Nativism and Race Essay

Pages: 2 (874 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Race

Nativism and Race

Nativism and Racism

Not only do I agree with the statement that "Nativism (anti-foreign immigrant prejudice) and racism (anti-non-white prejudice) have been common in American history; they have raised temporary barriers to white ethnic groups and permanent 'caste' barriers against non-white racial groups," but I believe that any person who disagrees with that statement is either hopelessly naive, or woefully ignorant of American history. As Sowell states, "History is what happened, not what we wish had happened- nor what a theory or ideology says should have happened." (Sowell, p.273). However, Sowell's writings tend to disregard the truth of that statement, because, at times, he takes a seemingly revisionist approach to some aspects of American history.

As a result, I disagree with his conclusion that one cannot describe a cause and effect relationship between the treatment of specific ethnic groups and their current status in American society.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Nativism and Race Assignment

Sowell does a wonderful job describing the evolution of different ethnic groups in American society. He describes ethnic groups whose use of the English language and physical appearance made it likely that they would be able to assimilate into the English-dominated American society, but he also describes groups like the Japanese who had both language and physical barriers preventing them from immediate assimilation into society. What Sowell's study of these ethnic groups reveals is that there is no direct correlation between the degree of difference between an ethnic group and the dominant society and how quickly that group could assimilate into American society. For example, he illustrates that the Irish had many advantages when entering American society, because they were physically and culturally similar to the English and spoke English, but that the Irish took an extraordinary amount of time to overcome the initial barriers to assimilation in America. He contrasts the Irish with the Jews, who came to America with few financial resources and were among the poorest of all ethnic groups at the beginning of the 19th century, but are now among the wealthiest of all ethnic groups. Sowell talks about the history of rampant anti-Semitism and discusses how the barriers erected against Jews were greater than those erected against any other ethnic groups, save blacks, so that one would anticipate them to remain at the bottom of American society. Furthermore, when discussing the Jews, and the Asian minority groups, Sowell immediately dismisses the role that any cultural emphasis on education could have had on rates of assimilation. For example, he draws the conclusion that because newly immigrated Jews were so focused on sustenance, they had no time for education. However, this approach ignores the important… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Nativism and Race."  Essaytown.com.  December 13, 2008.  Accessed July 27, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nativism-race/76573.