In 2017 IEHS scholars made history

Dec 19, 2017

In 2017, historians entered the fray.

Immigration and ethnic history society scholars, especially, have been called to bring historical thinking and analysis to policy issues and public debates about immigration, citizenship, borders, white supremacy, and vulnerable and marginalized communities. Not only do scholars who study immigration history have subject expertise to share that can help us navigate today’s crises, but as educators and humanists, we are also bringing evidence, critical thinking, and knowledge to debates where they are often missing, in a context of epistemological uncertainty.

In addition to teaching our courses, preparing new tools like the #immigrationsyllabus, tweeting, publishing books, and speaking to reporters, many of us are publishing for various public audiences.

Since June, a new venue for historians to do so is the Washington Post’s Made by History section. Below are links to the immigration and ethnic history-related pieces published this year, with MANY entries by IEHS scholars and others working on related issues.

Which ones were your favorites? Will you use any of these pieces in your teaching or advocacy?

For 50 years, keeping families together has been central to U.S. immigration policy. Now Trump wants to tear them apart. By Carly Goodman, December 17

More Americans have a positive view of Muslims today than two years ago. So why are anti-Muslim hate crimes on the rise? Outreach isn’t enough to overcome deep-seated anti-Muslim hostility. By Caleb Elfenbein December 14

Are humanitarians making the Rohingya crisis worse? The international community has bungled two Rohingya refugee crises already. Will they do better this time? By Katy Long December 4

The immigrants who saved America — and the rest of the free world Immigrants have played a role in some of America’s biggest triumphs. By David N. Schwartz December 2

Why calling Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ is a slur against all mixed-race Americans It’s part of the long history of erasing people of mixed heritage. By Martha S. Jones November 29

If we don’t confront the darkest chapters of our history, they will continue to haunt us We should learn from Italy’s mistake. By Robert A. Ventresca November 14

Election Day isn’t about counting votes. It’s about whose votes count. Reverse voter exclusion, restore democracy. By Jeremi Suri November 7

This program has saved thousands of lives. Now Trump is threatening to end it. How activists enacted the law — and how they can save it. By Carly Goodman November 6

The ugly history of the Pledge of Allegiance — and why it matters. Requiring displays of patriotism have often been tied to nativism and bigotry. By Christopher Petrella November 3

No white man left behind. Saving coal country has never been about energy. It’s been about rescuing white men. By Thomas Blake Earle October 27

Why the courts had to force the Trump administration to let a 17-year-old have an abortion. A 1974 case gave the antiabortion movement a new playbook to whittle away abortion rights for poor women. By Gillian Frank and Lauren Gutterman October 26

How the Reagan administration stoked fears of anti-white racism. The origins of the politics of “reverse discrimination.” By Justin Gomer and Christopher Petrella October 10

Columbus: Swashbuckling hero, bootstrapping immigrant or genocidal monster? The answer depends on your politics. By Seth Kimmel October 9

Decisions more than a century ago explain why the U.S. has failed Puerto Rico in its time of need. Fears about trade prompted the decision to make Puerto Rico a colony. By Marc-William Palen October 3

Kneeling players are showing their country tough love, not disrespect. They’re embracing a strain of civil religion that prods America to live up to its ideals. By Raymond Haberski Jr. and Christopher McKnight Nichols October 1

Most countries have given up their colonies. Why hasn’t America? Because politicians prioritize military might over individual rights. By David Vine September 28

Helping Latino kids succeed in the classroom doesn’t have to be an ideological war. Conservatives backed bilingual education until it became a progressive cause. By Natalia Mehlman Petrzela September 21

Germany tried extreme vetting during the Cold War. It failed to keep Germans safe. The dangers of interrogation and walls. By Keith Allen September 20

How white supremacy went global. The century-long effort to unite whites worldwide. By R. Joseph Parrott September 19

How American racism aids our adversaries. Racial violence and inequality are powerful weapons against American interests abroad. By Theodore R. Johnson September 17

Steve Bannon is wrong. The Catholic Church’s stance on immigration is about theology, not politics. For a century, the Church has grappled with developing a just theology of immigration. By Gráinne McEvoy September 14

What the aftermath of 9/11 can teach us about Trump’s border wall. Walls are about ownership and exclusion. By Elizabeth Greenspan September 11

Elaine Chao is sticking by President Trump. That shouldn’t be a surprise. She embraces a long strand of thinking that assimilation, not activism, is the best way to combat racism. By James Zarsadiaz September 7

A federal court has ruled blood cannot determine tribal citizenship. Here’s why that matters. The struggle over blood and belonging in American Indian communities. By Alaina E. Roberts September 7

Ending DACA isn’t about the rule of law. It’s about race. The federal government has long extended amnesty to white Americans. By Christopher Petrella September 6

The anti-Semitic origins of the war on ‘fake news’ By Victoria Saker Woeste September 5

How do you make 5,000 people disappear? Seventy-five years ago, 5,000 people disappeared from a California town — then were forgotten. By Jason Petrulis August 30

The racial strife that can blow in with a hurricane. By Andy Horowitz August 25

The core of Donald Trump’s immigration policy? Fear. Trump is using a tried-and-true tactic: scaring people into leaving. By Adam Goodman August 24

How New York City became the capital of the Jim Crow North. Racial injustice is not a regional sickness. It’s a national cancer. By Brian Purnell and Jeanne Theoharis August 23

Charlottesville showed that liberalism can’t defeat white supremacy. Only direct action can. It’s time to stop relying on markets and multiculturalism, and start engaging in real activism. By N. D. B. Connolly August 15

Instead of building a big, beautiful wall, we should rethink our idea of borders. By Keren Weitzberg August 11

Mass deportation isn’t just inhumane. It’s ineffective. Policymakers would be better off focusing on the underlying conditions that drive unauthorized immigration. By Julia G. Young July 18

In the 1980s, diversity meant more white immigrants. How undocumented Irish immigrants transformed the U.S. visa system. By Carly Goodman July 11

The 14th Amendment solved one citizenship crisis, but it created a new one. How birthright citizenship became a barrier for undocumented immigrants. By Martha S. Jones July 9

How the Russian Revolution turned refugees into political pawns. And what that means for today’s refugees. By Erik R. Scott July 6

Don’t count on the Supreme Court to stop Trump’s travel ban. Chinese exclusion exposes the limits of the courts’ power. By Katy Long July 5

A bullet can cross the border. Can the Constitution? The Supreme Court won’t say. The Supreme Court punts on Hernandez v. Mesa, leaving the Constitution lost in the borderlands. By Sarah A. Seo June 27


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