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Xenophobia in America
February 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The United States is known as a nation of immigrants. But as award-winning author and historian Erika Lee will discuss in our next colloquium, the US is also a nation of xenophobia. An irrational fear, hatred, and hostility toward immigrants has been a defining feature of our nation from the colonial era to the Trump era. Benjamin Franklin ridiculed Germans for their “strange and foreign ways.” Americans’ anxiety over Irish Catholics turned xenophobia into a national political movement. Chinese immigrants were excluded, Japanese incarcerated, and Mexicans deported. Today, Americans fear Muslims, Latinos, and the so-called browning of America. Drawing from her new book, America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States, Lee forces us to confront this history and explains how xenophobia works, why it has endured, and how it threatens America.