If you were looking for a group who was quickly assimilating into this new, insurgent America, the Cherokee were the “model minority” of their day.
But it didn’t matter. White farmers in Georgia did not want to assimilate the Cherokee, they wanted to rob them. In due course, they extended the reach of Georgia law over Cherokee lands.
They claim to fear the immigrant clinging to his language. No. What they fear is the immigrant learning theirs.
EJ Dionne in The Washington Post:
Opponents of the 14th Amendment used racist arguments against immigrants to try to kill it, even though there were virtually no immigration restrictions back then. President Andrew Johnson played the card aggressively, as University of Baltimore law professor Garrett Epps reported in his 2006 book on the 14th Amendment, “Democracy Reborn.”
“This provision comprehends the Chinese of the Pacific States, Indians subject to taxation, the people called Gipsies, as well as the entire race designated as blacks, people of color, negroes, mulattoes, and persons of African blood,” Johnson declared. “Is it sound policy to make our entire colored population and all other excepted classes citizens of the United States?”
Where do I sign up for the fight to protect the 14th Amendment’s position on citizenship?