Summary Of Repressive Tolerance

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As immigration and relations between races become more influential issues in politics, there have been many opposing views on the treatment of minority groups. Some people believe that diversity and immigration is a threat to original identity while others believe that they are extremely beneficial to society. Writers Samuel P. Huntington in The Hispanic Challenge and Herbert Marcuse in Repressive Tolerance express these differing views regarding these important topics. Huntington takes the ‘threat to identity’ side when explaining how Mexican immigration is extremely different from European immigration. On the other hand, Marcuse takes a different route when explaining the idea of tolerance, claiming that majority groups who oppress the minority…show more content…
So, no matter the political leaning, movements are subject to change depending on the effects it may or may not cause over time. Huntington proves this idea when he explains exactly how Mexican immigrants are different than European immigrants. He begins by stating how, completely ignoring the existence of Native Americans, America was originally settled by “white, British, and Protestant” people whom established original American culture (Huntington 1). Then, during the 19th century, when people migrated across the Atlantic Ocean from countries like Germany, Ireland, and Scandinavia, and brought their cultures with them. They were accepted with open arms. As a result of their emigration, America was now viewed as “multiethnic and multiracial” and “defined in terms of culture and creed” (Huntington 1). On the contrary, when people traveled across the border from Mexico, their culture was not so widely accepted. Mexican traditions and values were seen as a “serious challenge to America’s traditional identity” (Huntington 2). The “original settlers” of America were incredibly open to people travelling from Europe, but when people came from Latin America, they were…show more content…
He states that “with the actual decline of dissenting forces in the society, the opposition is insulated in small and frequently antagonistic groups who, even where tolerated within the narrow limits set by the hierarchical structure of society, are powerless while they keep within these limits. But the tolerance shown to them is deceptive and promotes coordination. And on the firm foundations of a coordinated society all but closed against qualitative change, tolerance itself serves to contain such change rather than to promote it” (Marcuse 11). On a positive note, intolerance is declining. However, there still hold some sort of influence because the groups that are tolerant, are also tolerant of their unorthodox opinions. Tolerance towards the intolerant encourages their ideas because they are deceived into thinking that no one is against them and their intolerance is acceptable. Huntington proves this fact by explaining how their concentration and lack of assimilation causes cultural and language barriers that provide the basis for intolerance. He states that “it is quite different to argue that Americans should know a non-English language in order to communicate with their fellow citizens. Yet, that is what the Spanish-language advocates have in mind” (Huntington 7). It is once again prevalent that American
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