In a rant directed at rising Latina political star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her how last night, Fox News personality Laura Ingraham decried both illegal and legal immigrants in the United States for ruining the country that “we know and love.”
“In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” said Ingraham, while footage of immigrant laborers played in the background.
“Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people and they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like,” she went on. “From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now, much of this is related to both illegal and in some cases legal immigration that of course progressives love.”
Laura Ingraham: "The America we know and love doesn't exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don't like … this is related to both illegal and legal immigration" pic.twitter.com/s5G2qIY4W0
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) August 9, 2018
It isn’t hard to parse what Ingraham is saying here — America is becoming less white, and white people (like her) don’t like it.
It is one thing to go after illegal immigrants, but another to attack people who have come to the United States legally. Had Ingraham not been playing footage of Latino farm workers, she perhaps might be able to argue that she wasn’t specifying which immigrants she was referring to, but the implication is clear.
I am a legal immigrant living in the United States. I grew up in the UK and move to the US in my early twenties, and the debate surrounding immigration here has always baffled me. Given America is a nation of immigrants, I cannot for the life of me understand how any one ethnicity can claim they represent the ‘real America’ other than of course, those of Native American descent.
When Laura Ingraham and other white Americans talk about the America “that we know and love” that “doesn’t exist anymore,” I’m not sure exactly what she means. Is Laura Ingraham actually a Native American? When she goes after illegal immigrants on her show, is she talking about the white Europeans who were not invited to America and wiped out the indigenous populations here? Her name, blonde hair and white skin would indicate of course, that Ingraham is of European descent, and she is in fact, just racist.
The notion that white people somehow represent the ‘real America’ is a myth created and perpetuated by white people. This isn’t to dismiss white Americans or diminish their concerns, but the United States is not their country and it never has been. America’s history is complex, painful and unique, particularly when it comes to race. People like Laura Ingraham do not want to recognize this and would prefer their saccharine version of history written by and for those with all the power is repeated as truth. Ingraham would have you believe that white, European men created America and we must all live in their world forever.
The truth is, we don’t, and as much as Laura Ingraham hates it, she’s going to have to get used to a new society where her views aren’t just ridiculed, but ignored.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.