Intolerance American History Is Unfortunately Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

The Japanese internment camps are but one manifestation of historic intolerance in the United States. The ghettoization of Jews and other perceived undesirable European groups during the early 20th century also proves that many American urban centers were founded on principles of intolerance. The geographic and cultural landscape of the United States continues to reflect intolerance: in the ways many if not most American cities remain visibly segregated into ethnic enclaves, and also how poverty and race are inextricably linked. Differential educational outcomes and income disparity are some of the hallmark signs that intolerance has become institutionalized in America.

"Since colonial times, Americans have used hatred as a common bond," (Reid, et al. 2008, p. 7). Hatred has permitted the creation of social and cultural barriers that prevent passage from one social stratum to another. An in-group/out-group mentality continues to inform American culture. In-group/out-group consciousness has created a plethora of subcultures and resistance movements that subvert and challenge the prevailing social hierarchies. Black nationalism is one of the most effective examples of ways oppressed groups create their own system of power. The means to resist and overcome systematic oppression is to stop tolerating intolerance. When racism and other forms of intolerance become entrenched in the political, social, and economic systems of a community as with Black Codes in the American South, the repercussions are tremendous. The repercussions include the Great Migration of blacks from the South to the North, changing the social and ethnic composition of American towns and cities. Other repercussions include the use of crime and black market economies to subvert white supremacy.

However, civil rights movements have provided judicious and powerful counterpoints to intolerance. Building on the ironically WASP theory of equality and justice for all, minorities and oppressed members of society have referred to the American Constitution when demanding the enforcement of laws that promote social justice. Equality was set forth as an ideal, and one that has had to be fought for continually. Education, access to information, and the creation of social solidarity networks have been the ways in which oppressed people unite and create change. The Civil Rights movement in the United States did not occur in a vacuum; its roots can be found deep within the abolition movement and in the early twentieth century when activists and scholars like W.E.B. DuBois paved the way for a saner, more sensible, and more genuine discourse of equality.


Reid, C. Toth, Gordon A. Crew, Catherine E.…

Sources Used in Document:


Reid, C. Toth, Gordon A. Crew, Catherine E. Burton, Pearson Education, Inc. (2008).

Cite This Essay:

"Intolerance American History Is Unfortunately" (2011, May 08) Retrieved April 23, 2019, from

"Intolerance American History Is Unfortunately" 08 May 2011. Web.23 April. 2019. <>

"Intolerance American History Is Unfortunately", 08 May 2011, Accessed.23 April. 2019,