Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- January 22, 1872[The German Customs]
Under the heading, "Rich and Poor", yesterday's Times issued an article on the fire limit question in which it leaves free vent to its xenophobia. The Times fears that the fire limit question might gain political implications, and could be made an "issue" at the next election. It then continues with the following idiocies:
"Mainly from the Hesing, Prussian-flag point of view, it seems in the nature of a crime, that a man should not be poor, and that all people, other than those who occupy alms houses, or hovels, have no right which the world is bound to respect. It may be added that it was precisely such sentiments as these which, last year, unfurled the red flag in Paris, which inspired the "petroleuses", which fired the palaces massacred ecclesiastics, and lacerated the very heart of the French nation. It is time that this everlasting drivel about the holy rights and claims of poverty should cease."2
The Times then reproaches the Germans with inconsistency:
"One day we hear that our German fellow-citizens must have their Sunday parades, and their roystering beer gardens, because they had them at home. They came from a land of freedom and intelligence, they assert, and we must accomodate our institutions to their early education. But now comes the question of the right to intimidate councilmen, and to endanger the city by the erection of wooden fire-traps; and herein the customs of the father-land are indirect opposition. They will have no Sunday, and will have beer, because they always had it at home, and they will have riots and wooden shanties because they were never allowed to have them at home.3
"The German element, as represented by Hesing, demands all that it had at home, and all that it didn't have. Because it comes here and accepts our hospitality and straightway betters itself vastly from a pecuniary and moral point, it assumes a dictatorial position, and claims the right to control our institutions after its own desire.
"It is about time for Americans, no matter where born, to ask themselves whether they propose to submit to the insolent dictation of the part of foreigners? If they, in their distinctiveness as such separate nationality, do not like our American institutions and ways, let them return to whence they came. They are aliens, not Americans. Their absence would be a relief to this country, in that it would stay the agitations of demagogues who, like Kaiser Hesing, sustain themselves by appeals to national sentiments which have nothing in common with those proper to an American citizen."
So the Times airs its ire.
I F 3, I B 2, I C, III A, III H
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