Race Prejudice and Discrimination: Readings in Intergroup Relations in the United States

By Arnold M. Rose | Go to book overview

This article has dealt with the personality tendencies that make many Americans ready to support a fascist movement, providing that social distress and confusion are present on a scale large enough to make people willing to give up their "American Creed" --and providing that in such an eventuality (another prolonged depression or another war, for example) the democrats are unable to provide more effective leadership than the fascists.

By and large, social conditions and tactics of leadership will determine whether prejudice will become sufficiently "salient" to come out of the club and go into the streets. The immediate problem, then, for democrats is to produce social conditions and political leadership that minimize the prominence of the prejudice pattern and maximize the prominence of the equalitarian pattern in the personalities of Americans. The long-run problem is to modify our institutions, particularly our child-rearing institutions, the home and the school, in such a manner that secure and loving, rather than insecure and hate-ridden, personalities are produced. How these things can be done--if they can be done at all--is, of course, no simple matter.


49. Anti-Semitism's Root in City-Hatred *

Arnold M. Rose

[An illustration of how sociological and psychological analysis is combined to contribute toward a theory of race prejudice is provided by the following selection. Observe that the theory is not proved, but that it provides a reasonable hypothesis based upon a wide variety of hitherto unexplained facts.]

Students of prejudice have usually analyzed it from the standpoint of the objective outsider: they note that prejudiced beliefs deviate sharply from fact, and they try--by pointing out fact--to bring belief closer to fact. They fail to realize that the typically prejudiced person is likely to be quite familiar with the objects of his prejudice--Negroes or Jews--the falsity of his prejudices being daily demonstrated by the plain evidence of his senses. As a matter of fact, he even knows that his beliefs are false: "some of my best friends are Jews," he says, and he knows many "good

____________________
*
From Commentary, 6 ( October, 1948), 374-8. Copyright 1948 by Commentary. Reprinted by permission of Commentary.

-501-

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