As the Republican Party has made abundantly clear over the last number of years, one of its main platforms is racism. Obviously, in 2021, it’s hard to just come out and say, “Whites Only, Please,” though one group of GOP lawmakers has come extremely close, and by close we mean that it presumably won’t be long before they start doing team-building exercises that involve burning crosses and sporting white hoods around the Capitol.
Punchbowl News reports that an emerging “America First Caucus“ linked to representatives Louie Gohmert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Paul Gosar has been circulating material championing “a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.” What are “Anglo-Saxon traditions”? For starters, they apparently involve demonizing immigrants. As the AFC writes:
What, exactly, it means to demonstrate “respect for this nation’s culture” is unclear, but we’re pretty sure that line is code for “Speak English, motherfucker,” which we’d bet money Greene has screamed at more than one Uber driver.
Naturally, there’s a lot of other talk about immigrants stealing jobs from Americans—a racist lie conservatives like to tell their constituents—as well as the suggestion that all immigrants are criminals, despite the fact that native-born Americans are statistically more likely to commit crimes. Nevertheless, the group insists that “we cannot tarnish [our country’s greatness] by rewarding those who failed to follow our laws at the expense of those who have, which is why amnesty must be rejected in all forms. Additionally, we must abolish unnaturalized birthright citizenship, which actively encourages hostile interests to undermine the legitimacy of democratic self-governance by engaging in subversive ‘birth tourism’ and chain migration.” “Chain migration,” you may recall, is how former first lady Melania Trump’s parents were able to become U.S. citizens.
Elsewhere, the AFC suggests that teaching children about things like racism is “progressive indoctrination” that “has worked to actively undermine pride in America’s great history and is actively hostile to the civic and cultural assimilation necessary for a strong nation.” (We assume an acceptable curriculum would involve teaching kids that African people wanted to get on those ships, and that Native Americans don’t actually have a claim to the land that was stolen from them.) In the memo’s section on infrastructure, the group writes that “The America First Caucus will work towards an infrastructure that reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture, whereby public infrastructure must be utilitarian as well as stunningly, classically beautiful, befitting a world power and source of freedom.” The AFC is unsurprisingly extremely concerned about “election fraud,” and “is in support of nationwide systemic electoral reform,” i.e. disenfranchising Black people.
The term “Anglo-Saxon,” of course, refers to Germanic inhabitants of England who can trace their origins to people who started settling in the country in the 5th century. In other words, white people. Very, very white people. Where did the America First Caucus get its inspiration re preserving “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions” from? If we had to hazard a guess, from a group that came before it. Per the University of Richmond:
Speaking of Virginia, in 2017, Representative Gosar suggested that the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was a “false flag” operation “created by the left.” Meanwhile, Greene has famously suggested that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to serve in government and that the California wildfires were started by Jewish laser beams.
In a statement to Punchbowl, Nick Dyer, Greene’s communication director, said, “Capitol Hill is full of dirty backstabbing swamp creatures willing to leak gossip to borderline tabloids, like [Punchbowl News]. Be on the look out for a public release for the America First Caucus platform when it’s released publicly very soon.”
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