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Fear of Refugees Not New to Western North Carolina

After the attacks on Paris earlier this month, a number of politicians in North Carolina, including Governor Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger Roy Cooper, called on the Obama administration to halt the location of Syrian refugees within North Carolina’s borders.  Rob Christensen, political columnist for the News and Observer of Raleigh, wrote a column noting fear of refugees is nothing new in this state.  He told WCQS’s Jeremy Loeb about two figures from western North Carolina who were opposed to immigrants coming to the United States in the 1930s, particularly Jewish and Japanese immigrants.  One was Robert Reynolds, a 2-term Democratic US Senator from Asheville.  Another was William Dudley Pelley, who founded a fascist group called the Silver Legion of America headquartered in Asheville.  You can hear the full conversation about the two figures, and how it relates to the debate over Syrian refugees today, by clicking the audio file above.  The short version that aired on WCQS is below.

Broadcast version