The United States is known as a nation of immigrants. But it is also a nation of xenophobia. In this month’s book selection, America for Americans, author Erika Lee shows that an irrational fear, hatred, and hostility toward immigrants has been a defining feature of our nation from the colonial era to the Trump era. Benjamin Franklin ridiculed Germans for their “strange and foreign ways.” Americans’ anxiety over Irish Catholics turned xenophobia into a national political movement. Chinese immigrants were excluded, Japanese incarcerated, and Mexicans deported. Today, Americans fear Muslims, Latinos, and the so-called browning of America. Forcing us to confront this history, Lee explains how xenophobia works, why it has endured, and how it threatens America.
This month’s discussion is co-sponsored by Calvary’s Living Sanctuary team. There will be four sessions: this introductory session followed by three weekly small group discussions; days/times to be determined by the discussion facilitators (with input from the group).
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Note: It is recommended, but not required that you read the book.
As part of Calvary’s Racial Equity Initiative (REI) to recognize and to educate ourselves about systemic racism and to explore the unconscious bias in our own hearts and minds, we have launched a series of programs to help promote discussion and understanding. Reading and discussing books together is one form of education.