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Abstract

There has been a long legacy of hate speech, prejudice, and the use of various scriptures from the Bible to uphold anti-Semitic and race based ideologies in the United States. The institution of slavery was based on economic gain for white plantation owners and the southern aristocracy prior to the Civil War. In order to justify enslavement of Africans, rhetorical devices were used to assure inferior status. Many white Christians believed their slaves could be controlled by conversion to Christianity and some actually believed they might even be able to achieve salvation if they did what they were told and never rebelled against their masters. The next groups to experience hostility based on their religion and to some extent, culture, were Catholic immigrants from Ireland and Italy. In the 1800s as European Jews came through Ellis Island in hopes of escaping pograms and genocide in their home countries, they were stereotyped as Christ killers and sub-human by some and unwelcome outsiders by many native born whites. This paper explores the history of hate speech, prejudice, and the Bible. Based on some pseudo-religious theories rooted in white supremacy, I attempt to explain how hateful rhetoric seeped from the fringes into the mainstream

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