Empire of Xenophobia: The Long Political History of Trump’s “Big, Beautiful” Wall
Saturday, May 9, 10am – 12pm (Eastern Time Zone)
NOTE: Changed from May 2 to May 9
It is often said that with the election of Donald Trump nativism was raised from the dead. After all, here was a president who organized his campaign around a rhetoric of unvarnished racism and xenophobia. Among his first acts on taking office was to block foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. But although his actions may often seem unprecedented, they are not as unusual as many people believe. This story doesn’t begin with Trump. For decades, Republicans and Democrats alike have employed xenophobic ideas and policies, declaring time and again that “illegal immigration” is a threat to the nation’s security, wellbeing, and future.
The profound forces of all-American nativism have, in fact, been pushing politics so far to the right over the last forty years that, for many people, Trump began to look reasonable. As Daniel Denvir argues in All-American Nativism, issues as diverse as austerity economics, free trade, mass incarceration, the drug war, the contours of the post 9/11 security state, and, yes, Donald Trump and the Alt-Right movement are united by the ideology of nativism, which binds together assorted anxieties and concerns into a ruthless political project.
Join this seminar with Daniel Denvir to discuss the long but often forgotten history that gave us Donald Trump, and what confronting this deep-seated nativist ideology might require.
Daniel Denvir is the host of “The Dig,” a Jacobin magazine podcast featuring in-depth left analysis and interviews. He is the author of All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It, which explains how decades—and even centuries—of American immigration politics helped make President Donald Trump a reality. He writes about politics, immigration, criminal justice, and more and is currently a fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Visit his personal website.
Reading: For this seminar, Daniel Denvir’s book All-American Nativism is available from Verso Press at a 50% discount, and the ebook is currently on sale for $2!
Registration: Please fill out this form to register. A Zoom link will be available on registration.
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Empire of Xenophobia
Replenishing the ruins…