Understanding Intolerence

Through the Ages

Intolerance Interpreted

Intolerance means not accepting others because of racial, ethnic, religious, or other differences.

(Exclusion is usually linked to intolerance.)

Intolerance in the 1930's

Even though slavery was abolished back in the 1800's the attitude toward black people didn't change leading up to the 1930's. In the south black people had very few privileges. Black people were looked at as inferior to the white man. There was racial segregation and black people had no civil rights. In the 1930's racial intolerance was part of everyday life.The difference between the 1930's and 2013 was that the main form of intolerance. In the 1930's it was mainly racial intolerance and in 2013 I believe it was religious intolerance. In the 1930's there were laws to back up the racial intolerance, such as segregation. Also, the means in which people dealt with racial issues were much different, back in the 1930's people used acts of violence to settle things because the law backed them up. In 2013 you would be punished if you acted out in violence based on your personal views.

Intolerance lead to:

-Imbalance of power in society

-Conflict in society

intolerance in 2013

In my opinion the main form of intolerance in 2013 was religious intolerance. "Religious intolerance is when a group (e.g., a society, religious group, non-religious group) specifically refuses to tolerate practices, persons or beliefs on religious grounds."(Wikipedia) An example of religious intolerance from when I was a teenager was when an actor from a show made a remark that homosexuality was a sin and people didn't agree with his religious view and wanted him off the show. Another example was when a group of people wanted the words "In God We Trust" removed from U.S. currency. There were also some people who wanted "one nation under God" taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance. These are just a few of many examples of religious intolerance from my youth.

Racial intolerance was not as common when I was a teenager as it was in the 30's. There was no formal law like segregation, racial acts of hate were treated as a crime. This type of intolerance was done by individuals rather than a whole group or society. An example of racial intolerance in 2013 was when a white Miami Dolphin's NFL player harassed and made racial slurs against a black teammate. These acts lead to an immediate suspension of the teammate who was harassing. This shows how in 2013 you were punished for being intolerant to others.

Connecting with "To Kill a Mockingbird"

The story that you are reading, "To Kill a Mockingbird", took place in the south during the 1930's when racial intolerance was common and acceptable. I feel that the town didn't support Atticus because he was a white lawyer defending a black man, this was unheard of. The town's people probably felt like Atticus had no chance to win the case. The people most likely didn't want him to win solely because he was defending a black man. If this case occurred in 2013 Mr. Robinson would probably be a free man because racial intolerance wasn't part of society like it was in the thirties.

Known Activists linked with Intolerance