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Stereotypes Persist Even Where Immigrants Don't

Posted by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 12:04 PM
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 It's never been easy to be part of the huddled masses. The Statue of Liberty may not be choosy about which wretched refuse she allows in the door, but Americans themselves haven't always been so hospitable. Immigrants from Ireland landed in the U.S. in the 1850s only to find shop windows festooned with signs reading "No Irish Need Apply." The Chinese toiled to build our transcontinental railroad in the 1860s, only to see the infamous Chinese Exclusion Act signed in 1882, suspending further immigration. The unwritten rule was simple: Pretty much anyone was welcome, except the newest group - or at least the one arriving in the greatest numbers - who would have a harder go of things.

All that's changed though, right? In our new post-racial world haven't we risen above such petty prejudice? Actually, no, we haven't. But the good news is, we're doing better than you might expect. According to a new study released by a pair of sociology professors, the battle between Lady Liberty and Lou Dobbs is now being fought to a draw, and our better angels might slowly be prevailing.

Hard economic times - and the desperation with which people who still have jobs guard them - may also be exacerbating the problem. So, as the fiscal crisis eases, the anti-immigrant bias may too. Most important, says Timberlake, is to remember American history. Every immigrant group that was demonized and ostracized eventually overcame the prejudice and became part of the nation's cultural quilt. "We've seen this movie before," he says. It almost always ends happily.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20090812/hl_time/08599191576800

by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 12:04 PM
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TuMaiidiiTa.
by on Aug. 12, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Interesting! :) 

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