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tv   City of Dreams  CSPAN  December 31, 2016 8:30pm-10:01pm EST

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many authors will be appearing on book tv c-span2. >> you're watching book tv, television for serious readers. you can watch any program you see here online at [inaudible conversations] >> good evening, everybody, good evening and welcome to the lowee east side museum, my name is annie, vice president for programs and education here at
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the museum. how many of you have visited in the past? and how many have you gone to our tenement? how many have been to exhibits here in this building? okay. no you haven't because it hasn'o opened yet. [laughter] >> so upstairs will be opening an exhibit, we've done talks in here so maybe that's -- great, you're wonderful, excellent. but i like to do that because i think sometimes people feel like they've visited the museum and they came in 1992 and they don't need to come again, we are so sm glad when you come back again and you see the programs that wo are doing here, the public programs that we are doing here at night but also what we are really, really excited about is a new exhibit that's going to open this summer, july 4th, 2017, that's why you are seeing the -- over the years we had a
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family, epstein family that survived concentration camps and started live in 1947, refugeesar will be telling their story, a puerto rican migrant family that came here in the mid-1950's and moved to this building the 1960's and the wong family, chinese family that came to the lower east side in 1965 and moved into this building in 1968. all new stories that we are going to be able to leave together and used same techniques that we used, to use the story, the real people, we elevate the stories of ordinary people in order to inspire connection past and present, so that what we do here at the museum is not just talk about the history of immigration and migration but also talk about its connections, and a few hours
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some of you might head home tolk watch the third act of a -- of a debate where probably not much of substance will come up and so we are excited to be able to welcome you here tonight to have a really substantial conversation about immigrationit past and present with two of our most favorite scholars and people who have worked with us behind the scenes with our educators and on our exhibits so this is a -- i know some of you are family members of the speakers here but the parents and sister, welcome, we are also a museum about family and so we would like to invite you to the broader family. come back, come to more exhibits, come to more program and welcome tonight to this program on city of dreams, one last thing i was going to say is that i don't know if you knowro this, but in 1885 a german
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immigrant got off the boat and he came, this neighborhood two blocks from leer and had, i think, a barber store, he was a barber and his name was fredrik trump, so all of these immigration stories are going to tom coght in some way. so i'm going to do a quick interruption and i'm also going to ask you and i'm going to do it myself. have a phone, you might want to turn off the volume. okay, i did it. professor of history and former chair of george washington university. his first book nativism and slavery won the prize of the organization of american historians, second book, five points won the new york city
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book of 2001, probably mostd ito top-read books. and he served as a consultant to martin for gains of new york. i'm told that martin didn't listen to all of the suggestions. [laughter] his ancestors -- his ancestors s came to new york from southwest germany, russia and poland. author of the award-winning maximum city bombay lost and found. finalist for 2005 pulitzer prize. harper's magazine, time and newsweek and featured on fresh air and off things considered. an associate professor of
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journalism at new york university. currently working on a nonfiction book about immigrants in contemporary new york. when that comes out, tyler will come and interview him here. he was born in calcutta and raised in new york. if you want to be tiered up, google article calling melting his pot about one building in queens that tells a story about all the different people who are sharing an apartment building and a story that has provided inspiration for us here at the tenement museum. join us welcoming tyler and binder. [applause] >> thanks, annie, for that kind welcome. and thank you all for coming. so i was asked to give a 10 to 15 minutes overview of city of
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dreams and i have to admit that's a daunting task if you've seen the book. it's a big book and it tells a lot of stories but i will do my best to summarize in 10 to 15 minutes. one thing i'm always asked is why i wrote the book, so i thought i would maybe mention that. in part i was inspired because as i worked on my second book, i came across so much great material because the stories, events didn't take place in that six by four block area that was 5 points and so as i acum swlieted -- accumulated the stories i thought i need some other way to convey them. the other main thing that inspired me was i wanted a narrative challenge.
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i sweat over sometimes every word, sometimes way too long. i had written the typical historical books.centur the reason why i wanted to write the city of dreams is it's such a great story. i found writing it made me happy, telling the stories which, you know, sometimes the stories are terrible, sometimes they're uplifting, but they always teach us something and so i just felt like it was a story that i had to tell. the book is long, 242 -- 22 chapters and tells the stories of a lot of immigrant groups and focuses on the biggest immigrant groups for each century in the
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city in the 17th century focus on dutch and english and 18th century, the english and irish and 11th century, the irish and germans and eastern european jews and italian and 20th century the jews, italians, puerto ricans, dominicans, chinese and west indians and so forth. even though you might think, how could you bring those -- all those diverse stories togetheru into one narrative, the book -- the book is held together by several themes, though, i try to do it in a very subtle way, i really want to reader to be hit over the head is here is what you should be thinking now. i tried to make it subtle and i hope i succeeded in that. this is an image that was
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probably taken not too far from here of a garment worker. probably an italian garment worker. so one theme of the book is that the immigrant experience has not varied much over new new york city's history. one thing i found that the dutch really weren't that different at their core than the english and the english weren't that different than the scotts, the scotts from the irish, the germans from the italians, et cetera, all the way up to to do where the biggest growing immigrant group in terms of proportion is south asian. the story is almost always the same. a hard journey to america, struggle to adjust, very little assimilation, better lives for themselves and their children. we tend to think of the experience as
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but in most senses the ones that really matter, the immigration experience is the same, generation after generation century after century. another theme of the book is that antiimmigrant sentiment is as consistent a theme in american history as immigration conveyed some of the same ideas that you might hear in the press today. throughout american history, americans have worried about immigrants, feared immigrants, sometimes even hated immigrants, the dutch were very antienglish. they thought that teng lish would ruin america and the police they had created. the english were very antiirish.
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later on, the ones discriminated against for catholicism becomehe antisemites. and so on and so forth up to antimuslim sentiment today. and people's antisentiments were too conservative or too radical. sometimes people complained that immigrants takes our jobs, other times, many times new yorkers w complained that immigrants were a secret army plotting to destroy america.op that's something that we've heard throughout america's history and throughout new york's history.
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the other theme of the book, final theme is that immigrants today really aren't any different in an important sense than previous generations of immigrants. we tend to think that today's immigrants aren't like myou grandparents but in almost every sense, in almost every way, immigrants are just like our w immigrant grandparents or great grandparents or even, great, great grandparents. the difference is we perceive-gd relatively insignificant differences or more often than not the result of past experience of our own immigrants .ou so as long as there are people in the world seeking a better life for themselves and their children looking to move to a place where hard work, bold ideas and entrepreneurship are rewarded, new york will continue to be the world's city of dreamn
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.wo thank you. [applause] >> thank you, it's a privilege to be here with you. as someone who has been working far too long on a book about immigrants in new york today, i mean, all of your achievement, how long did it take you to write this book? >> well, if i have to admit it, 15 years. the writing itself maybe four years, a lot of research went into it, a lot of i can't start writing until i know more and there's so much to learn and so much to read, 15 years and four
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of writing. >> thank you, that makes me feel so much better. i'm only on year nine of mymuchi book. [laughter] >> well, what made you take up a little bit in your talk, and what was the actual writing? you chose a lot of immigrant memoirs and diaries and first-person accounts and characters in the book, so as a historian, how do you chose one approach over the aother -- over, let's say, just kind of book or history or history of the politics about immigration? >> well, what i wanted to do more than anything else was write a really good story, something that people would want to read and that they wouldn't be able to put down even thoughh it was a very big book and so, i
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feel like it's always bet to lest historical actors tell their own stories and memoirs are really a great source, you can't always trust em mothers, memoirs is faulty, people embellish, so that makes things complicated, but you -- you learn to use your judgment and you hope to get things right. i hope i succeeded. >> one is the story of félix, 1853 riot which was mainly the irish rioting against blacks and republicans, the republican party and there were over a hundred deaths, so there was a
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famous by félix who was irish am immigrant, we don't want to fight, fight by the nigger, but irish immigrant that not more long ago people had been discriminated against and now leading the fight against someone else, but then for that sentence in history books, but félix's career -- talk to us about that? >> sure. félix, that sentence is quoted in dozen of history books of epitome the new york city draft, irish immigrants that don't want to be made equal of african americans and believe that the
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war emancipation are going to do that.eve th he's cited over and over again as an example of this racism and you can't deny that that innocence is full of racism, what happens to him which isn't in any books, he writes in 1862, makes it legal for exslaves and free blacks to fight in union army and they join by the tens of thousands and yet the army has a lot -- the army decides that only officers -- whites can be officers of the units. strangely what i discovered is one of the solved years who volunteers to lead one of their -- one of their regiment is félix, which struck me as very strange.giments
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and he does it first in south carolina and then in savannah, georgia in 1864, 65 and 66. after the war, he moves to washington, goes to law school at george washington where i teach and then after the war he gets a job as a u.s. attorney in of all places jackson, mississippi and in jackson, mississippi he -- his job is primarily to prosecute bootleggers and klansmen and here you have félix, up until 14862 was clearly not the person who would seem to have much sympathy for african americans now becoming a prosecutor of those who pursuited -- persecuted them.
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i thought that was a great story. >> the book also made me realize that a personal hero of mine was whitman. some of my students here in the room, one of the things that i like to do on the first day of class, i like to take them to staten island ferry. so great celebrator of diversity of the humanity of new york of all things new york, but in 1842, the first thing whitman was anticatholic and antiirish and there's much discretion about election violence now who knows what will happen during
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the election, you have passage of the book on election day in the war, municipal election in new york each attempted to prevent supporter from others to casting ballot. the fight was bloody and horrible recorded "the herald", men were so beaten that they could not be recognized as human beings, their goal noted was to review the outrageous and they moved uptown -- [inaudible] >> had it been hypocrite head
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that had been smashed instead of window, we could find it in our soul to be sorrowful. you make the connection with election violence in the past and the fact that even a person of humane as whitman compels to issue the -- against immigrants? >> it's hard to appreciate today how, both how protestant americans felt their nation was and how much they felt protestants and how much they thought catholicism as a threat and so because americans, so many americans thought that protestant is what defined america, what gave us our freedoms, they described in american democracy, look at the world, the only place that it
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has democracy is protestant nations, look at the places that have the most scientific ingenuity, protestant countriesr obviously they are reading history oddly to come to such conclusions, nonetheless that's what they believed. they saw catholic immigrants as threat to that. in that particular case, what whitman is upset about is something that we can all imagine we get upset about which is the public school and there was a big fight in this period, catholic immigrants coming to new york and sending their kids to public schools were shocked to find that the curriculum schools were protestant, children were required to singin protestant hymns and parents of catholic children objected to that and -- and instead of -- instead of saying, i see your point, maybe we should, you
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know, allow catholic children to read from a catholic version of the bible and so forth, american protestants said, no, we must keep the schools protestants because that's what makes america great and if we take that out of the schools, our children and our nation will suffer and people felt very strongly about that and that was what inspired whitman's animus. >> the conflict in the book -- [inaudible] >> religious tolerance and speaking up for religious liberty, one of the most famous cases where peter tried to band from moving and a group of local mostly english people in document of religious tolerant. mayor of bloomberg a few years
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ago when he made the very moving speech about the islamic center at grounded zero and why along with the conflict always had the tradition of tolerance and welcoming diversity. but in the book, most of the people eventually were force to recant. >> yes, so peter also was not a very tolerant person, for him even variety of protestantism that the dutch didn't like were out of line. lutherans were a big enemy. he we wanted to ban lutherans from new amsterdam, you really have to let the lutherans come
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in. you can't keep banning people. and so he allows the lutherans h and were seen more of a threat because their form of protestane was seen quite radical. it would lead to anarchy, this d really isn't right of banning't and the first and and religious and don't tend, people signed it
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and said and people are playing with religious, -- po [inaudible] >> historic high point for immigration.ty is 27% is foreign-born. it was at its peak in 1865, and then by 1920, 41%, then it dipped in 1970 to mere 18% an
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come up to the 7%. so, you know, much of the team of the latter part of your book, but can you talk about the major laws or movements that explain the radical shifts and did you get a sense of how they are made in washington about which group to let in when? >> that's a complicated question. first let me talk about your point about the flows and in particular to get a sense of how wild new york may seem very immigrant today how really in comparison to the past it's not. the best example is 1865 where 51% of the city's residents are immigrants.
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what's more interesting about the number is the fact that in those days, new york has generally had bigger families, lots of kids, so really most of the native-born new yorkers were tinny children and if you look at just adults in 1857, ten were foreign-born. new york today is a third less immigrant than it was in 1855, if you talk about adults it's far less. then in terms of how law affects flow of immigration, what's interesting for most of new york's history laws have had nothing to the with the flow of immigration history and economics has had much more of an impact.or and so people have tended toan come to the united states either because they saw great opportunity, economic opportunity here or because
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there was a lack of that opportunity where they were coming from and so for most of american history laws have had relatively little impact on the number of immigrants coming to the united states. >>
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>> and americans don't want them to come. and this fear combined with the roaring '20s would be taken over by large numbers of immigrants they convince americans to cut the flow of immigration so now you have the allies that are -- the laws that are very eraser's with their underpinnings from england you can, of limited number but from. italy year russia wants the number is cut by 90 percent from italy, agrees, russia and poland is cut to almost
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nothing so that is why the immigrant population but only in 65 that congress changes those laws and goes s back to where no one country gets privilege over another but with the flow there is the unintended consequences from that law that puts in place limits but there are exceptions to the limits ofexcet their are family members of immigrants already in the united states and they don't anticipate how many family members of asian or latino immigrants will want to come to the united states so that is one of the reasons why immigration grew so much more rapidly.
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>> that is how my own family came here. from detroit in the early '70s and by the early '80s we had 15 members fear so but now talk about the diversity. >> but the important thing to note about that lottery is you could obi qualify for the diversity lottery if you had very few in the grants in the united states now sober people from the major countries were not eligible. that this house ever theib larger numbers from africa
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that we had before or south america in some parts ofha central asia really only those places qualify for that diversity lottery. >> you have a defection and the way people make their way here from the potato famine. >> if you ever thank you had it bad think about the irishyo or the german immigrants before them.much a even before the irish situation by far was the worst because they were so
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inur so many more immigrants were shipped to that nation have. but maybe this is too wide of aruba actually but you could have in the room like this what do we have 75 people? you would have had 200 people may be 400 in this space or 500 people. how do you do that? there were triple box floor to ceiling and edition two or three people per bed that you didn't necessarily get
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to share with somebody that you knew. if you were a woman with a family of three then you had to squeeze then with the family.. after the war they decide to segregate.te him f but then got married men were just as bad as the single women. [laughter] but that only happened iny the 1870's. but then one of the problemsso of being on the ship was the big problem not so much that it was embarrassing but it
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was body lice it would make use sick because it would defecate on you than it got under your skin with the bacteria and then you would get the ship fever with a high fever, of vomiting, . imagine you are not on the top bunk where it is thatif going? right on top of's gn it is burlap it comes downr on you. y it is terrible. that is just one of the many reasons you get sick of the ship so with the potato flat
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coat -- potato famine is this normal for people to be dead with their arrived or die after the ship would delay and. the lot of irish immigrants went to canada first because it was cheaper to go to tibet and their hundreds of people died. >> double never complained [laughter] but with ellis island this really blew my mind. nobodies name was changed -- if they cannot pronounce their names.
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>> this is one of the most prevalent that ellis island they had no authority to give you a name. or even a piece of paper at all. nobody could say here is your new name. entire families had to be processed in one minute and by law you had to ask 30 questions. and they had to ask all the questions they did not have time to give you a new name. so historians the rise that
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they tried to make them seem more american. so they were embarrassed by the fact so they said it was the guy at ellis island made me do it but when theywh really chose to do with it. >> with the name change in she points out to get into this country when other
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documents are full of peamples. because they could be liable for military but of what had to be offered when they got off the ship. >> up until the opening of ellis island to make sure that you were not sick they
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had more culture of lying but the funny thing is people lied about things they claim that the job was totally irrelevant. so was long as you could use the shovel they would not turn you away. and then we tend to think of illegal lot more -- immigration as a modern phenomenon.
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budget is in this 20th century imagine is the forgotten read and with mexico or china they sneak given on votes, they all love the things that the illegal immigrants do today and that is the huge part of american immigration. >> but to be totally
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different from american society from the many types of their homeland.ll-kno even as one famous yorker said they are right this. -- rapists. [laughter]
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>> asked donald trump in but i said precisely those things about immigrants over the last 400 years so in that sense he is very much part of the mainstream. >> [inaudible] and i wanted run like hell from the italians and germans but for the working
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class white of the minorities but trump and berger up in an all white. and now it is not. we don't like cam -- tim but it the country really here is his message but to have the resistance and racist resistance.
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but before donald trump came along. >> there are too many to name but one example is the congressmen from texas to him the 1920's who settle lot of the same things that trump has proposed but he wanted to cut off all immigration.aid no more immigrants. the second thing he wanted to do with support the immigrants that were already here.ed to so he said we should give them all one year if they're not citizens within one year they are kicked out of the country which he was
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implying they had a choice but you have to be in the united states five years because it -- before you could become naturalized so that wasn't an option but they seriously debated the proposal. now instead rehab the restrictions that i talked about. but the do nothing party with the party from the 1850's but for all their faults never wanted to restrict immigration people coming into the united states they did want to
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lessen the political influence with the 21 year wait but they said was born in the united states have to wait 21 years why doesn't the immigrant have to learn what it means to have to be an american? but they do elect more thann 100 people to congress and it is in the majority of the population but that is enough constant of american history that they think of the land of immigrants pet benny think today's immigrants are in to the right people if we did then we should not have any more at all. that has been going on.
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>> at all think there is any group today in the country that found 50% one negative 56 percent of americans that the very large minority went along with this but as to why of the muslims if no experience with democracy with their prone to violence and then they could never assimilate in the religion is incompatible with the principles of the nation that makes us great.
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irish hill [laughter] but talk about muslim immigration. >> what i will point out about that passage but, president obama a few months ago said that in a speechident but it didn't get coveragen his because trump gets the attention but new york has a much longer experience with muslims they and people know. whether or not there is a little syria in the early 1900's the very low were
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west side of manhattan on of west side of where the world trade center was along washington street. some of this is a fairly large and vibrant and of what we call love the dawn today it was more heterogeneous and a mixed religious community with christians and muslims but it was a large part of the city. whenever people would write a profile of ethnic york little syria was part of the discussion. it kind of disappears nobody is sure for the reasons after world war i and it appears the immigrants moved
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to other parts and it fades from memory. >> today the largest group of immigrants the fastest growing would be mexican? >> in the pencil you define fastest-growing. the most recent censusex figures it shows the mexicans have leveled off but the percentages the fastest growing population is the south asian muslim bangladesh or places like that but with the sheer numbers are the chinese immigrants that they would outnumber the dominican immigrants.
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>> and with the fastest growing immigrants. >> in terms of proportion it is growing faster than any other place by far it is the lowest population 37 percent foreign-born but it is growing proportionately. >> so no very little has changed.
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but then day except in to the nation with the political life so the reason that they assimilate in one way things have changed there not able to go back to the homeland regularly. the the people who come here now and where my family came over them to go back to her three times but i think they get more comfortable as they
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are tied to the homeland. so there to be an us like that we belong to the american identity. >> i think yes and no is the answer but there are many more immigrants than realize go back and forth many italian immigrants coming here nine months then go back three months year after year after year so they were also refreshing their foreign identity. but they said they are not be all the examples.
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but to someone 100 years ago six days also seems fantastical with their place of birth to be amazingly close. i certainly understand what you are saying. but immigrants in the past at other ways to stay in touch now today it is testing but to someone who doesn't know that the telegraph is instantaneous and amazing. the immigrant newspaper is another thing you could did in new york for decades and never pick up the english language newspaper and read the paper everyday if your native language and it would not have a york news but
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from your homelands. if you were still in athens or wherever you might be from because you by the news everyday. i don't think the differences as great as you might think certainly i do think they did see themselves in touch with their homeland and very aloof and from america as an seem foreign to them. >> but your own family immigrated in the end i was reminded about the office
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that was growing up then looking for that world beyond.ance of in with the jewish community and occupying and with the irish. famine so tell us about your own family coming to your. >> i have manifested fromth germany and poland and ukraine and belarus and russia. ane earliest of my ancestors came around 1850 and landed in buffalo before york city.
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then the next wave of my family came from what is now poland they came in the 1870's. and then the rest come from the early 20th century and david exclusively in this neighborhood as the migrant worker as my great-grandfather was of presser in the garment workplaces until finally he saved enough money for my a grandmother and my grandfather and sisters could come over in the early twenties and pretty much as soon as they get there he
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moves the family to brooklyn then i suppose to save money then they move even further east to your core the new loft area but then theyo finally do better and circled back and then that is where they end up but by a grandfather probably mentor in easton york from the city directory i could see at 1.there were only a block and a half away so maybe that is how they met. >> i have a jewish friend and her jewish grandmother
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grew up as a vice spent half of my life trying to get out of there. [laughter] we have about 20 minutes for questions. >> do you think that we americans have learned anything? if we have what or if not what is blocking us quite. >> great question. i think was uc over the 400 years in the book that americans are very slowly
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but surely becoming more tolerant. is in fits and starts and itit doesn't always progress in a straight line but i think overall they are becoming more tolerant and the upper portion of thought population that looks at immigrants and thinks they are positive for society probably is at an all-time high if you look at unhappiness with immigration a big part is illegal then maybe surprising with the political climate but at the polling numbers, most coming a huge majority have no problem with legal it is illegal is the biggest problem and that is a change because most of history any type of of a grant was seen
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as a threat to. soviet-made be hard to see with the applicable campaign today bed on the other hand, think of how the campaign is going and the republican nominee he has learned it is not a winning issue you cannot get a majority of voters using immigration has something to attract voters for kosher there is a sizable minority, but not as big as he once thought. there is a lot of presidential candidates have tried to use opposition to immigration to win the presidency. the governor of california, e and they make that the centerpiece but they always fail.
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my guess is it will fail anotn. >>. >> i have day question about climbing bus social ladder. i u earlier from american history that people from agrarian countries word coming here but now we have will skilled people who are emigrating. so how do they climb that social ladder what does the immigrants look like now? >> i think you are absolutely right the main
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reason that has changed is the immigration laws enacted since 1965 have given the second biggest preference to those with jobs skills in short supply nurses nurses, filipinos so yeses definitely true there are skilled immigrants. but they are not the majority. what is the majority those that come with relatively few jobs skills in which they tend not to move very far up the ladder themselves . if you look at their occupation, their financial
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status, they improve their lives lot but with a large minority because of high 80s specialist so for them in this since so much moving up the occupational ladder as adjusting to become socially acceptable to become mainstream is a concern and their frustration and one example i mentioned in the book that people meet him are you a taxi driver? that makes him so mad because that is the
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stereotype. so many of those immigrants that is the biggest concern. howdy you override that prejudice rather than move up the economic ladder?udible] >> she imagined it would be similar with those who become writers and died a but imagine you are right. moviollowing up on that point, but security in new york you see the groups that come to take the jobs police officers or firemen? it seems that is tremendous amount of south asians are traffic officers are police officers that follows the pattern is that continuingontinu
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or is that for real or is it in anecdote? >> certainly in new york, the police department and city government is making a big effort to have their public face like the police matched the faces of yorkers especially with police when you need to trust to have more police at represent the ethnic diversity is important. the difference that the irish managed to dominate the police force when they came to new york in a way you don't see any more and i find that interesting that irish-americans are still in large presence even though the irish immigrants were not.
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so in in some ways that has changed but not as much as you might think. >> i followed the police for my book i follow the police academy and classified hundred recruits spoke 47 different languages they had 25,000 cops at madison square garden and those at the top of the class were celebrated but the number two person was a short bangladesh man into themm n.y.p.d. marching band has irish bagpipes to serenade him. [laughter] >> that is a great story.
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>> i find interesting how you bring up the ship with the immigrant population who gets the brunt of of prejudices' because i a meat first generation chinese immigrants but there is a huge skirmish that you have a whole community has a huge dialogue about the anti- muslim sentiment and we looked to the radio and o those that are anti-muslim when what you are expressing is complete hypocrisy because the people who came
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before us had to deal with that so with your experience what can be done with of the community at had to deal with this? >> what you are describing is a story that is replayed in american history over andr over. discriminated then turns around to become the chief discriminator against uh next uh germans did to the irish you did it to the italians who did it ton puerto rico and on. so then when you ask why because obviously your rationale is what occurs to do is of hypocrisy but yet one of the ways they assimilate is take on the notion that day are what
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defined america and the new group does not and they quickly forget the way they have been portrayed. and you could argue maybe if i was a psychologist that you are part of the process to become american what makes you feel american is to express the prejudice you see your american friends do it so you do it to.ot it is not surprising. >> actually have friends of the asian community that are serving in the n.y.p.d. he did say when they were recruited they did feel there was the sense of an extra effort to recruit within the minority communities so to have the
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changing faces of new york would look at the n.y.p.d. they don't censor inow chinatown but even in the boroughs which i think thatve is great that we have an older generation that is ashamed of the emperor generation so they're trying to help promote tolerance. >> that is fascinating. >> i have a question about ellis island do said they could use a shovel or were too weak were they kept that hospital and tell help improve store were they sent back and who paid for that? an they got off the ship in%
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then put on another ship of the way back probably died. >> a good point. the way that it worked if it w was curable you were put in the hospital and allowed to try to recover and if you did you were let and and b that is what happened to my grandfather apparently after world war was in there was the famine in the ukraine by the time they get here they are really sick sunday our at the hospital six weeks until they're finally letre into the country if it is curable you are allowed to recover.ou hav something if you were had the eye infection and that the time that was before antibiotics so if you had
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that you were sent back and the tragedy was a lot of people did not know thatha they had it seemed to get to the united states never know you were sick and tell you that there then had to turner wrote. but the one starting 1909d the head of ellis island believed that too many riffraff immigrants were allowed into the united states though on his own change the interpretations so people that people were not sick but looked what they were congenitally week white eastern european jews you could never use the pickax so that was of a new
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way he could be and people you cannot go to the hospital to get better from that. but then they jewish immigrant aid organization becomes very fierce defenders for those who were singled out for that sohe initially they are told they have to go home they are let in because of the efforts of the attorneys. >> question from the back? >> talk about housing policy
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and how it relates to the n immigrant experience? >> sure. for much of history there are no housing codes and the maintain that dictated the shape and the side of the house was the shape of the allot lot typically 255 would hundred that is very narrow. doc height was dictated by how much the walls could hold that is why most buildings it is rare their higher than six stories they imagine that is as high as they could build them. but starting the late 19th century housing codes developed and start to put and restrictions.
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but in some ways reformers believe they could make their lives are so the laws are put in place to limit those who could occupy so around 1890 to go on these inspection tours but then uh new york land owners have been created and then how to get around of those good intentions to say every of room has to have a window than the of voters will knock holes in the walls and then let in more
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fresh air but then they put the window between one room and another to satisfy a the lot. also they have political clout so initially they did not allow for that and then the york landowners would push back to get the lot2 changed to make it less restrictive and more friendly to the landlords. we always talk about the passages lot very rare lead the way it was scaled back because of pressure from the politically powerful landlords so there hasso always been that intention to make it better bet immigrants themselves are also fighting they want to bring in more money to make
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their life better so is there one group that is solely respond symbol for some of the failures of housing policies for immigrants' lives. >> i just wanted to take that opportunity to see an apartment with a window in the partition we have a few. [laughter] also banks for the conversation. [applause] this is what we do here every day many of you are educators that can take this back and i think to end on a positive note the first
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woman voter was named sarah was the immigrant coming from romania and we know about her also we have been able to locate her husband and talk about her life and her daughter talk about growing up in the '20s they had to best friends that were chinese sisters they went to reach others houses for food and she remembers her mother saying that you learn to judge people not how they are. there is good and bad ofd every race and color butut stay away from trouble makers. so these nice words can help us with the times ofere is a
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anti-immigrant sentiment and a place where they come together to have a common place daily life in in that helps us tremendously. you can all by the book.k. one last thing there was a joke about immigrants to change their name also for sharing that because we have 620,000 visitors every year 25 percent bring that up that the name was changed and now we can help rich people of that notion but it could purchase the book 15% off year and have it signed a bad bear with us we will
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be moving to the autograph table sustain years seats while we move that back weekend dismiss you so thank you again for this conversation. [applause] [inaudible conversations]. >> your book is the voting
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rights war, allegis supreme court ruling had the most significant impact the ability of african-americans to vote? >> the very first one that struck down the grandfather clause because that was something said if your grandfather could not vote you could not vote but it was the very first voting rights case brought on by the naacp to the supreme court can the right to vote with the economic interests and the very first case with the naacp talks about that case it is still fighting those voting rights cases but it is also so important to lay that foundation.
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>> is darkly when has an at had the significant impact quick. >> active save big one in the 1800's to be ratified during that period of time some people said there were over 1200 african-americans in politics but they would id tear the outcome of the election like this one with the razor thin edge in the popular vote but that is the power of of black vote so
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with his the idea what to read do with this power of the african-american community of the backlash. now going for word uc 97 percent of black floaters voted for him. that is crucial because now they can emphasize the right to vote and vote for their candidate of choice nudges because he is african-american because there were african-americans running for president prior to this that they thought he represented their idealism and political mindset from the 18 seventies through the obama administration you can see the role over the years. >> during the 2016 presidential election lot with the most significant challenges voters would face
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>> i talk about the history of the african-americans in their obstacles like the grandfather clause also the all white primary. if you look at what is going on now the naacp felony disenfranchisement remains. that was pivotal to undermining the black vote in 1800 and 1900 or they'd think they cannot vote so that effort made in virginia and other states but i don't think they think is a beacon
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of democracy. >> what is the next up to injure the citizens have the ability to vote? >> to be exceptional people that we claim talk about american exceptionally some but as a matter of fact right now we're doing less than other countries. we really want everyone to go and take a chance to don't know the outcome but the last thing we need to understand it is a right, is not a privilege it is not for our government to stand in the way or their willingness to exercise that right to vote. we're looking imagination of
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the majority of people of color as they exercise their right with the people of color in the voting booth then they turn that into the apartheid state. it would be very interesting but there is a lot of power there i want them all to exercise their power that they don't want to be a part of their system because they feel cheated.


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