President Obama and the United States Congress are now fighting over whether or not to restrict the Syrian refugees the President wants to bring into the nation. To those who wish to differentiate between religions or cultural groups in immigration policy, Obama said, “That’s shameful. That’s not American. That’s not who we are.”
Yet, prior to 1965, our immigration policy history had always been culturist. Our policies assumed we have a particular traditional majority culture – a Protestant one – and a right as well as a duty to protect and promote it. This article will describe our culturist immigration policy history in order to help us to understand the nature of our traditional culturist reasoning and policies. Not incidentally, it will also challenge Obama’s characterization of “who we are.”
The Puritans were very discriminatory and very culturist. And, herein there is a big misunderstanding. People say the Puritans came to the U.S. for religious freedom. That is a dangerous half-truth. The Puritans came here for their freedom to be stricter and more exclusive than any Christian group ever before. They only allowed Puritans into their areas and ostracized people who minutely diverged from their dogma. Their policies were very culturist; they acknowledged that they had a traditional majority culture and worked to protect it.