Prejudice Viewed As the Preservative of Race Distinctions

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Race prejudice is not an unmitigated evil. It has its values, is a preservative of race distinctions. This was emphasized at the Jewish-Christian conference in Racine, under the auspices of the Feilowship of Reconciliation. The conference was called for the promotion of better understanding between the peoples of the world.

The conference devoted one session especially to the consideration of the problems of the Jew.

The opinion of the majority at the meeting was voiced by Reinhold Niebuhr, of Detroit, lately pastor of Bethel Evangelical church and soon to take up a professorship at the Union Theological Seminary of New York.

Mr. Niebuhr said: “Let us suppose for a moment, that a broadly tolerant majority in this country accepted the Jewish group with complete harmony and absolute lack of social distinctions. How is this or any other group to preserve its group integrity except by the development of a highly tolerant superiority complex? Otherwise they would in time be completely assimilated, and their racial distinctions would entirely disappear.”

It is desirable that each race retain its distinctive characteristics, declared Handas T. Muzumdar, of Bombay, India, who is an author of books on Mahatma Ghandi, and a fellow of sociology at the University of Wisconsin.

Rabbi George G. Fox, of the South Shore Temple of Chicago, suggested what he characterized as the best possible way of teaching the races greater tolerance of one for the other. The Rabbi would teach in the schools a more respectful attitude toward the religion and culture of all races. This he believes would reach the root of the matter and form the basis for mutual respect.

The question whether the economic success of the Jew had definitely increased the prejudice toward him, also was asked. In the opinion of the majority of those present, the economic success had been a very definite factor contributing toward it.

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