“Love it or Leave it:” The History of American Nativism

President Trump's “love it or leave it” rhetoric about America isn't anything new — his anti-immigrant tactic is deeply rooted in U.S. history.

Rallying cry for white supremacists

President Trump’s recent attacks fit into a long tradition in U.S. politics, where anti-immigrant nativism has long been used as a campaign tool. Founded in 1817, the American Colonization Society aimed to send free black Americans to Africa as an alternative to emancipation in the U.S. As the pace of immigration accelerated in the 1840s anti-immigration sentiments emerged in force, leading to the creation of the new anti-immigrant party. This hostile reaction extended toward the surge of immigrants from Asia, then to those from southern and eastern European. This resulted in the 1924 Immigration Act, which dramatically limited arrivals to the U.S. with quotas based on national origin. America, love it or leave it, is not a new sentiment nor a radical sentiment, and it certainly is not a racist sentiment. It should remind us of commonly held and enduring founding principles that ought to be uniting us as a free people.

According to Dr. Kendi, we’re seeing this again in 2019 with Donald Trump. “When people from Ireland came to the United States by the millions, in particularly in 1840, what rose in reaction to their immigration was most prominently the Know Nothing Party in the 19th, which was a party that was opposed to Catholics and Irish, and especially Irish-Catholics. And even though the party did not last, it became quite powerful in a short period of time, just as you have a party, a major political party today which in the United States which largely is empowered by this idea that there are certain people who are not American and those are people who we need to quote "send back".”

“America: Love it or leave it” made its way onto bumper stickers and popular songs. It had become rallying cry for white supremacists. In 1968, similar rhetoric helped boost Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign amid racial divisions and civil strife.


07/25/2019 11:58 AM
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  • عبدالرحمن ج.
    07/25/2019 12:04

    لعنك الله ياخنزير ياابن الكلب ياريت تخرس وتحط شحاطة في تمك تفو عليك يامسيلامه الكذاب يامعرص

  • Frank M.
    07/25/2019 12:24

    The fascist...declaring its un American to protest against a corrupt government and an immoral leader....go figure a coward with fake bone spurs refuses to serve in country...and now wants to take away the very basic rights in our bill of rights...he sounds and acts just hitler....hiding behind a flag that he would not serve under....and his supporters still support him....sick

  • John C.
    07/25/2019 12:27

    He's the most unhappy, he should leave first!

  • Rico M.
    07/25/2019 12:47

    2. Of the 4 are on their way out

  • Brut
    07/25/2019 14:14

    It's not just members of Congress being told to "go back" to their country — the racist comment is heard by people of color frequently in America.

  • Claudia T.
    07/25/2019 17:17

    If trump supporters don't like it that U.S. citizens have the right to criticize their president, they are free to move to a country where that kind of thing is illegal!!

  • Robert S.
    07/25/2019 19:32

    African Americans were imported, therefore no one can say make America white again, they brought us here, now chew on them facts

  • Rhianda
    07/26/2019 03:10

    What kind of love? World war? You have to learn about love first

  • Dougie B.
    07/26/2019 03:59

    The only people who is belong to American is the American Indian themselves NOT THE WHITE American

  • ريم ا.
    07/26/2019 05:31

    هلا ومرحبا

  • Martha C.
    07/26/2019 08:49

    Lock him up

  • Michael C.
    07/26/2019 12:59

    Maybe it’s time to retire to a civilized country where you will get excellent universal health care, low crime, cheaper housing, no death penalty, no school shootings, legal same sex marriage, safe and legal abortions and one of the longest life expectancies on the planet. Come to Madrid, Spain! We, at Move to Madrid, can help you realize this dream. How? Through the retirement residence program. We have lived in Spain for over 29 years and we will help you every step of the way from the hotel where you first stay, the apartment you rent or buy, finalizing your residence card and getting your universal health coverage. WhatsApp: 629148478 [email protected]

  • Joe S.
    07/26/2019 13:51

    Your president is an idiot...

  • Joe S.
    07/26/2019 13:52

    Sad part of the history of your country 😂😂😂😂

  • Timothy K.
    07/26/2019 15:02

    If y'all dont like it you can leave to .

  • Art S.
    07/26/2019 18:14

    Juan trump es un pinche pendejo kkkoward prick Juan 😅😄🤣😂

  • Paul S.
    07/26/2019 20:32

    Sad that white Americans are so scared. Insecure and scared people often spew hate.

  • Kevin R.
    07/27/2019 04:47

    Time to move forward not backwards

  • William C.
    07/27/2019 16:16

    What ever it takes for these rasist dumacrates to keep the country back and give Dumacrates the issue to keep there rasist words to keep the country in a bad life to keep the meaning of who we really are down the hate of those dumacrates is keeping the country in a horrible way never seen like this before they breed more hate and rasist words unreal

  • Joseph V.
    07/27/2019 17:37

    For a total eye opener, check out Professor Kendi’s book, “Stamped From The Beginning - a History of Racism in America”. The book dispels many misconceptions and illuminates the truth about our past, both the heroes and the villains.