Did you know that almost 6 million Jews were estimated killed in the Holocaust? The Holocaust was when men, children, and women alike were massacred just because of their religion, which was Judaism. This is not the first human tragedy that the world has endured this century. Another violent tragedy was when African American’s were being mistreated and persecuted in the United States. This was during the Jim Crow South when black people could not eat at the same restaurant as whites. Protesting led to extreme violence and many people were killed.
Another tragedy was gang violence in America. This violence was caused by race and ethnic differences. In The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and I Promised I Would Tell by Sonia Weitz, the reader sees how hatred and ignorance can lead to violence can and substantial deaths among people. The reason the Holocaust happened was because of anti-Semitism, which is the hatred of the Jewish people. Anti-Semitism is an example of a way that caused violence between two different groups of people.
A quote from I Promised I Would Tell explains how Jewish people felt during World War II and explains the violence occurring. “The world was anything but safe for a Jew” (Weitz 1). This is when Sonia is describing how the world was to be a Jew when she was eleven years old. Sonia is being very grown up for her age and being realistic when she explains how she felt during this period of Jones, 2 the war. This was when the Germans were beginning to invade Poland. The hatred of someone’s religion is only one way that violence can massacre many people.
Another way to start violence is to judge someone based on their race. In the Freedom Writers and in real life a person could be shot for waving the wrong gang banner or saying something bad about someone else’s race or gang. A good quote that describes this is from the Freedom Writers, “My brother taught me what the life is for a young black man. Pimp, deal, or do whatever. Learn what colors to wear. Gang banners. You can sell to one corner, but you can’t sell another. Learn to be quiet. The wrong word can get you popped” (The violence in the Freedom Writers).
This is where Andre, a character in the Freedom Writers, explains how if you join the wrong gang you could be shot, beat up, and ultimately killed. He is also explaining that if you act cocky you could get killed too. Andre is being very serious in explaining this to the teacher because every word of it is true. It is true because gangs were based on your race. So if a black person tried to join a Puerto Rican gang they could be killed. Gang rivalries and someone’s type of race are types of examples that can cause violence. Another example of a way that violence can occur is to judge someone by their particular stereotypes.
A stereotype is defined as a conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image about specific social groups, or types of individuals. A quote that can show a stereotype is shown here, “Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn’t women have their share? ” (Goodrich and Hackett 463). This is Jones, 3 when Anne Frank is saying that men get all the respect and women get close to none. The stereotype in this quote is that men are the stronger gender, which is not always true.
Another stereotype is that blonde haired people are dumb. Both of these stereotypes can lead to anger which results in violence. Anne is being both truthful and honest in this quote because this is how the world was and still is, to some degree, today. This is another example of how something misinterpreted can cause violence which kills many people. The holocaust, gang rivalries, and stereotyping all have an end result of violence. Stereotypes occur because of the false statements of someone’s race, religion or gender.
For example, blonde haired people have a stereotype of being dumb. The Holocaust and other human tragedies occurred because of hatred and intolerance of people. Gang violence and racism have occurred due to the judgment of a person’s race. All in all, these examples cause hatred which leads to violence and tragedy. Next time you think of judging someone based on their religious status, their personal stereotypes, or their race think about all the people who have been killed due to the violence started because of these false judgments.
Works Cited Freedom Writers. Screenplay by Richard LaGravanese. Dir. Richard LaGravanese. Perf. Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey, April L. Hernandez, and Mario. Paramount Pictures, 2007. Goodrich, Frances, and Albert Hackett. The Diary of Anne Frank. The Language Of Literature. Eds. Arthur N. Applebee and Andrea B. Bermudez, et. al. Illinois: McDougal Littell, 2006. 448-512. Weitz, Sonia. I Promised I Would Tell. Brookline: Facing History and Ourselves, 2004.
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