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Elisabetta Savigni Ullmann e' una donna fantastica



Elisabetta Savigni Ullmann e' una donna fantastica, grande professionista, interprete di altissimo livello.

Ha lavorato con Clinton, Bush, Obama.

Perche' meravigliarsi della sua intensa attenzione professionale quando si trattava di tradurre in italiano per il Presidente Mattarella quanto il mitico Donald stava dicendo nella Sala Ovale?

"Trump ha detto che gli Stati Uniti e l'Italia sono alleati sino dai tempi dell'antica Roma.

Ha chiamato il Presidente Mattarella per cinque volte 'President Mozzarella'.

Ha inveito contro la NATO elogiando Putin".

ETC.

PS: Elisabetta e' anche una grande e feroce tennista
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Ahinoi, caro Oscar, i latini dicevano "nomen omen"; e se siamo alleati fin dall'Antica Roma con gli USA, Giuseppi e Mozzarella sono apprezzabili svarioni del Capo della Casa Bianca che fanno tanta tenerezza ...
Un abbraccio,
Dario
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Caro Oscar,
noi che siamo colti e anche  internazionalisti sappiamo bene invece che Caio Sempronio era italo-americano (da parte dei Sioux) e che Tullio ‘Priscopo’ è stato a lungo sindaco di Roma, dopo un’esperienza nei giardini di  Manhattan!
Abbracci

Sandro

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Caro Oscar,
Abbiamo avuto il piacere di conoscere Elisabetta e di apprezzarne il fascino e la professionalità. Anche adesso, per la sua imperturbabilità nel tradurre l'ignoranza trumpiana.
A Trump perdoniamo il Giuseppi (i o e, la bevanda non cambia), anche perchè ricordo che un mio vecchio capo americano Univac, visitando Bologna, mi disse che gli ricordava una città del suo mid-west. Perdoniamo anche il suo crimine storico sull'amicizia della Roma dei Cesari con gli USA, perchè egli è certamente acculturato dai filmacci di Hollywood, che ci raccontano eventi e fatti storici "a fantasia". Non possiamo però perdonargli quanto sta succedendo in Siria per la strage in atto dei Curdi. ed il risollevarsi della Spada dell'Islam! Comunque, suppongo che la vs. industria bellica gli sia molto riconoscente.
Un abbraccio
Aldo
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Oscar, e' brutta.......e Mozzarella ieri ha imbarazzato l'Italia e gli Italiani....mandalo a casa

Leonardo Zangani

Oscar risponde: perche' tu sei un Adone...cerca di essere meno nazista, please
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Erdogan da Putin e noi in ginocchio come da sempre 
Alberto Galluccio
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Caro Oscar, ho appena visto il tuo post con Trump ed Elisabetta su Facebook. Preferisco commentare privatamente.  Sto ancora asciugandomi le lacrime per il gran ridere dopo aver letto i vari commenti....  lo sguardo di Elisabetta poi! Bisognerà chiederle se era inorridita, trasecolata, o terrorizzata all’idea di aver capito male e dovesse tradurre quello che aveva capito.....
Ho riso ma c’è veramente da chiedersi perché “lui” è ancora lì. Mi chiedo se il ritiro delle truppe non sia stato un ordine di Putin e quante altre richieste ci saranno, adesso che si parla di impeachment, prima del ripulisti. Mah....
Grazie per il post. 
Maria Grazia
Subito dopo l'incontro col presidente Mattarella, a Donald sono saltati i nervi incontrando il top dei democratici.
Image: US-POLITICS-CONGRESS-DEMOCRATS
WASHINGTON — Democratic leaders in Congress on Wednesday angrily walked out of a White House meeting with President Donald Trump after he had a "meltdown," according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown. Sad to say," Pelosi told reporters outside the White House with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer said the dramatic moment unfolded after Trump referred to Pelosi as a "third-rate politician."
The meeting was about the president’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, paving the way for Turkey to invade the area. Ahead of the meeting, the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution rebuking the Trump’s decision to pull troops out.
“I think that vote, the size of the vote — more than 2 to 1 of the Republicans voted to oppose what the president did — it probably got to the president, because he was shaken up by it," Pelosi said. "That's why we couldn't continue in the meeting because he was just not relating to the reality of it.

Presidential election model that got it wrong once in 40 years predicts Trump 2020 win

MS News
A presidential election model that incorrectly predicted just one election outcome since 1980 shows President Trump winning reelection in 2020.
Moody’s Analytics released the results of its 2020 prediction model on Tuesday showing Trump winning with 332 electoral votes, an increase over his 2016 win of 306, if voter turnout remains relatively close to the historical average.
The Moody's Analytics model takes into account political dynamics but weighs heavily on economic factors. If the economy remains strong and voter turnout meets the historical average or is low, the model shows Trump winning handily. In the event that voter turnout hits its historical high, the Democratic candidate is expected to win a close race with 279 electoral votes, just over the 270 vote threshold.
Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, public finance research director Dan White, and assistant director Bernard Yaros coauthored the study.
"If the economy a year from now is the same as it is today, or roughly so, then the power of incumbency is strong and Trump's election odds are very good, particularly if Democrats aren't enthusiastic and don't get out to vote," the authors said. "It's about turnout."
The model accurately predicted every presidential election since 1980 except for the most recent one in 2016. Afterward, the authors retooled the single model and broke it into three that, averaged together, would have accurately predicted every election. The model is broken up into "the pocketbook model," "the stock market model," and "the unemployment model."

Cuomo signs law aimed at weakening Trump's pardon power, closes 'double jeopardy' loophole





New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a measure Wednesday that would allow the state to pursue charges against people who have received a presidential pardon — a law seen as a direct shot at President Donald Trump.

Multiple ex-Trump aides and associates are imprisoned or facing legal scrutiny in New York.
The president also is facing numerous federal, state and congressional investigations related to his administration, campaign and business dealings.
The New York Assembly and Senate passed the bill to end the so-called "double jeopardy loophole" in May. The newly signed law creates a narrow exception in the state's double jeopardy law, which prohibits the prosecution of a person who's been tried for the same crime by the federal government.
The new exception allows state prosecutors to pursue investigations into any pardoned individual who served in a president's administration, worked directly or indirectly to advance a presidential campaign or transition, or worked at a nonprofit or business controlled by a president and whose alleged criminal activity took place in New York. The law also allows for investigations to be opened or continued into anyone who was pardoned for the president's benefit.
The measure was proposed after reports Trump was weighing pardoning his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who's serving a seven-and-a-half year prison term on federal bank fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy charges stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
In addition to the federal conviction, Manafort was indicted on state mortgage fraud charges in March by the Manhattan district attorney's office. That office has also launched a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization over two hush money payments during the 2016 campaign to women who claim they had affairs with the president.
Mueller's 400-plus page report scrutinized Trump's comments on possibly pardoning Manafort as well as ex-longtime attorney Michael Cohen, who was involved in the hush payments, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
While presidents can pardon federal crimes, they cannot pardon state offenses.
The New York measure was backed by state Attorney General Letitia James, who began investigating the finances of the president and the Trump Organization earlier this year. That probe came after Trump's former lawyer Cohen told Congress that Trump had inflated the worth of his assets in financial statements to secure bank loans.
James has said the law was necessary because double jeopardy "exists to prevent someone from being charged twice for the same crime, not to allow them to evade justice altogether."
Trump has dismissed her efforts as "presidential harassment."

NBC News

In poche ore si sono accumulate le cattive sorprese...


Alberto Pasolini Zanelli

Una crisi si annunciava da diversi giorni, ai danni dell’America e dei suoi alleati nel Medio Oriente. Ma nemmeno i più ansiosi pessimisti se la aspettavano di queste proporzioni. In poche ore si sono accumulate le cattive sorprese, non necessariamente tali perché in grande numero sono o paiono la conseguenza di iniziative errate o almeno precipitose della Casa Bianca. Cominciando dall’“armistizio” che Trump aveva annunciato fra gli Stati Uniti e le diverse fazioni che si sono create in Siria in più di dieci anni di guerra civile, nata dall’illusione di molti Stati che la “primavera islamica” si potesse estendere a poco prezzo anche a Damasco. Sapevamo da tempo che non era andata così: la strategia per abbattere il regime di Assad, autoritario ai confini della dittatura, non ha funzionato a causa della imprevista dura resistenza delle forze di Stato, integrate dallo scontro religioso. Assad ha resistito, con fatica e brutalmente, per diversi anni finché è esplosa una nuova “rivoluzione”, islamica nella misura più estrema che ha portato alla conquista di una parte estesa e importante del territorio, fino alla proclamazione di un nuovo Stato con capitale a Raqqa, che è durato anni, occupato dalle milizie dell’Isis, apparentemente imbattibile anche da una coalizione di forze di diversi Stati. Fino a che nel conflitto non è entrata la Russia apertamente e l’Iran attraverso una sua forza armata “indipendente”, appoggiata fra l’altro dalla Turchia.

Ciò ha portato alla liberazione di quasi tutto il Paese dalla dittatura dei fanatici. Poi le operazioni sono rallentate, creando illusioni, finché la guerra si è riaccesa, con “fronti” in parte nuovi e più visibili: da una parte i resti dell’Isis, dall’altro due fronti: quello “indiretto” guidato da Mosca e l’altro più aperto, a guida di Washington. Cioè con finanziamenti, armi e consigli americani e consistente sul terreno di due “eserciti” sorprendentemente alleati: quello turco e quello indipendentista curdo, essenzialmente antiturco. I due hanno sospeso per qualche tempo le loro ostilità e “creato” una “striscia di sicurezza” al confine fra la Turchia e la Siria riconquistata da Assad e con l’appoggio decisivo degli Stati Uniti.

Questo equilibrio instabile e insufficiente è andato in pezzi per una decisione del presidente Usa Trump, che improvvisamente ha ordinato il ritiro dalla Siria delle forze americane, lasciando soli nella “striscia” non più di sicurezza i nemici secolari curdi e turchi, questi ultimi lanciati in una guerra totale.

Ed ecco la svolta. In pochi giorni la potenza americana è scomparsa da quel teatro di guerra. I curdi hanno rischiato lo sterminio, sul campo di battaglia è riemerso improvvisamente l’esercito siriano regolare di obbedienza governativa. La “striscia” si è disgregata in pochi giorni. Mentre ritirava i suoi soldati (e i suoi missili), Trump ha cercato di “stabilizzare” il terreno con un ultimatum alla Turchia: rinunciare all’invasione dell’Irak o sottoporsi a sanzioni finanziarie importanti. I turchi non hanno obbedito, hanno continuato l’avanzata, ai curdi è rimasta una sola “carta” militare: l’alleanza di fatto con l’esercito di Assad, un gesto che ha suscitato le reazioni previste dalla Casa Bianca in una parte del mondo arabo. Ma non tutta. E qui è nata l’ultima e più grave sorpresa: a “tranquillizzare” il “numero uno” di questo schieramento, è intervenuta la Russia, riaffacciandosi sul teatro di operazioni e puntando direttamente sull’Arabia Saudita, lo Stato più filoamericano di quella parte del mondo. A dirle che doveva star tranquilla si è spostato personalmente Vladimir Putin, che è volato a Riad, ha “abbracciato” il re più assoluto della Terra e ha promesso di “non interferire”, vale a dire di appoggiare la svolta saudita. E così mentre gli aerei militari Usa volano per portare a casa i marines e le altre truppe scelte, il presidente russo percorreva le strade della capitale, scortato nella forma più esplicita da reparti di cavalleria saudita in divisa di lusso. Di quelle riservate a salutare i capi dei Paesi amici. Ce ne è rimasto un altro, forse necessario ma certamente il più “nemico” degli Stati Uniti. Intanto è “esplosa” l’accoglienza nel mondo politico di Washington, a lungo tacciato di “guerrafondaio”, Donald Trump viene dipinto ora come un debole pacifista a tutti i costi.




Cristina Marsili
L’ATLETA PIU’ TITOLATA AL MONDO DI JUDO

DELLA CATEGORIA MASTER

   Raddoppia Cristina, al Palasport di Marrakesch (Marocco) ai Campionati Mondiali di Judo Master 2019 il titolo conquistato due anni fa ad Olbia.

   Cristina Marsili si annovera così tra le atlete più titolate al Mondo di Judo categoria Master, sommando le altre 4 vittorie ai Campionati Europei di cui l’ultimo conquistato al Palaemirates di Glasgow (Scozia).

   Un grande successo suggellato da un infinito applauso dagli oltre 2.000  presenti al Palasport di Marrakesh.

   Una grande atleta, sottolineata da tutti i Tecnici presenti, otre al fatto di essere stata l’unica rappresentante della Nazionale Italiana a conquistare l’oro in queste 5 giornate Marocchine che, hanno visto oltre 1200 atleti partecipanti, di ogni nazione del mondo.

   Del Judo Club Fornaci era stato selezionato anche l’atleta Giuliano Rossi che, nella prima giornata di apertura dei Campionati Mondiali di Judo, ottiene un interessante 7° posto, vista la sua prima esperienza in campo internazionale.

   Tutti però aspettavamo lei la grande, immensa Cristina, ormai conosciuta Internazionalmente per le sue capacità, la sua grinta e l’umiltà doti indispensabili per essere una grande atleta.

   La preoccupazione dello staff sia della Nazionale Italiana che, di quello del Judo Club Fornaci presente a Marrakesch, era il pensiero di quanto potesse incidere l’infortunio occorso in fase di allenamento al ginocchio.

   Infatti la settimana precedente alla gara, Cristina ha dovuto seguire rigorosamente gli indirizzi e le disposizioni dati dai Medici della Nazionale Italiana competenti obbligandola ad un completo riposo, mancante quindi di ogni forma di allenamento.

   Questo non è bastato per fermare Cristina la quale fin da subito, contro l’atleta Francese ha messo in chiaro le sue intensioni, vincendo con un combattimento allo spasimo, vista la capacità della sua avversaria.

   E’ toccato poi all’atleta Cecoslovacca la quale ha durato appena un minuto prima di essere immobilizzata a terra e chiudere l’incontro.

   Tutto andava verso una finale contro l’atleta Rumena dal momento che, nella l’altra pool stava dominando nettamente.

   Però l’ultimo ostacolo, prima della eventuale finale, era difficile, in quanto l’atleta Tedesca si stava presentando agguerrita e proveniente da due buone vittorie.

    Ma la giornata di Cristina, non presentava nessun ostacolo e dopo un bellissimo ed intenso confronto con la Tedesca vinto per ippon in piedi (ko del pugilato) tutto era pronto per una esaltante finale.

  E così è stato, la classe delle due atlete Cristina e l’atleta Rumena ha dato vita ad una finale degna di un Campionato del Mondo.

   Ma l’impossibile era possibile, Cristina chiude la competizione con un altro ippon questa volta in lotta a terra, dove per 30 secondi ha inchiodato le spalle della sua avversaria sul tatami.

   E’ li che, è scoppiato l’urlo del Palalazzetto della Sport di Marrackesch dove una standing ovation di applausi ha accolto la consacrazione della vittoria da parte dell’arbitro.

   Ed ora in settimana inizieranno i festeggiamenti con tutti gli atleti e i Soci del Judo Club Fornaci, giusto riconoscimento a Cristian Marsili la più titolata atleta del Mondo categoria Master.



LA Segreteria

Judo Club Fornaci

(Congratulazioni a Cristina e al Judo Club Fornaci da Oscar Bartoli fondatore del Club)

Commenti all'articolo su gli Italiani' (bianchi-negri)


Caro Oscar,

Molto interessante l'articolo che ci hai inviato. Le foto ci fanno anche vedere tempi e luoghi che tanti di noi possono rivivere, avendo parenti che andarono a tentare una vita migliore dallo Zio Sam.

Noi siamo popolo di emigrati e adesso ci opponiamo all'immigrazione. Però i tempi ed i luoghi sono molto diversi: l'America accoglieva tutti, perchè era senza popolazione e chi andava lì, anche se con grande dolore e sofferenza per aver lasciato patria ed affetti, trovava lavoro ed integrazione. Pur costituendo clan in base alle etnie, tutti si sentivano subito americani. L'immigrazione che noi adesso subiamo è diversa. Abbiamo un'Italia divisa: Nord ricco e Sud povero, la disoccupazione più alta in Europa, zone disastrate dalle calamità naturali da ricostruire con la popolazione abbandonata a fronte di promesse vane dei vari governi, un paio di milioni d'Italiani sulla soglia della miseria, una densità abitativa molta alta. Ed in questo grigio panorama siamo abbandonati a noi stessi sul tema dell'immigrazione.

Gli USA erano un grande paese in vorticosa crescita ed abbisognavano di tutto. Chi è andato lì, superato il periodo iniziale di sofferenza (anche un mio pro-zio emigrò nel 1922 e trovò fortuna sposando la vedova del suo datore di lavoro, un fabbricante di scarpe in NY), ha trovato lavoro e dignità. Da noi, mediamente, gli immigrasti trovano 25 € di sussistenza al giorno ed un centro di accoglienza più o meno fatiscente dal quale regolarmente escono ogni giorno per elemosinare (con una mano tendono con un bicchiere o cappello per avere qualche soldo, mentre con l'altra parlano al cellulare) o fare dell'altro di poco chiaro. Scappare verso gli altri paesi europei non è possibile per loro, perchè le frontiere sono controllate e chiuse a senso unico (Francia, Svizzera, Austria, Slovenia).

Ecco perchè le storie delle ns. emigrazioni verso altri paesi (USA, Germania, Belgio, etc.) sono diverse. Se i tedeschi nei loro bar e locali pubblici scrivevano : "vietato l'ingresso agli italiani ed ai cani", per i nostri, che lavoravano come bestie, il lavoro c'era. Da noi, purtroppo, il lavoro, soprattutto al Sud, manca e rimane l'accattonaggio e poco d'altro, compreso l'illecito.

Un caro abbraccio

Aldo.

How Italians Became ‘White’

Gli Italiani definiti 'Negri Bianchi', i linciaggi, le sofferenze dei nostri emigranti, l'autoconfessione del The New York Times


 By Brent Staples Mr. Staples (The New York Times)


Congress envisioned a white, Protestant and culturally homogeneous America when it declared in 1790 that only “free white persons, who have, or shall migrate into the United States” were eligible to become naturalized citizens. The calculus of racism underwent swift revision when waves of culturally diverse immigrants from the far corners of Europe changed the face of the country.

As the historian Matthew Frye Jacobson shows in his immigrant history “Whiteness of a Different Color,” the surge of newcomers engendered a national panic and led Americans to adopt a more restrictive, politicized view of how whiteness was to be allocated. Journalists, politicians, social scientists and immigration officials embraced the habit, separating ostensibly white Europeans into “races.” Some were designated “whiter” — and more worthy of citizenship — than others, while some were ranked as too close to blackness to be socially redeemable. 

The story of how Italian immigrants went from racialized pariah status in the 19th century to white Americans in good standing in the 20th offers a window onto the alchemy through which race is constructed in the United States, and how racial hierarchies can sometimes change.

Darker skinned southern Italians endured the penalties of blackness on both sides of the Atlantic. In Italy, Northerners had long held that Southerners — particularly Sicilians — were an “uncivilized” and racially inferior people, too obviously African to be part of Europe.

Racist dogma about Southern Italians found fertile soil in the United States. As the historian Jennifer Guglielmo writes, the newcomers encountered waves of books, magazines and newspapers that “bombarded Americans with images of Italians as racially suspect.” They were sometimes shut out of schools, movie houses and labor unions, or consigned to church pews set aside for black people. They were described in the press as “swarthy,” “kinky haired” members of a criminal race and derided in the streets with epithets like “dago,” “guinea” — a term of derision applied to enslaved Africans and their descendants — and more familiarly racist insults like “white nigger” and “nigger wop.”

The penalties of blackness went well beyond name-calling in the apartheid South. Italians who had come to the country as “free white persons” were often marked as black because they accepted “black” jobs in the Louisiana sugar fields or because they chose to live among African-Americans. This left them vulnerable to marauding mobs like the ones that hanged, shot, dismembered or burned alive thousands of black men, women and children across the South.

The federal holiday honoring the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus — celebrated on Monday — was central to the process through which Italian-Americans were fully ratified as white during the 20th century. The rationale for the holiday was steeped in myth, and allowed Italian-Americans to write a laudatory portrait of themselves into the civic record.

Few who march in Columbus Day parades or recount the tale of Columbus’s voyage from Europe to the New World are aware of how the holiday came about or that President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed it as a one-time national celebration in 1892 — in the wake of a bloody New Orleans lynching that took the lives of 11 Italian immigrants. The proclamation was part of a broader attempt to quiet outrage among Italian-Americans, and a diplomatic blowup over the murders that brought Italy and the United States to the brink of war.

Historians have recently showed that America’s dishonorable response to this barbaric event was partly conditioned by racist stereotypes about Italians promulgated in Northern newspapers like The Times. A striking analysis by Charles Seguin, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State University, and Sabrina Nardin, a doctoral student at the University of Arizona, shows that the protests lodged by the Italian government inspired something that had failed to coalesce around the brave African-American newspaper editor and anti-lynching campaigner Ida B. Wells — a broad anti-lynching

The lynchings of Italians came at a time when newspapers in the South had established the gory convention of advertising the far more numerous public murders of African-Americans in advance — to attract large crowds — and justifying the killings by labeling the victims “brutes,” “fiends,” “ravishers,” “born criminals” or “troublesome Negroes.” Even high-minded news organizations that claimed to abhor the practice legitimized lynching by trafficking in racist stereotypes about its victims.

As Mr. Seguin recently showed, many Northern newspapers were “just as complicit” in justifying mob violence as their Southern counterparts. For its part, The Times made repeated use of the headline “A Brutal Negro Lynched,” presuming the victims’ guilt and branding them as congenital criminals. Lynchings of black men in the South were often based on fabricated accusations of sexual assault. As the Equal Justice Initiative explained in its 2015 report on lynching in America, a rape charge could occur in the absence of an actual victim and might arise from minor violations of the social code — like complimenting a white woman on her appearance or even bumping into her on the street.

The Times was not owned by the family that controls it today when it dismissed Ida B. Wells as a “slanderous and nasty-minded mulattress” for rightly describing rape allegations as “a thread bare lie” that Southerners used against black men who had consensual sexual relationships with white women. Nevertheless, as a Times editorialist of nearly 30 years standing — and a student of the institution’s history — I am outraged and appalled by the nakedly racist treatment my 19th-century predecessors displayed in writing about African-Americans and Italian immigrants.

When Wells took her anti-lynching campaign to England in the 1890s, Times editors rebuked her for representing “black brutes” abroad in an editorial that joked about what they described as “the practice of roasting Negro ravishers alive and boring out their eyes with red-hot pokers.” The editorial slandered African-Americans generally, referring to rape as “a crime to which Negroes are particularly prone.” The Times editors may have lodged objections to lynching — but they did so in a rhetoric firmly rooted in white supremacy.

Italian immigrants were welcomed into Louisiana after the Civil War, when the planter class was in desperate need of cheap labor to replace newly emancipated black people, who were leaving backbreaking jobs in the fields for more gainful employment.

These Italians seemed at first to be the answer to both the labor shortage and the increasingly pressing quest for settlers who would support white domination in the emerging Jim Crow state. Louisiana’s romance with Italian labor began to sour when the new immigrants balked at low wages and dismal working conditions.

The newcomers also chose to live together in Italian neighborhoods, where they spoke their native tongue, preserved Italian customs and developed successful businesses that catered to African-Americans, with whom they fraternized and intermarried. In time, this proximity to blackness would lead white Southerners to view Sicilians, in particular, as not fully white and to see them as eligible for persecution — including lynching — that had customarily been imposed on African-Americans.

Nevertheless, as the historian Jessica Barbata Jackson showed recently in the journal Louisiana History, Italian newcomers were still well thought of in New Orleans in the 1870s when negative stereotypes were being established in the Northern press.

The Times, for instance, described them as bandits and members of the criminal classes who were “wretchedly poor and unskilled,” “starving and wholly destitute.” The stereotype about inborn criminality is plainly evident in an 1874 story about Italian immigrants seeking vaccinations that refers to one immigrant as a “burly fellow, whose appearance was like that of the traditional brigand of the Abruzzi.”

A Times story in 1880 described immigrants, including Italians, as “links in a descending chain of evolution.” These characterizations reached a defamatory crescendo in an 1882 editorial that appeared under the headline “Our Future Citizens.” The editors wrote:

“There has never been since New York was founded so low and ignorant a class among the immigrants who poured in here as the Southern Italians who have been crowding our docks during the past year.”

The editors reserved their worst invective for Italian immigrant children, whom they described as “utterly unfit — ragged, filthy, and verminous as they were — to be placed in the public primary schools among the decent children of American mechanics.”

The racist myth that African-Americans and Sicilians were both innately criminal drove an 1887 Times story about a lynching victim in Mississippi whose name was given as “Dago Joe” — “dago” being a slur directed at Italian and Spanish-speaking immigrants. The victim was described as a “half breed” who “was the son of a Sicilian father and a mulatto mother, and had the worst characteristics of both races in his makeup. He was cunning, treacherous and cruel, and was regarded in the community where he lived as an assassin by nature.”

The carnage in New Orleans was set in motion in the fall of 1890, when the city’s popular police chief, David Hennessy, was assassinated on his way home one evening. Hennessy had no shortage of enemies. The historian John V. Baiamonte Jr. writes that he had once been tried for murder in connection with the killing of a professional rival. He is also said to have been involved in a feud between two Italian businessmen. On the strength of a clearly suspect witness who claimed to hear Mr. Hennessy say that “dagoes” had shot him, the city charged 19 Italians with complicity in the chief’s murder.

That the evidence was distressingly weak was evident from the verdicts that were swiftly handed down: Of the first nine to be tried, six were acquitted; three others were granted mistrials. The leaders of the mob that then went after them advertised their plans in advance, knowing full well that the city’s elites — who coveted the businesses the Italians had built or hated the Italians for fraternizing with African-Americans — would never seek justice for the dead. After the lynching, a grand jury investigation pronounced the killings praiseworthy, turning that inquiry into what the historian Barbara Botein describes as “possibly one of the greatest whitewashes in American history.”

The blood of the New Orleans victims was scarcely dry when The Times published a cheerleading news story — “Chief Hennessy Avenged: Eleven of his Italian Assassins Lynched by a Mob” — that reveled in the bloody details. It reported that the mob had consisted “mostly of the best element” of New Orleans society. The following day, a scabrous Times editorial justified the lynching — and dehumanized the dead, with by-now-familiar racist stereotypes.

“These sneaking and cowardly Sicilians,” the editors wrote, “the descendants of bandits and assassins, who have transported to this country the lawless passions, the cutthroat practices … are to us a pest without mitigations. Our own rattlesnakes are as good citizens as they. Our own murderers are men of feeling and nobility compared to them.” The editors concluded of the lynching that it would be difficult to find “one individual who would confess that privately he deplores it very much.”

Congress envisioned a white, Protestant and culturally homogeneous America when it declared in 1790 that only “free white persons, who have, or shall migrate into the United States” were eligible to become naturalized citizens. The calculus of racism underwent swift revision when waves of culturally diverse immigrants from the far corners of Europe changed the face of the country.

As the historian Matthew Frye Jacobson shows in his immigrant history “Whiteness of a Different Color,” the surge of newcomers engendered a national panic and led Americans to adopt a more restrictive, politicized view of how whiteness was to be allocated. Journalists, politicians, social scientists and immigration officials embraced the habit, separating ostensibly white Europeans into “races.” Some were designated “whiter” — and more worthy of citizenship — than others, while some were ranked as too close to blackness to be socially redeemable. The story of how Italian immigrants went from racialized pariah status in the 19th century to white Americans in good standing in the 20th offers a window onto the alchemy through which race is constructed in the United States, and how racial hierarchies can sometimes change.

Darker skinned southern Italians endured the penalties of blackness on both sides of the Atlantic. In Italy, Northerners had long held that Southerners — particularly Sicilians — were an “uncivilized” and racially inferior people, too obviously African to be part of Europe.

Racist dogma about Southern Italians found fertile soil in the United States. As the historian Jennifer Guglielmo writes, the newcomers encountered waves of books, magazines and newspapers that “bombarded Americans with images of Italians as racially suspect.” They were sometimes shut out of schools, movie houses and labor unions, or consigned to church pews set aside for black people. They were described in the press as “swarthy,” “kinky haired” members of a criminal race and derided in the streets with epithets like “dago,” “guinea” — a term of derision applied to enslaved Africans and their descendants — and more familiarly racist insults like “white nigger” and “nigger wop.”


Italian-Americans were often used as cheap labor on
the docks of New Orleans at the turn of the last century. Library of Congress
Mulberry Street in the Little Italy
section of New York around 1900. Library of Congress

The penalties of blackness went well beyond name-calling in the apartheid South. Italians who had come to the country as “free white persons” were often marked as black because they accepted “black” jobs in the Louisiana sugar fields or because they chose to live among African-Americans. This left them vulnerable to marauding mobs like the ones that hanged, shot, dismembered or burned alive thousands of black men, women and children across the South.

The federal holiday honoring the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus — celebrated on Monday — was central to the process through which Italian-Americans were fully ratified as white during the 20th century. The rationale for the holiday was steeped in myth, and allowed Italian-Americans to write a laudatory portrait of themselves into the civic record.

Few who march in Columbus Day parades or recount the tale of Columbus’s voyage from Europe to the New World are aware of how the holiday came about or that President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed it as a one-time national celebration in 1892 — in the wake of a bloody New Orleans lynching that took the lives of 11 Italian immigrants. The proclamation was part of a broader attempt to quiet outrage among Italian-Americans, and a diplomatic blowup over the murders that brought Italy and the United States to the brink of war.

Historians have recently showed that America’s dishonorable response to this barbaric event was partly conditioned by racist stereotypes about Italians promulgated in Northern newspapers like The Times. A striking analysis by Charles Seguin, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State University, and Sabrina Nardin, a doctoral student at the University of Arizona, shows that the protests lodged by the Italian government inspired something that had failed to coalesce around the brave African-American newspaper editor and anti-lynching campaigner Ida B. Wells — a broad anti-lynching effort.

A Black ‘Brute’ Lynched

The lynchings of Italians came at a time when newspapers in the South had established the gory convention of advertising the far more numerous public murders of African-Americans in advance — to attract large crowds — and justifying the killings by labeling the victims “brutes,” “fiends,” “ravishers,” “born criminals” or “troublesome Negroes.” Even high-minded news organizations that claimed to abhor the practice legitimized lynching by trafficking in racist stereotypes about its victims.

As Mr. Seguin recently showed, many Northern newspapers were “just as complicit” in justifying mob violence as their Southern counterparts. For its part, The Times made repeated use of the headline “A Brutal Negro Lynched,” presuming the victims’ guilt and branding them as congenital criminals. Lynchings of black men in the South were often based on fabricated accusations of sexual assault. As the Equal Justice Initiative explained in its 2015 report on lynching in America, a rape charge could occur in the absence of an actual victim and might arise from minor violations of the social code — like complimenting a white woman on her appearance or even bumping into her on the street.

The Times was not owned by the family that controls it today when it dismissed Ida B. Wells as a “slanderous and nasty-minded mulattress” for rightly describing rape allegations as “a thread bare lie” that Southerners used against black men who had consensual sexual relationships with white women. Nevertheless, as a Times editorialist of nearly 30 years standing — and a student of the institution’s history — I am outraged and appalled by the nakedly racist treatment my 19th-century predecessors displayed in writing about African-Americans and Italian immigrants.

When Wells took her anti-lynching campaign to England in the 1890s, Times editors rebuked her for representing “black brutes” abroad in an editorial that joked about what they described as “the practice of roasting Negro ravishers alive and boring out their eyes with red-hot pokers.” The editorial slandered African-Americans generally, referring to rape as “a crime to which Negroes are particularly prone.” The Times editors may have lodged objections to lynching — but they did so in a rhetoric firmly rooted in white supremacy.

‘Assassins by Nature’

Italian immigrants were welcomed into Louisiana after the Civil War, when the planter class was in desperate need of cheap labor to replace newly emancipated black people, who were leaving backbreaking jobs in the fields for more gainful employment.

These Italians seemed at first to be the answer to both the labor shortage and the increasingly pressing quest for settlers who would support white domination in the emerging Jim Crow state. Louisiana’s romance with Italian labor began to sour when the new immigrants balked at low wages and dismal working conditions.

The newcomers also chose to live together in Italian neighborhoods, where they spoke their native tongue, preserved Italian customs and developed successful businesses that catered to African-Americans, with whom they fraternized and intermarried. In time, this proximity to blackness would lead white Southerners to view Sicilians, in particular, as not fully white and to see them as eligible for persecution — including lynching — that had customarily been imposed on African-Americans.


Clams being sold from a cart in Little Italy. Library of Congress
Many Italian-Americans lived in a section of New
Orleans that became known as Little Palermo. Library of Congress

Nevertheless, as the historian Jessica Barbata Jackson showed recently in the journal Louisiana History, Italian newcomers were still well thought of in New Orleans in the 1870s when negative stereotypes were being established in the Northern press.

The Times, for instance, described them as bandits and members of the criminal classes who were “wretchedly poor and unskilled,” “starving and wholly destitute.” The stereotype about inborn criminality is plainly evident in an 1874 story about Italian immigrants seeking vaccinations that refers to one immigrant as a “burly fellow, whose appearance was like that of the traditional brigand of the Abruzzi.”

A Times story in 1880 described immigrants, including Italians, as “links in a descending chain of evolution.” These characterizations reached a defamatory crescendo in an 1882 editorial that appeared under the headline “Our Future Citizens.” The editors wrote:

“There has never been since New York was founded so low and ignorant a class among the immigrants who poured in here as the Southern Italians who have been crowding our docks during the past year.”

The editors reserved their worst invective for Italian immigrant children, whom they described as “utterly unfit — ragged, filthy, and verminous as they were — to be placed in the public primary schools among the decent children of American mechanics.”

The racist myth that African-Americans and Sicilians were both innately criminal drove an 1887 Times story about a lynching victim in Mississippi whose name was given as “Dago Joe” — “dago” being a slur directed at Italian and Spanish-speaking immigrants. The victim was described as a “half breed” who “was the son of a Sicilian father and a mulatto mother, and had the worst characteristics of both races in his makeup. He was cunning, treacherous and cruel, and was regarded in the community where he lived as an assassin by nature.”

Sicilians as ‘Rattlesnakes’

The carnage in New Orleans was set in motion in the fall of 1890, when the city’s popular police chief, David Hennessy, was assassinated on his way home one evening. Hennessy had no shortage of enemies. The historian John V. Baiamonte Jr. writes that he had once been tried for murder in connection with the killing of a professional rival. He is also said to have been involved in a feud between two Italian businessmen. On the strength of a clearly suspect witness who claimed to hear Mr. Hennessy say that “dagoes” had shot him, the city charged 19 Italians with complicity in the chief’s murder.




The monument to David Hennessy rises above nearly all
the other tombs in Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans. William Widmer for The New York Times

That the evidence was distressingly weak was evident from the verdicts that were swiftly handed down: Of the first nine to be tried, six were acquitted; three others were granted mistrials. The leaders of the mob that then went after them advertised their plans in advance, knowing full well that the city’s elites — who coveted the businesses the Italians had built or hated the Italians for fraternizing with African-Americans — would never seek justice for the dead. After the lynching, a grand jury investigation pronounced the killings praiseworthy, turning that inquiry into what the historian Barbara Botein describes as “possibly one of the greatest whitewashes in American history.”

The blood of the New Orleans victims was scarcely dry when The Times published a cheerleading news story — “Chief Hennessy Avenged: Eleven of his Italian Assassins Lynched by a Mob” — that reveled in the bloody details. It reported that the mob had consisted “mostly of the best element” of New Orleans society. The following day, a scabrous Times editorial justified the lynching — and dehumanized the dead, with by-now-familiar racist stereotypes.

“These sneaking and cowardly Sicilians,” the editors wrote, “the descendants of bandits and assassins, who have transported to this country the lawless passions, the cutthroat practices … are to us a pest without mitigations. Our own rattlesnakes are as good citizens as they. Our own murderers are men of feeling and nobility compared to them.” The editors concluded of the lynching that it would be difficult to find “one individual who would confess that privately he deplores it very much.”


Lynchers in 1891 storming the New Orleans city jail, where they killed 11 Italian-Americans accused in the fatal shooting of Chief Hennessy. Italian Tribune

President Harrison would have ignored the New Orleans carnage had the victims been black. But the Italian government made that impossible. It broke off diplomatic relations and demanded an indemnity that the Harrison administration paid. Harrison even called on Congress in his 1891 State of the Union to protect foreign nationals — though not black Americans — from mob violence.

Harrison’s Columbus Day proclamation in 1892 opened the door for Italian-Americans to write themselves into the American origin story, in a fashion that piled myth upon myth. As the historian Danielle Battisti shows in “Whom We Shall Welcome,” they rewrote history by casting Columbus as “the first immigrant” — even though he never set foot in North America and never immigrated anywhere (except possibly to Spain), and even though the United States did not exist as a nation during his 15th-century voyage. The mythologizing, carried out over many decades, granted Italian-Americans “a formative role in the nation-building narrative.” It also tied Italian-Americans closely to the paternalistic assertion, still heard today, that Columbus “discovered” a continent that was already inhabited by Native Americans.

But in the late 19th century, the full-blown Columbus myth was yet to come. The New Orleans lynching solidified a defamatory view of Italians generally, and Sicilians in particular, as irredeemable criminals who represented a danger to the nation. The influential anti-immigrant racist Representative Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, soon to join the United States Senate, quickly appropriated the event. He argued that a lack of confidence in juries, not mob violence, had been the real problem in New Orleans. “Lawlessness and lynching are evil things,” he wrote, “but a popular belief that juries cannot be trusted is even worse.”

Facts aside, Lodge argued, beliefs about immigrants were in themselves sufficient to warrant higher barriers to immigration. Congress ratified that notion during the 1920s, curtailing Italian immigration on racial grounds, even though Italians were legally white, with all of the rights whiteness entailed.

The Italian-Americans who labored in the campaign that overturned racist immigration restrictions in 1965 used the romantic fictions built up around Columbus to political advantage. This shows yet again how racial categories that people mistakenly view as matters of biology grow out of highly politicized myth making.

Franca’s Autumn Collection

SPECIAL REPORT: Disunited Kingdom: How Brexit might break Britain



LONDON — The United Kingdom has 215 nuclear weapons and a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, and has been Washington's best friend for decades.
Less than 100 years ago it ruled over Canada, Nigeria, India, Australia and more, covering almost a quarter of the world's territory and population.
Yet in recent months there has been growing alarm that the U.K. is in danger of breaking apart. Nothing like this has happened before — not to a modern democracy with such geopolitical and historical standing.
The U.K. is unusual because it comprises four nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Were one of these to leave the U.K., many would see it as a dismal end to centuries of British history, further diminishing its role as a cornerstone of the Western postwar alliance.
"We should be genuinely worried. There's no doubt about that," former Prime Minister Tony Blair told NBC News in an interview.

"It's incredible to me," he said. "The factors at work here have come into play, not through some act of God, but because people created them."

In fact all five of the U.K.'s living former leaders warn that this is no longer some vague hypothetical; the possible roadmap to disintegration is now clear. Scotland or Northern Ireland — or both — could conceivably hold referendums to leave the U.K. within the next five to 10 years.

Its breakup would be cheered by separatists who see the Parliament in London as a colonial throwback deaf to their interests. They point to the recent rise in English nationalism and the prime ministership of Boris Johnson, who has upended constitutional norms during his short time in office.

But at the heart of the turmoil lies Brexit.

First, here's how the U.K. came together.

In 927, King Athelstan is the first monarch to unite the Kingdom of England, unifying a patchwork of Anglo-Saxon and Viking realms that previously fought over the region.

After hundreds of years of conflict, England passes laws in 1535 officially annexing Wales. The English language and its laws are now used in Wales' courts, marginalizing the Welsh language to the lower classes.

In 1707, England and Scotland merge to form Great Britain. They have already shared a monarch for around 100 years, but this makes the partnership official.

The Irish Parliament is abolished in 1801 and Ireland joins what is now known as the United Kingdom. It's been a client state of England for 250 years, since King Henry VIII declared himself king of Ireland in 1542. Now, it too is folded into the union.

In 1921, after a brief war Ireland is partitioned into Northern Ireland — which would remain part of the U.K. — and what would later become the Irish Republic, a separate country.

In 2016, the U.K. votes for Brexit. Most people in England and Wales vote to leave the European Union, outnumbering the majority in Scotland and Northern Ireland who vote to remain.

Here's how it might all break apart.

Although Scotland voted against independence in 2014, the post-Brexit fallout pressures the London-based government to grant it a second referendum. This time, the Scots say 'Yes,' and they leave the U.K. for good.

Buoyed by Scotland's departure, and rocked by the U.K.'s exit from the E.U., opinion in Northern Ireland shifts. The British government is treaty-bound to give the people a say on whether to reunify with the Irish Republic: a 'Yes' vote begins its path out of the U.K.

Support for Welsh independence builds, perhaps triggered by the loss of E.U. funding, and galvanized by the departure of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Later — possibly decades later — Wales is the last to depart the union.

Northern Ireland

The most urgent issue is a curveball few saw coming.

Before the Brexit referendum in 2016, the idea that Northern Ireland could leave the U.K. and reunite with the Irish Republic was not a serious consideration for most.

"It was hardly mentioned five years ago, but everyone seems to be talking about it now," said Tom McParland, 70, a cattle farmer perusing a livestock auction near the Irish border.

Irish agriculture is forecast to be among the industries hit hardest by Brexit, and that anxiety creeps its way into seemingly every conversation here.

"A united Ireland seemed like a ridiculous thing to talk about, but now people are," said McParland, who comes from the nearby town of Newtownhamilton. He considers himself Irish, not British, and believes reunification is perhaps 15 years away.

Polls suggest people are being swayed by the threat of a damaging "no-deal" Brexit. That is, if it can't work out a divorce settlement to leave the European Union, the U.K. will crash out of Europe with no plan at all.

British lawmakers have tried to block Johnson going down this hard-line route, denying him an early election (for now) and passing a law forcing him to ask for an extension to the Brexit deadline of Oct. 31 if necessary.

However, neither a delay nor an election would change the central fact: Without another solution, the default legal position is that the U.K. is headed toward a no-deal Brexit.

The government's own forecasts warn that this extreme scenario could bring economic misery, transport chaos and shortages of food and medicine.

But it could be even worse in Northern Ireland.

Here, there are widespread fears it could reignite decades of sectarian violence most hoped were in the past. Faced with these threats to their economy and security, more people are becoming open to Irish reunification, according to polls.

The stakes are colossal: The British government must hold a referendum in Northern Ireland if it looks likely most there would support reunification. Though the logistics are vague, a simple "yes" vote would pave the way for a united Ireland, ending the U.K. as we know it.

Observers say these risks should have been obvious to the previous government of Theresa May, the former prime minister.

"Although from time to time she said she would consult with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, in practice she rarely showed any sign of doing that," said Robert Hazell, a politics professor at University College London.

"It was starkly apparent that the Irish border would be one of the main difficulties with Brexit, yet Mrs. May blundered on, seemingly blind to that very obvious, very startling difficulty," Hazell said.

The border is crucial.

For 30 years Northern Ireland was plagued by "the Troubles," a conflict between mainly Catholic republicans wanting to reunify with the Irish Republic and mainly Protestant unionists wanting to remain in the U.K.

Around 3,600 people were killed in violence between paramilitary groups like the Irish Republican Army and the Ulster Volunteer Force, and the British Army. It spilled over onto the U.K. mainland, most notably the IRA's attempt to assassinate then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with a bomb in 1984.

The conflict ended in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement, a landmark peace deal that deployed some ingenious ambiguity.

Northern Ireland would remain in the U.K. but its people would be permitted Irish citizenship. The border was opened and armed checkpoints removed, giving citizens of both countries freedom to cross without fear of confrontation.

"The Good Friday Agreement had an elasticity in it, but that ambiguity has almost been totally hammered out as a result of Brexit," said Feargal Cochrane, a professor of conflict analysis at the University of Kent.

That's because any type of hard-line Brexit would rid the North of the shared E.U. regulations that make this flexibility work. It would mean a return to cameras or manned posts at a "hard border" — a painful reminder of the conflict and a target for paramilitaries eager to revive it.

Despite the end of the Troubles more than 20 years ago, violence lingers.

In April, the Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee was shot dead, with the dissident group the New IRA reportedly claiming she had been caught in crossfire aimed at police. This summer, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, or PSNI, says it has seen an uptick in activity, including several bombs planted with the intention of killing its officers.

"There's a latent tension that's building," Cochrane said. "The cork is going to pop out of the bottle once Brexit happens."

The U.K. and E.U. have tried to address the threat by negotiating something called the "backstop." This is an insurance policy that says, if nothing else is sorted out, some E.U. rules will be kept in place to prevent the need for a border.

It's the crucial sticking point in negotiations, and hated by many Brexiteers because they fear it risks tying them up in Europe's regulatory web. Johnson's own plan was immediately dismissed by Europe, but negotiations are continuing.

At the livestock market near the town of Markethill, owner and auctioneer Hampton Hewitt, 57, said he fears Brexit's devastating impact on the dairy and lamb business, which he thinks "could simply cease to exist in Northern Ireland."

But he believes reunification is unlikely because of the Irish Republic itself.

Officially, the Republic supports reunification in its Constitution. Under the 1998 peace deal, it would hold its own referendum if there were ever a move toward a united Ireland. But Hewitt is not alone in believing the Republic may be reluctant to annex his volatile homeland.

"They couldn't handle us," Hewitt said. "We're a hot potato that nobody wants."

His son, James, 21, disagrees, and says the door to reunification is at least ajar. "People who have been through the Troubles, it's like you've got an enemy and you pick your side," he said. "But people my age would be more worried about the economy and stability, rather than a unionist or nationalist point of view."


Those in favor of remaining in the U.K. used to point to Dublin's conservative Roman Catholicism and weak economy.

But today, Ireland is Europe's fastest growing economy and "a very cosmopolitan, secular country," Cochrane said. "If the U.K. economy falls through the floor after Brexit, then that's another rationale for the union gone. If Scotland jumps overboard, its whole raison d'etre starts to fall apart."

Scotland

Over the centuries, the Irish, Welsh and Scottish have fought countless battles against the English. But Scotland's final capitulation came in far less heroic circumstances.

In the 1600s, the Kingdom of Scotland lost an estimated one-fifth of its cash reserves in a disastrous attempt to establish a trading route in Panama. England offered to pay its debt as part of a deal for Scotland to join its realm.

Despite widespread riots on the streets, the Scottish government agreed. And in 1707 Great Britain was born.

Today, proud Scots are more likely to invoke Robert the Bruce and William Wallace, who fought off the English in the 13th and 14th centuries, rather than the more recent financial folly that helped seal their fate.

"I don't feel British at all — at all," said Annie Jenkins, 75, a retired health worker. "When you fly somewhere and have to fill in those forms, I always cross out 'British' and write 'Scottish.'"

Jenkins was among an estimated 12,000 people who flooded the streets for a pro-independence rally in the oil town of Aberdeen in August. She struggled to be heard above bloodcurdling cries of, "Let's take our country back!" as the city was engulfed in a tide of tartan, Saltair flags and woad-like face paint.

"I've been coming on these marches for years and I can feel the difference now," said Helen Armett, 53, who writes a community newsletter on the island of Orkney. "Independence is happening."

Spearheaded by the Scottish National Party, the separatists say they are being held back by the government in London, 400 miles south of Aberdeen.

"We're a remarkable wee country," Armett said.

Income distribution is a big part of the discussion. The British government spends far more money per person in Scotland than it does across the rest of the U.K. This is effectively a subsidy from the rest of the country, particularly the affluent southeast of England and London.

Some economists say independence would make Scotland poorer because spending this much on its own — without these effective subsidies from south of the border — would create a crippling black hole in its budget.

Separatists argue that their books would be in better shape if they were allowed to run their own affairs.

"How can we remove the foreign invaders if they control our system?" said Gary Kelly, 44, organizer of the Aberdeen rally. "Why are we still asking permission? We are a sovereign people."

Not all bridges would be burned. The SNP has proposed keeping the British pound for currency, and even retaining the queen as its head of state, as is the case in Canada and Australia.

But they do want full control of the oil reserves off Scotland's northeast coast, as well as their world-famous Scotch whisky and tourism industries. They oppose the U.K.'s submarine-based nuclear weapons, which are based in Scotland and cost the taxpayer some $45 billion a year.

For unionists such as Tony Blair, Scottish independence would severely diminish the U.K. in its role as Washington's bridge to Europe. He is a true believer in this "special relationship," including his well-known support for President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Blair sees this battle as part of a wider struggle, one for global influence against an authoritarian China, a rising India and an illiberal Russia.

"The 21st century is going to see a competition between East and West over things like technology and trade and, to a degree, military power," Blair said. "It's important those Western countries, and particularly that transatlantic alliance between America and Europe, stick together."

In 2014, Scotland had a swing and a miss at independence, voting against it in a referendum. Supporters now demand a new vote because they argue Brexit has flipped the equation.

Staying in the U.K. was previously sold as the only way to guarantee E.U. membership, but independence might now be Scotland's only route back in. Like in Northern Ireland, most Scots voted against Brexit but were outnumbered by those in England.

The debate on the E.U. has also allowed separatists a makeover. Before their cause was denegrated as backward, inward-looking and nationalistic. It has now been rebranded as pro-European, progressive and welcoming.

And unlike the anti-immigration sentiment thriving in England, Scotland needs more people to compensate for its brain-drain.

Then there's the prime minister, Johnson, who is disliked more in Scotland than anywhere else in Britain. He talks about leading an "awesome foursome" but was booed on every leg of his inaugural trip to the U.K. nations.

He was elected by fewer than 100,000 Conservative Party members, most of whom are English. So far in his short premiership he has triggered uproar by asking the queen to suspend Parliament, something deemed unlawful by the U.K.'s Supreme Court and called "a dark day for democracy" by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and others.

"English nationalists are the ones that sealed the United Kingdom's fate. We can feel it sinking as we stand," said Sammuel Cook, 23, a car insurance adviser at the Aberdeen rally.

Most experts believe an early U.K. election is inevitable sooner or later. But the union would appear no safer were opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to gain power. Corbyn has for decades supported Irish reunification, and says he would not block a second Scottish referendum if there was sufficient support.

Even avid unionists accept that any government would struggle to deny Scotland a second independence vote were the needle to shift demonstrably. At least one poll suggests it already has.

"Technically it is in Westminster's gift to grant a referendum, so they can always say no," said Kevin Hague, director of the pro-unionist nonprofit These Islands. "But the truth is, you can't hold back that tide, I don't think."

Wales

Though fiercely proud of its culture, ancient language and marauding rugby team, Wales is not seen as a hotbed of separatist passions.

When given the chance to create its own Parliament in a 1997 referendum, the nation said yes only by a margin of 6,721 among some 1 million Welsh voters.

Fast forward 22 years and the mood is undoubtedly different. Fresh debates in Scotland and Ireland have coincided with a renewed zeal in Wales.

Wales has seen its own slew of pro-independence marches. And although most polls show support is in single-figure percentages, one bombshell survey last month said one third of the Welsh supported the cause.

Even many who aren't sure say they are "indycurious."

"The use of the word 'indycurious' is kind of indicative, isn't it? It comes from the LGBT context of bicurious," said Adam Price, leader of the pro-independence party Plaid Cymru.

"People are 'coming out' for Welsh independence," said Price, who is gay. "Much like those Pride marches from years ago, people are gaining confidence by marching together in an unabashed, unashamed and unapologetic way."

It's not just on the streets. An ecosystem of pro-independence meme accounts have sprung up on social media. One of these, "Fiery Welsh Memes for Feisty Independent Dreams," has quadrupled its audience in the past eight months, according to Joe and Haf Williams, two of the students who run it.

"What our page does is take Welsh politics, a usually dull or ignored subject for young people, and presents it in a way that's accessible and funny," said Joe, 22.

"The main focus, though, is comedy," Haf, 19, added. "If you can make people laugh, you can make them listen."

Price, the pro-independence leader, traces his secessionism back to the 1980s, when Thatcher's Conservative government closed down coal mines in Wales and elsewhere.

Rich natural resources made Wales one of the centers of the industrial world in the 19th century. Today it is one of the poorest parts of Europe, with almost 30 percent of children in poverty and a falling life expectancy.

Some economists say because Wales is heavily subsidized by the government in London, it is too small and has too little taxable income to go it alone. But like his comrades in Scotland, Price flips this equation on its head.

"We're poor because we're not independent," he argued. "Independent countries do something about their poverty because they are incentivized to do so."

"In the U.K. you've got a union which is vastly over-dominated by one constituent country: England," he added. "And therein lies the source of all our problems. The only way to resolve that is to through independence."

England

One part of the U.K. that almost certainly isn't going anywhere is England. It's the dominant family member, in terms of population, land mass and money. Go to any sports event between England and one of its neighbors and you'll leave with ears ringing from the profane insults against the de facto seat of power.

Its influence is so great that foreigners often treat England and the U.K. interchangeably, like when President Donald Trump mistakenly tweeted that he had met the "Queen of England (U.K.)." This is maddening for the other nations, but it's not new. The 1888 Encyclopedia Britannica read, "For Wales, see England."

The key to the U.K.'s success has been England's ability to downplay this dominance so the union feels more balanced, said Hazell, the professor at University College London.

Unlike the other three nations, England does not have its own devolved Parliament. And, because of the quirks of how U.K. funding is distributed, English citizens actually receive less government spending per head than anywhere else.

Brexit has provided a conduit for this simmering frustration by unleashing — or being unleashed by — a resurgence in English nationalism, Hazel said.

"I think English nationalism is the genie that has half been let out of the bottle by Brexit," he said. "If English nationalism is really allowed to let rip, that's dangerous for the U.K."

What astounds Blair is that so many Conservatives seem blasé about the union — especially given that their party's full name is the Conservative and Unionist Party.

"The Conservative Party was always the protector of the union — I mean it's in their DNA!" he said. "But if you actually look at the polls of Conservative Party members, they are indifferent to whether we lose Northern Ireland and we lose Scotland."