Kate Elliott (whose new book Cold Magic is at the top of my TBR stack) has written an amazing and wise post about what it means to be a nation of immigrants, about prejudice and how it damages:
And yet a cycle repeats itself. Every generation seems to fixate on some “new” immigrant group as a threat that can’t or won’t assimilate itself properly, that is stubborn or ineducable or secretly under the thrall of the Pope or or or. You can fill in the blanks. It happens over and over again as meanwhile people who want to build a good life for themselves and their children, and their children who can conceive of nothing other than being Americans because, well, that is what they are–they are Americans just as I am, or you over there, or you, or you–get on with living a decent life . . . if they can, if they aren’t locked into internment camps or having their places of worship burned because they are this decade’s or this generation’s Threat to Our Way of Life.
Really, seriously, go read the whole thing.