things”.

On this day: Anti-Semitism in Italy

This is the cover of Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera from the 11th of November, 1938. The headline announces the country’s fascist government approving Italian Racial Laws, which discriminated against a number of groups and stripped Jews of their citizenship, barring them from many institutions.

While Italy didn’t have the significant Jewish population of some other areas of Europe, dictator Benito Mussolini fell into line with Adolf Hitler on racial policies. Italy aligned itself with Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Corriere_testata_1938 Front page of Corriere della Sera the day Italian racial laws were enacted by the Fascist regime, in 1938. Anti-Semistism in Italy. 1930s.

On this day: a Ku Klux Klan conviction in Alabama

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Murder victim Viola Liuzzo.

On the 3rd of December, 1965 a jury in the US southern state of Alabama convicted three Ku Klux Klan members in relation to the murder of white woman Viola Liuzzo.

A fourth man, who had been part of the crime but who worked for the FBI, was not convicted as he testified against the others.

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Liuzzo was helping as a driver for civil rights activists at the time of her murder. She was driving a car and escorting a black man, Leroy Moton, when the Klan members shot her through the window.

Moton was unhurt in the attack, which took place on the 25th of March.

viola-liuzzo

Immediately after the murder, authorities tried to cover up the facts, and the FBI attempted to destroy Liuzzo’s character in order to distract from one of their own being involved in the crime.

At the time of Liuzzo’s death she was thirty-nine years old, married, and the mother of five.

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated in Great Britain on the 5th of November. Below is an 1867 anti-Irish Guy Fawkes illustration from Punch magazine. Fenian refers to Irish nationalists.

punch_anti-irish_propaganda_1867_guy_fawkesanti-irish-propaganda-from-punch-magazine-published-in-december-1867

American magazine Harper’s Weekly ran a similar anti-Irish image, titled The Usual Irish Way of Doing Thingsin 1871.

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On this day: the Ku Klux Klan’s views on St Patrick’s Day

There were three movements of North America’s most infamous racist group, the Ku Klux Klan.

The second wave ran from around 1915 to 1944, and one of their aims was to “preserve American culture” by stopping European immigration (which was happening at a higher rate because of the two World Wars) into both the United States and Canada.

695px-KKK_-_St_Patricks_Day.In this 1927 cartoon the Ku Klux Klan chases the Roman Catholic Church, personified by St. Patrick, from the shores of America.

In this period, the US version of the KKK was supremely anti-Irish and anti-Italian (amongst other nationalities), and anti-Catholic. The Canadian version was concerned with trying to stop immigration from Eastern Europe, in an attempt to preserve Canada’s “British culture”.

800pxTheendkkkThe End Referring to the end of Catholic influence in the US. Klansmen Guardians of Liberty 1926.

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Because of these racist views, St Patrick’s Day was a target.

 

On this day: John Wayne died in 1979

John Wayne In The Undefeated

I want to say something about John Wayne’s career… but I just can’t.

On the 11th of June, this Oscar-winning right-wing extremist died of cancer at age seventy-two.

A man who turned down major film roles for not being ‘patriotic enough’ he was a bit of a, well, let’s say he was a tosser.

He might be remembered as an icon by many, but when I hear his name, I remember that he said things like this:

“I believe in white supremacy, until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people … I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from [the Native Americans] … Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”

Between him and Sean Connery, I really have to wonder what’s wrong with people. Why are we still idolising this type of person?