Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘I mean “ethnic origin”

What is your race; I mean “ethnic origin”?

Maybe you agree with me that this notion of race is stupid; that it had done more damage to mankind development than any other negative factors such as religious dogma or totalitarian ideologies.

Fact is, even by the turn of the 20th century, mankind was the product of incest in almost every region in the planet. Thus, scientifically, it is deleterious to boast that you are of a pure race or ethnic origin: all kinds of genetic afflictions are generated from close relative intermarriages...

Fact is, this romantic concept of race is still alive and kicking in “advanced nations“, though applied implicitly in every facet of everyday life.

Even in 1920, fascist Mussolini qualified “scientific racism” and anti-semitic ideologies as “Prussian science” and typical of “Germany sickness”.

Nazi Hitler retorted: “Mussolini fascism is kosher”. Do you recall Ellis Island and the slogan about welcoming the downtrodden and tired immigrants?

All foreign passengers disembarking in New York around 1921 had to fill an exhaustive form; a copy was to be kept in Manhattan at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

In 1921, an immigration law reserved quotas to foreigners asking for residency.

Priority in quotas were allotted to Nordic Europeans such as citizens from England, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Thus, “tanned” people of south Europe (such as France, Italy, and Spain) and citizens from Turkey, Greece, Syria, Egypt, and from Asia were allocated reduced quotas.

For excuses, it was impressed that the USA was haunted by revolutionary upheavals sweeping Europe, Russia, and the Orient.

Fact is, it was a period where race ideologies of superiority was reaching the zenith:  It is assumed that superior race could be assimilated easier and would improve this wretched multiracial America.

US Officers on board had explicit instructions on how to aid the “illiterate”, meaning those who could not communicate in English, filling the forms.

With frequent contacts of foreigners and acquired experience in estimating “racial differences“, officers on board had wide latitudes to help filling the complicated form of port of entry.  For example, there were questions like in column 9 on “Nationality”, question 10 on Race, the question 11 on place of birth, mother tongue, and so on.

Now, most immigrant were practically illiterate and had no idea how to contribute information.

Officers on board had to deal with answers such as “What do you mean by race?”  Is nationality not enough? Is mother tongue not enough?  How can I select from these 42 kinds of ethnic origins?

Race was the prime factor for classification in the forms, followed by the mother tongue as a supplementary clue.

Actually, Hitler demanded from his researchers of the Nuremberg racial laws to emulate the US eugenic measures and classifications schemes  that were already applied in the US since 1921.

How can this hapless immigrant know his race? Can a person from North Africa say he is Arab?

Can a Syrian from the Ottoman empire say he is Turk?

Can a person from Azerbaijan or the Caucasus say he is Mogul?

It turned out that your religion was considered a “solid basis” for estimating your race.  For example, Jews were classified as Hebrew.

In Arabic, Hebrew is said “Obrani” which means the one who crossed (Moses’s variety of tribes crossed the Sinai desert to the fertile land of Canaan or Palestine).  Are all Jews originally from the “crossing tribes”?

What about the Jews in the Caucasus, in Russia, in Eastern Europe, in North Africa, in cosmopolitan Constantinople (Istanbul) and the other Ottoman cities?

Come to think of it, why the US selected Hebrew to designate jews?  Had the Zionist movement decided before 1921 to enforce the archaic hebrew language on all jews immigrating to Palestine?  Most jews didn’t speak this poor archaic language and spoke rich slang of Arabic, Russian, and German.  For example, Maimonides, the most respected jew from the Andalusia period in the 12th century ,interpreted the Talmud in Arabic.  Thus, why adopt an outmoded language when you had a very rich language to applying?

During Nazi ascendancy in 1933, many immigrants living in the “Teutonic vital space” felt so despaired that they wrote “How may I prove my Aryan origin that requires gathering documents on three generations in my genealogy? Could you please refer me to a “competent anthropologist” so that he may clinically examine me and thus, scientifically demonstrate that I am Aryan?”  

Yes, they needed to be confirmed scientifically as Aryan, as the US wanted to in order to be American resident.




June 2023

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