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“To Inoculate Americans against the Virus of Hate”

“To Inoculate Americans against the Virus of Hate”

Brotherhood, the War on Intolerance, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews

Chapter:
(p.161) Six “To Inoculate Americans against the Virus of Hate”
Source:
From Power to Prejudice
Author(s):
Leah N. Gordon
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226238586.003.0007

Chapter Six shows how anti-prejudice education provided an alternative to more effective, and politically contentious, challenges to racial injustice and exposes crucial distinctions between mid-century anti-prejudice and civil rights activists. An analysis of the National Conference of Christians and Jews’ (NCCJ) evolving stance towards race relations between the late 1920s and the early 1960s, the chapter shows how the NCCJ institutionalized racial individualism in educational programming. While many religiously motivated antiracists supported both educational attacks on prejudice, civil rights legislation, and desegregation, the NCCJ’s educational efforts against prejudice justified disengagement from divisive racial politics and support for the southern moderate. When “massive resistance” against school desegregation emerged in the mid 1950s, NCCJ leaders used both the group’s religious purpose and its educational methods to rationalize gradualism on school desegregation.

Keywords:   anti-prejudice education, gradualism, massive resistance, National Conference of Christians and Jews, religious antiracists, school desegregation, southern moderate

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