Does Social Discrimination Really Matter?
“Exclusiveness” in a Democracy
With few exceptions, leaders of American Jewry seem to regard “social discrimination” as an insignificant manifestation of prejudice, hurtful, annoying, vexatious, but not really important. “It is a happy chance for the American Jew,” wrote Ralph Philip Boas, “that his age-long persecution has either ended or has degenerated into petty social discrimination in this country.”
Underlying this view, one can detect certain assumptions: that social discrimination is merely an anachronistic survival; that it has no real function in the scheme of prejudice; and that it can never lead to more serious discriminations. “The barrier is social,” said Meyer S. Isaacs, “it cannot disturb the civil rights, the political equality of all Americans.”
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