Today is the 100th anniversary of the detonation of a bomb on Wall Street that killed 38 people & injured hundreds others. The perpetrators were never found, but the bombing would have both immediate & long consequences. 1/
For one thing, the bombing also would prove to be a boon to the career of an ambitious young FBI agent named J. Edgar Hoover, who at the time headed the DOJ’s so-called Radical Division. 2/
The bombing also would play into the anti-immigrant mood of the nation because almost immediately the search for a suspect turned to immigrants - Italian anarchists in particular but in the wake of the Russian Revolution also Jewish & other eastern European immigrants. 3/
Just four days after the bombing, the Washington Post published an incendiary editorial talking about how the bombing showed that “alien scum from the cesspools & sewers of the Old World” were destroying American democracy. 4/
The Post editorial in the wake of the Wall Street bombing also laminated the failure of efforts to restrict immigration but hoped that the next Congress would take action. 5/
A few months later, incoming vice president Calvin Coolidge joined the chorus for immigration restrictions in an article published in Good Housekeeping. Among his reasons was that “biological laws tell us certain divergent people will not mix or blend.” 6/
All this played right into the hands of Congressman Albert Johnson (R-WA), chair of the Immigration and Naturalization Committee and a notorious racist & anti-Semite, who had been pushing for immigration restrictions for some time. 7/
And in May 1921, Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act which not only cut immigration by more than 2/3 but for the first time imposed quotas for each country. The act passed with little dissent, winning 90 votes in the Senate & passing without a recorded vote in the House. 8/
Those quotas would cut immigration from Poland by 70% and from Italy by 82%. Though they were only temporary, they would be made permanent and even more restrictive in 1924 - marking a 45 period in which the US saw almost no immigration. 9/
Fyi, remnants of the bombing still can be seen on the side of the old J.P. Morgan building on Wall Street in lower Manhattan - a defiant J.P. Morgan refused to have them removed. 10/

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More from @mcpli

6 Aug
The experience of Texas in the last round of redistricting powerfully illustrates how Section 5’s pre-clearance requirements weren’t some mere outdated formality. A thread 🧵 1/ #fairmaps #VRA55
When Texas last drew maps in 2011, it was after a decade when the state saw its population increase by 4.3 million people - making it the fastest growing state in the nation. 2/3 of that growth was Latino & nearly 90% non-white. 2/ #fairmaps #VRA55
As a result of that explosive growth, Texas gained 4 new congressional seats - the most number of seats ever gained by a state covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. 3/ #fairmaps #VRA55
Read 15 tweets
11 Jul
Whatever can be said of Texas politics in 2020, the state is about to undergo an accelerating demographic shift that will see it add a net 630k non-white voters by 2022 and a net 1.3 million non-white voters by 2024. #txlege
By contrast, Texas will add only 142k additional white voters between now & 2022 and only 286k between now & 2024 (Texas’ white pop is growing too but older Texans are disproportionately white meaning that deaths offset much of white pop growth). #txlege 2/
Obviously, the potential ramifications are huge. Not only for Texas but the nation. For one thing, it would be *really* hard (and maybe impossible) for Republicans to put together a map to the White House without Texas. #txlege 3/
Read 6 tweets
8 Jul
This is obviously a very silly justification for reopening schools.
But it seems to me even the less silly ones (concerns about kids falling behind, etc) are rooted in a very American expectation that everything must happen exactly as it is supposed to happen. Not wrong but 1/
But also the sort of expectation you have if your country has blessed enough to have lived in peace and propoperity for generations. 2/
My mother missed a couple of years of formal education because of war or the threat of war and learned from home in fairly unstructured way - one year she spent a good part of the year reading Austen, Dickens, and Melville novels. 3/
Read 7 tweets
4 Jul
I’ve read or listened to the Declaration of Independence many times (I love the annual NPR version), but, like many people, I never paid particular attention to the litany of grievances in the back half. But boy, if you do . . . 1/
Let’s just say that among them are some we might call 👀 today. Take this one, for example, which deals with the British government’s refusal to allow the “population of these States” and the “new Appropriations of Lands.” 2/
What that one was about, in big part, was the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which declared all lands west of the Appalachians to be Crown lands and banned white settlement. 3/
Read 16 tweets
2 Jul
There are four emgerging swing states this cycle (AZ, GA, NC, and TX). But why each one is swing-y is a complicated story, involving an interlacing of demographic change with partisan shifts that differs quite a bit from state to state. 1/
One part of the story clearly is that the electorates of the four states got a lot less white over the course of last decade, with especially steep declines in Arizona and Texas. 2/
But out of the four, Texas is the furthest from being a battleground despite the fact that white voters make up the smallest share of the electorate among the four. There are two big reasons for that. 3/
Read 11 tweets
24 May
Bless his heart. He has no idea how mail ballots work (though he should since he votes by mail). There are a couple of key layers of security. 1/
First, on the claim that people could just “print thousands of forgeries,” you have to return mail ballots in an official envelope that is bar coded. This both provides a record that your vote was received and prevents duplicate voting. 2/
Second, in virtually all states, you have to sign the return envelope. Election officials can then match your signature to the one they have in their records. Here’s how the process works in Arizona. 3/
Read 9 tweets

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