Mar. 16th, 2017

negothick: (Charlotte)
With all the results not yet in, it looks as though The Netherlands will not go the way of our (not-very) United States. The current Prime MInister "Rutte said his victory halted resurgent nationalism, claiming 'The Netherlands said ‘Stop’ to the wrong sort of populism.'"

The party of their violently anti-Islamic, "Holland First," anti-immigrant candidate did not win a majority of seats,  though Wilders does have a large following.

America has a long history of paranoia, which would be more justified in a country like The Netherlands that was invaded and occupied so much more frequently. I have written--and spoken--often about "Puritan Paranoia," which found such memorable expression in the witch belief. Unlike the early modern witch accusations in Europe, often couched in terms of individual sexual anxieties--witches stole my penis!--the transcripts of the Connecticut and Massachusetts witch trials reveal accusers worried about conspiracies organized by Satan against the state. Friday night in Westerly, RI (there were no witch trials in colonial Rhode Island, whose leader had been expelled from Massachusetts with the same sort of accusation of being an agent of Satan),  I'll be telling the story of Goody Ann Glover, an Irish immigrant to Boston who was executed for witchcraft in 1688, mainly because she spoke her native tongue, Irish Gaelic, and was a Roman Catholic. As Cotton Mather wrote, she prayed to her evil spirits or saints, it's all one.
With some of the original Massachusetts Bay founders still alive, their government is already paranoid about immigrants.

And so it has been in the years since, America welcoming and providing a refuge to immigrants while simultaneously fearing and (in this case, literally) demonizing them. The little we know of the Glover family reveals that they were deported to Barbados from Ireland by Oliver Cromwell, where they did forced labor. Somehow, Goody Glover's husband managed (we don't know how) to move the couple from Barbados to Boston, where the family lived in what's now the North End. America as refuge and trap.

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