Jews in the South

By Leonard Dinnerstein; Mary Dale Palsson | Go to book overview

Section 3 Southerners View the Jew

While other regions have been inundated and transformed by streams of immigrants and new settlers, the southern population has remained relatively homogeneous. The South has also been more heavily influenced by fundamentalist Baptist and Methodist teachings. Most importantly it has suffered more severely with economic problems. As a fairly insulated group, southerners have developed strong mores and folkways. Consequently strangers in their midst have often been objects of suspicion.

Through the years the southerner adopted stereotyped images of the Jew. These impressions accumulated because of fear and distrust of the outsider, through folk tales passed on from generation to generation, and from actual encounters as well. The ballad of "The Jew's Daughter," traditional in a number of states, conveys a feeling of apprehensiveness and hostility toward the Jew and his religious practices.

From time to time, eloquent pleas such as that written by Lucian Lamar Knight called for an end to discrimination. His tract appeared in

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