Racial and Ethnic Discrimination during the 1920's
During the 1920â€™s, racial tensions in American society reached a boiling point. New non-protestant immigrants like Jews and Catholics had been arriving in huge masses from southeast Europe since the beginning of the century. Together, with Orientals, Mexicans, and the African-American population, these minorities suffered at the hands of those concerned with preserving the long established White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (W.A.S.P.) values that were an integral part of American life. Prejudice and racism reared its ugly head in many areas of society, with people showing a tolerance for racist views in the media, literature, and towards organizations like the Ku Klux Klan. Also, the language, living and working conditions, and Government legislations that ethnic minorities were subjected to is further evidence that the Twenties were an openly discriminatory decade. It was also during this period of grave hostility directed at ethnic groups that Americaâ€™s â€˜open doorâ€™ attitude of â€œgive me your tired, your poorâ€¦â€ officially became a part of its history.
During the â€œRoaring Twentiesâ€, anti-immigration organizations that had been founded in the 1900â€™s began to receive more support and became increasingly influential following the First World War. The Immigration Restriction League (I.R.L.) was one such group, which claimed to have scientific evidence that the new immigrants from southeast Europe were racially â€œinferiorâ€ and therefore posed a threat to the supremacy of the United States. They believed strongly in W.A.S.P. values and certainly did not wish to see them become polluted by other religions from minority groups. This Social-Darwinist belief was not just popular with the masses, but itâ€™s appeal spread to people of considerable eminence. For example, the principals of important American unive