NC was hotbed of resistance to (Jewish) refugees

“Sen. Robert Reynolds, a Democrat from North Carolina and an outspoken opponent of Jewish migration, claimed Jews were ‘systematically building a Jewish empire in this country,’ and often argued that Jews were alien to American culture. ‘Let Europe take care of its own people,’ Reynolds argued. ‘We cannot care for our own, to say nothing of importing more to care for.

“Reynolds disseminated his nativist views through a publication he founded called the Vindicator. The publication carried headlines about the ‘alien menace’ such as ‘Jewish Refugees Find Work,’ ‘Rabbi Seeks Admission of One Million War Refugees,’ and ‘New U.S. Rules Hit Immigration of German Jews.’ Defending himself against critics, Reynolds told Life magazine that he simply wanted ‘our own fine boys and lovely girls to have all the jobs in this wonderful country’….

William Dudley Pelley, a leading anti-Semite and organizer of the [Asheville-based]  ‘Silver Shirts’ nationalist group, claimed that Jewish migration was part of a Jewish-Communist conspiracy to seize control of the United States. Pelley, whose organization routinely used anti-Semitic smears such as ‘Yidisher Refugees’ and ‘Refugees Kikes,’ attracted up to 50,000 to his organization by 1934….”

— From “Anti-Syrian Muslim Refugee Rhetoric Mirrors Calls to Reject Jews During Nazi Era” by Lee Fang at the Interceptor (Nov. 18)


When anti-immigration and anti-war were one

“Another nativist group drawing considerable attention was the Vindicator Association, an anti-immigration movement fostered by Senator Robert Reynolds, who became chairman of the Senate Military Affairs Committee in 1941.

“A conservative Democrat from North Carolina, Reynolds was a passionate isolationist and Anglophobe, one of the few Southerners in Congress holding those views. He had created the Vindicators, he said, to keep America out of war, stop all immigration for at least 10 years and ‘banish all isms but Americanism.’ Young people were encouraged to join the association’s ‘border patrol’ and catch ‘alien criminals,’ receiving $10 a head for each one they nabbed….

“Reynolds bristled at any suggestion that his association was anti-Semitic. ‘We’re just anti-alien,’ he told a reporter. ‘I want our own fine boys and lovely girls to have all the jobs in this wonderful country.'”

— From “Those Angry Days: Roosevelt , Lindbergh and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941” by Lynne Olson (2013)