In August 1930, an editorial writer for the largest newspaper chain on Earth proclaimed: “THE FARMER rids his barn of rats, his hen-house of weasels … the government of the United States should clean house and get rid of undesirable human vermin.”
The writer went on to demand that Congress make citizenship harder to obtain, so the government would be protected “against the vicious and criminal, the incompetent and the unfit.”
The Trump administration’s endless, bigoted campaign against immigrants may seem shocking. But the rhetoric accompanying that campaign, down to the metaphors comparing immigrants to small, loathsome animals, is nothing new. Much ...