Trump revives the idea of a ‘white man’s country’, America’s original sin | Nell Painter

It can’t be left to black Americans alone to resist the president’s racism. Citizens of all colours need to resist, and embrace activism

The idea that some US inhabitants deserve the land, deserve to stay and to occupy it, and that others must go – to be exterminated (Native Americans), to be exiled (black people), to be driven out (Chinese and Japanese people), to be barred from immigrating (Italians, Jews and other southern and eastern Europeans), to be removed (Mexicans) and, briefly, challenged as citizens (Irish Catholics) – has changed shape over time in terms of the permitted stayers and the non-permitted exiles.

But the conviction that only some people – that is, white people (however defined) – deserved US citizenship based on race held on for a very long time. After all, the initial US Congress began its work in 1790 by limiting eligibility for naturalisation to the free and the white.

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