The Obama era is about to end, and his presidency will make a long lasting impression on American politics.   While he and his supporters expect the Affordable Care Act to be his legacy, history will most likely remember President Obama as an icon who reignited a multicultural war. 

The disrespectful, sometimes insulting, resistance to Obama and the rise of Trump, some believe, can be attributed to the president’s race – the first black president.  True perhaps, but it is not insightful. 

To see beyond the veil of the obvious – Obama’s race – we need to first look at the history of the American immigration experience. 

The real story of American immigration is not what they teach in high school civics or U.S. History 101.  Rather than being the great melting pot the true story is more like a cauldron of boiling oil and water.[Click Read More Below for rest of the column]

I don’t want to dismiss or ignore the significance on the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the experiences of African slaves and freed blacks.  Our experience with slavery, as well as de jure and de facto segregation, is a constant focus in the media, as well as our schools and universities.  Instead my attention will be on the experiences of white European immigrants, a topic that is perhaps, for some, uncomfortable to discuss.  Many Americans don’t know of or want to remember their social origins. 

It is not easy in a few brief paragraphs to summarize America’s experience with immigration.  The experience can be divided into two general periods: First we have America’s “old” immigration – those who migrated up to 1870.   They came from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and Scandinavia.  Some were Scotch-Irish who were originally settled on the frontier to fight Native Americans (aka Indians). The first wave of settlers were mostly Protestant, but, according to the historian Richard Hofstadter, when you exclude the Puritans of 1630-40, about half or more came here in white servitude.  In other words, they came as bonded persons, indentured servants, redemptioners, convicted felons, and defeated military or political prisoners who had been sold into white slavery.  Originally Virginia’s and Maryland’s tobacco economies were dependent upon these indentured whites, but they were gradually replaced by less expensive black slaves, a less expensive color coded labor force. 

Second, the “new” immigrants are those who arrived after 1870 to 1920, coming from southern and eastern European countries.  These immigrants, from Italy, Greece, Poland and Russia were Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Eastern Jews.  Not only were they less educated and unfamiliar with democratic government, but they were segregated into the slums of northern big cities (New York, Boston, and Chicago).  America’s Protestant, Nordic, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon culture was not receptive to the nation’s new settlers, looking at them as an inferior race. 

In the late 19th century and into the early 20th century, Americans believed in the genetic superiority of the Nordic, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon races.  The pseudo-science of Eugenics was widely accepted, and was popularized in a 1916 best seller, The Passing of the Great Race.  New editions were issued in 1918, 20 and 21.  The book was translated and published in French, Norwegian, and German, influencing Hitler and the NAZI party. 

The Eugenics leaders not only believed in the genetic superiority of the Nordic races, but they advocated strict immigration and anti-miscegenation laws, as well as the forcible sterilization of the poor, disabled and immoral persons. Some advocated that public health agencies be given emergency powers to segregate unfavorable races in ghettos, a program actually implemented by Hitler. By the late 1920s universities offered 376 Eugenics courses, and this included some of America’s finest black universities.  At Tuskegee, Howard, and Hampton it was taught that the best blacks were as good as the best whites, and that the “Talented Tenth” of both races should mix.  More recently this type of “scientific” thinking is seen in Charles Murray’s book, The Bell Curve. 

Responding to internal political pressure, in 1917 and 1924 the U.S. passed the restrictive immigration acts that were designed to exclude Southern and Eastern Europeans.  It, moreover, severely restricted African immigration and totally banned Arab and Asian migration to the U.S.  The immigration exclusion acts did not address immigrants coming across the U.S. - Mexican border turning Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and parts of California into Central America north.  While many from Central America were admitted legally, others, enticed by employers looking for low wage labor, crossed the border illegally. 

 In 1965 the U.S., competing with Soviet Communism, radically changed immigration policy in order not to offend non-western cultures and nations.  America moved away from admitting people based on country of origin quotas, which favored Northern Europe and Britain, to a system providing a path way for the highly educated, professionals, and students from Arab and Asian countries, namely India. By 2013 3.8 million Indians were living in the U.S. and 2015 data has 3.8 million Muslims in the country.  

Indian and Muslim immigration differs significantly from America’s earlier waves of immigrants. Seventy-nine per cent of the Indian diaspora twenty-five years or older hold at least a B.A. degree, but only thirty-one per cent of the U.S. population has acquired a bachelor’s degree.  Indian immigrants, moreover, hold advanced degrees at four times the rate of the of the U.S. general public.   Muslims have a strong concentration in professional, managerial and technical fields, especially information technology, education, medicine, law and corporate management. New immigrants don’t come to America starting at the bottom. 

When Senator Barack Obama ran for the presidency against Hilary Clinton he promised to overcome the nation’s political divisions and the stalemate in Congress.  It was a strange promise coming from a multicultural man from a multicultural party. He became a lightning rod for angry old white men, and in his eight years in office he has only intensified their anger.  

The truth is that the angry white men have again been pushed off the “plantation.”  Their modestly paying manufacturing jobs have been moved to low wage Asian countries, especially China, and Mexico.  Moreover, at home they have to compete against imported low wage labor for the few remaining of jobs that can't be outsourced, mainly construction and lawn care.  Even more disconcerting their social privileges that once made them feel superior to the former black slaves have been long been removed.  Whites only bath rooms, water fountains, lunch counters, pools, schools, colleges and universities are historical memories.  In public, at least, it is no longer politically correct to be anti-Catholic or anti-Jewish.  

It is also not politically correct to be anti-Muslim or Indian, but many Muslims and Indians who come to America, know they are special and superior to the average American.  In their native countries they have had the opportunity to obtain educations that adhere to British standards.  Many are admitted to America’s outstanding universities and graduating with doctoral degrees decide to stay in America, entering high paying jobs.  Coming from countries that are not known for their democratic attitudes, but excel in their poor treatment of women and social inferiors in a no longer legal caste systems they are prone to treating Americans as an uneducated underclass - as an inferior in your own country. 

President Obama to the angry white man implicitly conveys the same message, and he is culturally the polar opposite of Donald Trump.  Barack Obama is the biological product of two superior people from different races – one of the talented tenth.  Both of the President’s parents were doctoral students.  Donald Trump’s parents were German and Scottish, and his father made money in real estate.   As a boy Obama was exposed to a Muslim Indonesian culture.  Trump as a boy was raised in New York City and attended a military academy.  Obama in nominally a Christian, and Trump is a Presbyterian.  Trump physically meets the Germanic racial ideal – in excess of 6 feet, he is blond and has blue eyes.  The president is a black man. Obama attended Columbia and Harvard – institutions that train you to be a plantation manager and to look presidential.  Donald Trump attended the Wharton School of Finance where you learn how to make lots of money, a quintessential American value.  Barack Obama married a black woman that is clearly one of the “talented tenth” of her race.  Donald Trump has had several wives all of them known for their superior appearance as women and not for their intellect. Obama goes on television, and his party’s multicultural message drives angry white men crazy. Obama is thoughtful and deliberate.  Trump is emotional and boorish. If Cruz and Rubio had looked in the mirror they would have realized they were in the wrong party. When Trump appears he is seen as the last great hope to save America.