Media And Xenophobia

1486 Words 6 Pages
Government surveillance programs, Muslim registries, and deportation squads have one essential thing in common; they are the products of xenophobic fear. Although they seem like totalitarian tactics from an Orwellian novel, they are actually inching their way in to the United States’ political discussion. The President Elect Donald Trump used xenophobia to gain support for his presidential campaign. This tactic is not new, in fact, the utilization of the narrative of foreign subversive is an insidious American tradition, which was first established during the late nineteenth century, when repression of anarchism became a national priority. It has since influenced Americans to adopt a new tradition: relinquishing constitutional freedoms from …show more content…
Newspapers stripped attentat of its intellectual and philosophical roots and replaced it with a doctrine of chaos. It was then that the media constructed the two traditional depictions of anarchists. In the first, they were displayed standing before a crowd, their hair in disarray, looking erratic, and calling for the destruction of democracy. In the other, anarchists appeared as dark foreign figures who were perpetually stooped over a bomb. Above these pictures, newspaper headings read “Bloody Monsters!” “Brutes!” and “Bomb Throwers!” Most Americans had never met an anarchist, therefore, it was easy for the media to construct a universally accepted depiction of anarchists as erratic and bomb throwing foreign subversives. To further legitimize this narrative, newspapers took advantage of public hysteria and relayed false stories about anarchist plots to commit mass murder and terrorize the citizens of Chicago. These accusations were then followed by “resolutions.” The American Israelite went as far as too claim that “Judge Lynch is a tremendous expounder of the law.” The Chicago Tribune published a cartoon titled “A History of Anarchism in Chicago” which depicted “the end” of anarchism with the Statue of Liberty standing triumphantly over four graves all marked with the initials of the men charged with the death of the policemen. …show more content…
The patterns of media manipulation and police repression which were established during Haymarket and Berkman’s assassination attempt were reinstituted in full force after the death of President McKinley. Media outlets quickly accepted that Czologsz was indeed an anarchist despite only having attended a few of Goldman’s speeches and being identified as a possible police informant by anarchist leaders. In absence of good journalism, newspapers capitalized on public fears and reverted to their traditional narrative of the foreign subversive and recreated a spirit of intolerance. The New York Times demanded harsh retribution against anarchists “The only proper way for the police to deal with these fellows [anarchists] is to go to their meetings armed… and shoot them when they begin to rant.” This quote is particularly significant because it promotes the indiscriminate use of violence against anarchists. Newspapers disseminated xenophobic narratives that would influence citizens to demand and accept future repressive federal legislation. Four days after the shooting, the New York Tribune published a cartoon depicting an anarchist, armed with a bomb and a knife, curtailed from passing the gates of “Civilization” by Lady Justice. The caption for this article read “Put ‘Em Out and Keep ‘Em Out,” which suggested that the only way to protect Americans from the foreign

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