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The shadow of Hate is a classic documentary film about the history of America. The film uses archive images, Existing archeological evidence as well as explanations by eyewitnesses.It is a great film that demonstrates the origin of intolerance which exists up to date. In the beginning, crowds are matching showcasing the hate they have for Jews, Negros,andCatholics(Cameron, 2014).The demonstrations form the basis of how campaigns against these groups started. The film also features the practice of slavery how the Chinese, as well as Africans,were exploited with little or no pay.Other minority groups such as the Japanese also go through hostility which was mainly propagated by the white men (Cameron, 2014). This paper, therefore, seeks to analyze the film through developing the summary of the film, listing the ideas presented through the movie and providing thoughts of the documentary.
The movie is introduced by demonstrations which are conducted in the streets of PensylvaniaAvenue where the oversforty thousand people were marching to express their dislike for Jews, Catholics,andNegros. The occurrence marked a series of events which were aimed at subduing the minorities in the American society. Some of these events included the beginning of slavery which caught many real Americans by surprise since they believed that the gift of freedom was given to everyone by God. Catholics who had majorly occupied the slums of Philadelphia, Bostonand New York were significantly despisedby the other population and were considered a threat to the rest of the population (Cameron, 2014). Such claims were baseless and were majorly perpetrated to cause division and hatred against Catholics. Due to this hatred, the period was characterized by attacks on churches and persecution of Catholics.
Moreover, the hate grewand real Americans were forced intoreservations since this was the only place where they could get food and other basic needs. Slavery became normal practice in Nevada during the construction of therailway. Accidents and deaths were the order of the day due to the hard tasked which were up for grab, the dangerous working conditions as well as the unfavorable climatic condition in areas of work which included very hot zones as well as cold areas (Cameron, 2014).The Chinese played a major role in the construction of the railway. However,on completion of the work, they were forced to slums and were denied the right to became American citizens by naturalization.Japanese immigrants to America also went through the same ordeal as they were denied basic rights despite becoming American Citizens.During the Second World War, the American government feared that the Japanese in America couldbecome Japan spies in the war (Cameron, 2014). The Japanese immigrants were therefore ordered to sell their entire productsand later taken into custody.They were then taken to overcrowded camps in California and Nevada Desert which were characterized by diseases. The Japanese Americans were then allowed to join the US army.
In Addition, Mexican Americans were also subjected to discrimination in America. The film takes a look at the case of Felix Longoria who was separated from his family, wife and a two-year-old kid to go and fight in the war. Unluckily, Longoria’s wife received the sad news that her husband had died in the line of duty. The wife was denied the right to bury her husband in his hometown Three Rivers, Texas simply because Mexican Americans were not allowed to carry out burials(Cameron, 2014).Longoria was later buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
The movie further explains further intolerance to a minorgroup the African Americans noting that, the blacks were greatly whipped and lynched in the name of Justice.The movie explains this practice through giving the example of James Cameron who associated himself with criminals, yet he was not part of them(Cameron, 2014). His friends were lynched by hanging while Cameron was saved by someone from the crowd while he was nearly killed.
Even theJews, who have white skin,were discriminated in the American society.LeoFrank was convicted of the murder ofMary Phagan.Despite there being an American and Frank (Jew) at the time of themurder in the factory, Frank was the prime suspect. Franks trial was conducted unfairly as the Jury was scared,so they found him guilty and sentenced him to death(Cameron, 2014).However, the intervention of the governor changed the sentence to life imprisonment. Frank was however taken out of jail and lynched by amob. Later, it was evident that another man who worked in the factory had committed the murder.
The film then focuses on how political leaders gained power through taking decisions which encouraged intolerance.For instance, Watson gained political power through creating divisions on the bases of race and religion. Another leader Bilbo also used the same strategy; he told the Americans what they wanted to hear (Cameron, 2014). Bilbo advocated that the African Americansbe sent back to Africa Alive. Not only political leaders but also industrialists such as Henry Fordadvocated for these divisions. Through his newspaper, Ford blamed everything bad which happened to Jews. At the later stages, the documentary notes that intolerance is still part of America today. The climax of the movie is Lincolns concept of what keeps people together; the proposition of equality.
One of the major themes in the documentary majorly evident through discrimination in the government systems was injustice. People who were rightfully American citizens were denied their rights without good reasons. For instance, the Japanese Americans were denied their rights and freedoms despite becoming the American citizens (Cameron, 2014). They were moved to overcrowded reserves which were characterized by diseases. The trial on the death of Mary Phagan was unfair and unjust. Just because Frank was a Jew, he becomes the prime suspect without any investigations being done.
Discrimination on the basis of race in significantly featured in this documentary. The Japanese, Jews, Chinese and blacks were highly discriminated due to their races. Japanese Americans were denied American citizenship (Cameron, 2014).The government also argued that the Chinese could not become American citizens. Politicians and Industrialists such as Bilbo and Ford played a major role in developing racism (Cameron, 2014). Bilbo argued that African Americans were supposed to be taken back to Africa while Ford pointed out that Jews were the causes of all problems which were faced in America Race made all these claims.
The political class, as well as the media, has played a primary role in bringing about intolerance in America. Watson who was a political leader won his seat in the American Senateby telling the American population what they wanted to hear.Watson advocated for hatred through preaching for divisions on the bases of race and religion (Cameron, 2014). Another leader,Bilbo was compelling. Bilbo gained thesupport of the whites through his campaigns against African Americans. Bilbo noted that African Americans were supposed to be sent back to Africa alive.Henry Ford a wealthy industrialist,on the other hand, used a media platform he had purchased to preach radical pacifist ideas he believed in (Cameron, 2014). Through the media, Ford blamed all the problems including thewar on Jews. The political class, as well as the media,therefore played a major role in creating intolerance in America.
In addition, issue of exploitation is greatlyevidentthroughout the documentary. The minorities were greatly exploited by the American society as well as the government.The Chinese, for instance, worked all day during the construction of the railway underpayment of less than a dollar(Cameron, 2014). The theme of exploitation is also evident inthe case of Longoria who died in battle during the Second World War.Despite his services to America his wife could not be granted the right to bury him.
The documentary is compelling and informative on the historical origin of hate and intolerance in America.The events featured in the film are instrumental to history students in understanding how simple real–life situations led to the intolerance which still exists today in the American society.Through the information which is provided by either eyewitnesses as well as evidence from archeological materials and pictures gives the students an understanding of the still prevailing conflicts in the society today.
The shadow of Hateis a very powerful documentary key to understanding the causes of the hate and intolerance evident in the American society today. Whites’ supremacy which was characterized by their discrimination against the minorities which included the African Americans, Japanese Americans, Chinese, and Catholics was one of the causes of the hatred.Other practices such as slavery made the relationship between the whites and other groups bitter. The film is a classical piece which provides vital information about the history of America society.