Roger Williams and the “Refused to Learn the Local Language” Meme

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October 28, 2014 by JImbo

This bears sharing. The amount of myth shattering material here backed up by primary sources is impressive.

John Kutensky

To start, this is the meme I’ll be discussing.

Undocumented Immigrants Meme

The point of the meme is obvious.  It’s intended to mock the conservative dislike of undocumented immigrants entering the country and receiving benefits by pointing out that the earliest English colonists came without any permission from the native inhabitants of the land and would have starved to death without their assistance.  I agree with the general thrust of the meme entirely.  I want to be 100% clear on that.  Unfortunately, this is possibly the single worst painting that could be used for this meme.

You might recognize the painting as the below, Roger Williams Being Received by the Indians, 1635, by Alonzo Chappel.

Roger Williams PaintingRoger Williams is, to put it succinctly, a man with a morality beyond that of the present day who inexplicably found himself in the 17th century.

Let’s start with the first line of the meme: “Undocumented Immigrants Refuse…

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