#1 Jon Ossoff: “Mean-Spirited Culture…Rears Its Head Routinely in American History”

Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is seeking Georgia’s 6th Congressional seat, recently spoke about xenophobia and “mean-spirited culture.”

DATE: April 13 2017
SITE: Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech Student

“How do you think about undocumented immigrants here, and even people filing for asylum, and stuff like people seeking refuge? Because there’s just a terrible, I guess, idea of Central Americans now just Hispanics in general coming, assuming everyone is undocumented.

So how would you address it?”

Jon Ossoff

“Except for Native Americans and slaves, most folks who came to the United States came as immigrants looking for opportunity. Not all of those stories are the same. Nor are those stories privileged over the stories of Native Americans or slaves. But it is a core part of our national identity: a country built by immigrants.

So this new mean-spirited culture, which by the way, rears its head routinely in American history. There have been and will be again these periods of xenophobia; when there’s economic uncertainty or cultural change that makes people feel uncomfortable. This impulse to close off to the rest of the world and blame newcomers, it’s not new. I think it’s pretty fundamentally human. But you have to push back against it. That’s why it doesn’t last forever, that’s why it’s periodic. And that’s the reason people like you do something about it, and say, ‘wait a minute, this isn’t who we are.’ I don’t think it’s who we are. I will push back against it with you.”

FULL VIDEO HERE (Exchange begins at 19:45)


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