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Proposed Immigration Law Worse Tilan Present One, Says Thomas

March 3, 1924
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The worst feature of the proposed Johnson Immigration Bill is the revival of talk about Nordic Supremacy, according to Norman Thomas in an editorial written for labor papers. The editorial follows.

“The proposed immigration law is even worse than the law we have. One of its worst features is the revival of talk about Nordic supremacy. In the world we want, men and women could move about as freely between nations as they now move between states of our Union. Unfortunately, as things are, economic reasons, and especially different standards of living, making unrestricted immigration into the United States undesirable. But that fact does not justify laws which play upon and increase racial prejudice. The notion that there is a Nordic race, defined by type and skull, superior to all other races is false. A homogeneous people like the French, for instance, is, as scientists have demonstrated, made up of men of three main racial stocks, Mediterranean, Alpine, and Nordic, defined by three different shapes of skull. These races have absolutely amalgamated and it cannot be proved that the contribution of one or them to French life is superior to the others. Here in America a lot of people who claim to be Nordic are not Nordic and it does no make any difference whether they are or not. Preachers of Nordicie are a kind of highbrow Ku Klux Klan who try to disguise themselves in pseudo-scientific jargon instead of nightgowns. You can no more tell what is in a man’s skull by looking at its shape from the outside than you can tell what kind of chickens live in a hen house by looking at its roof, and that goes for races as well as individuals.

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