John Kelly and Convenient Cultural Amnesia

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Sympathizer,  comments about John Kelley’s remarks on immigrants:

Convenient amnesia about one’s origins is an all-American trait, since we believe ourselves to be the country in which everyone gets a new beginning.
What some of us also forget is that at nearly every stage of our country’s history, the people who were already established as American citizens found convenient targets to designate as unable to assimilate: the indigenous peoples; conquered Mexicans; slaves; or the newest immigrants, who were usually classified as nonwhite.