June 30, 2022


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Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: “The US has never been ‘a nation of immigrants’”

2 min read

In her latest book, Not a Nation of Immigrants: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion, world-renowned scholar and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes, “The United States has never been ‘a nation of immigrants.’ It has always been a settler state with a core of descendents from the original colonial settlers, that is, primarily Anglo-Saxons, Scots Irish, and German. The vortex of settler colonialism sucked immigrants through a kind of seasoning process of Americanization, not as rigid and organized as the ‘seasoning’ of Africans, which rendered them into human commodities, but effective nonetheless.”

The mythology of the United States as “a nation of immigrants” has a complex political history. And studying the history of how and why this mythology emerged can actually tell us a lot more about America than the myth itself. In this extensive and wide-ranging conversation, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez and Dunbar-Ortiz trace the history of this particular national mythology and the political functions it serves in the larger project of US settler colonialism, economic domination, and military imperialism.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma in a tenant farming family. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than 4 decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. She is the winner of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize, and she has authored and edited many books, including An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, which won the 2015 American Book Award, and Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment.

Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/a-dangerous-myth-the-us-has-never-been-a-nation-of-immigrants

Pre-Production/Studio/Post Production: Cameron Granadino

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