Miranda and Manahil

What is Postville

Postville is a small town town in Iowa that used to be primarily populated with white Christians. A large number of Hasidic Jews moved to Postville, upsetting the residents. The Jews kept to themselves and were not welcomed by the people of Postville. Later, Mexican immigrants moved to Postville, causing diversity to continue increasing. The Mexicans were more flexible in adapting to the ways of postville, yet faced more discrimination than the Jews.

Vocab words


Frequently referred to as a system or attitude toward visible differences in individuals, racism is an ideology of differences that ascribes (predominantly negative) significance and meaning to culturally, socially, and politically constructed ideas based on phenotypical features.

In Postville, racism was shown in many ways. The previous residents of Postville were all white Christians who were unaccustomed to different people. They didn't like the Jews because of their culture and traditions. The people of Postville were scared of the Mexicans and increased their police force when the Mexicans moved in. They also tried to keep their church from performing services in Spanish to discourage the Mexicans from attending church with them.

Cultural Barriers

The prevailing cultural attitude rendering certain innovations, ideas or practices unacceptable or unadoptable in that particular culture.

Being from two very different cultures the former residents and the Jews weren't very adapting. The Jews didn't care for what others thought of them and continued with their routinely practices and culture and didn't at all adapt to the ways of the residents, and the residents themselves weren't willing to give up some of their own cultures and didn't welcome the new diversity and change happening in Postville. Another cultural barrier, was the language diversity, the Jews spoke Hebrew, Mexicans spoke Spanish and the residents spoke English and hearing different languages in their churches wasn't very satisfying to the residents. Also, some even felt intimidated by all the change happening around them.