Wednesday, May 07, 2008

History Goes Viral: Teddy Roosevelt on Immigrants

This came across my email this week. It was urged that I pass it on to every American with a computer. I didn't... but I do share it with you.

'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'
- Theodore Roosevelt 1907
It is difficult to put our 2008 minds back to 1907. But we can try....

What are your thoughts on what Roosevelt is saying?

Free Advertising on my sister site USHistorySite.com on the Teddy Roosevelt page (for 1 year)for the best comment/interpretation of what Roosevelt is saying... I'll pick a winner in a week.







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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

definitely a man before his time.

Anonymous said...

definitely a man before his time.

Lori Stokes said...

I think that if all immigrants were indeed treated with "exact equality", and that discrimination was viewed by all as outrageous, we would at last be living up to our founding principles.

The alarm bells about English being replaced as our national language are always rung by politicians looking for cheap support. I don't think many Americans today are truly worried about that. I don't think Roosevelt was truly worried about that. It's just rhetoric to show that one is "tough" on immigration.

Basically, the first part of the speech would never be heard today, while the second part is constantly in our ears. It's a sad commentary on the state of the nation in 2008.

klkatz said...

thanks Lori, nice to have you on board... i think your thoughts are right on...and you're right, i'm not worried about any kind of national language.. nice blog. i'm looking forward to reading more.

and so far you're the leader for the free advertising.

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