"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in
good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be
treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to
discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.
But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and
nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man
who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.
We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red
flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much
as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have
room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we
have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
Theodore Roosevelt 1907
I’ve been reading a lot the last few days and I find it really curious this was so long ago and yet addresses some very real issues going on now.
I found a number of other quotes along the same theme. One of those is from a speech he gave in 1915
”There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all
possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities .”
— Theodore Roosevelt, speech before the Knights of Columbus, 1915, New York
He also said that any immigrant to America who doesn’t learn the language in five years ought to be sent home. Which is hysterically funny to me, because while I was reading that I was waiting on a prescription at the hospital pharmacy. About every 3rd page there was repeated in Spanish.