Americans try to believe that class, ethnic, racial, and cultural differences and conflicts in the United States can be harmoniously blended into the proverbial American "melting pot." However, we have always been apt to categorize people as socially "acceptable" or "unacceptable." The unequal social value placed upon men, women, and children and their so-called differences have incited fear, prejudice, discrimination, and violence. Why do we allow this hatred, intolerance, and discrimination to endure?
American Prejudice: With Liberty and Justice for Some, a brilliant essay on bigotry and intolerance, examines the social and economic roots of hatred and bias and the intellectual and ideological origins of prejudicial thinking. Drs. Richard Ropers and Dan Pence, esteemed experts on cultural diversity's impact on society, have written an explicit and perceptive text that provides insight into the predilection we as a society have for prejudice by exposing its conspicuous influences on contemporary political, religious, and judicial scenes. The authors explain how our Founding Fathers' promise of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for all is not met in the harsh reality of an America where the populace is sharply divided along lines of race, gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. Drs. Ropers and Pence also illustrate how the American criminal justice system panders to the contemporary climate of prejudice, discriminating against our most vulnerable groups - women and children, the elderly, and homosexuals.
Can the United States still maintain its pledge to acceptance of diversity? American Prejudice is a provocative examination on the "state of hate" today as seen through the voices and actions of all who activate or alleviate violence against our own - the poor, the elderly, the non-Caucasian, women, gays, and lesbians - all of whom are the very essence of America's pluralist society.
In the final years of the twentieth century, this is a much needed commentary on what we must do to achieve balance, compassion, and tolerance and will be of enormous help to sociologists, educators, human rights advocates, political scientists, and behavioral psychologists.
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Prejudice and Discrimination
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