What was America like in 1939? Between then and today, there was a tremendous anatomy of change, and a good many conditions that prevailed then seem odd today. The United States was on the threshold of a new era, but the experts of the future did not see it coming; there was little optimism, the economy was deemed “mature,” capitalism was perceived to have reached a frontier and contraction was the buzzword for the horizon…
…Meanwhile, the long-established American custom of discriminating against people on he basis of religion and race remained firmly entrenched. Anti-Semitism was at a kind of flood tide- and by no means just among members of organizations with foreign connections., like Fritz Kuhn’s Bund. As to discrimination against the country’s twelve and a half million African-Americans, it is startling now to realize that the whole humanitarian New Deal movement of the thirties had left it virtually untouched.
In February, 1939, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, whose very existence most white Americans were certainly unaware of at the time, celebrated its thirtieth anniversary by holding dances in cities throughout the country. But there was little to dance about. Not a school in the deep South was integrated; hardly an industrial plant anywhere in the country did more than make a gesture toward nondiscrimination by occasionally admitting an African American celebrity.
(see link at end)…The earliest polling of antisemitism in America appears to have been taken in 1939. And while I referred previously to polls taken of American public opinion before and during the Holocaust, for context I return to the 1939 Roper poll that found that,
“thirty-nine percent of Americans felt that Jews should be treated like other people [so the vast majority, 61%, felt Jews should not be treated like other people!]. Fifty-three percent believed that ‘Jews are different and should be restricted’ and ten percent believed that Jews should be deported [this just months after Krystallnacht]. Several surveys taken from 1940 to 1946 found that Jews were seen as a greater threat to the welfare of the United States than any other national, religious, or racial group.”
The “Berkeley Studies” Five-Year Study of Antisemitism in the United States: The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Berkeley Studies appears to have been the first comprehensive look at antisemitism in America. It resulted in seven volumes, each dedicated to an area of American antisemitism, the first focusing on Christian Beliefs and anti-Semitism; along with Reuther’s “Faith and Fratricide,” this study is basic to understanding this blogstream. The final volume, Anti-Semitism in America, summarizes the six study areas.
Volume seven describes the distribution of antisemitic attitudes among non-Jewish Americans as, 31% “least,” 32% “moderate,” and 37%, “intensive.” While these results indicate that the majority is not “intensively” antisemitic, they also indicate that all surveyed hold “some” antisemitic stereotypes.” Read More:http://blogs.jpost.com/content/antisemitism-america-how-antisemitic-are-americans