Still, there are three factors affecting the mobility and assimilation of white ethnic groups: (1) discrimination; (2) poverty; and (3) cultural differences. Generally, German immigrants were less oppressed or marginalized compared to other inferior groups. Although they may not have been openly received, they were able to form and live in communities. Irish immigrants, a large number of whom were living in extreme poverty, were more of a lower class compared to the German people. In Ireland, the English had exploited and suppressed the Irish people for hundreds of years, destroying their culture and language and persecuting them because of their religion.
Such practice was brought into the American soil, where Anglo Americans viewed Irish settlers as a very distinct racial group— no aspiration, filthy, and appropriate merely for lowly occupations. Indeed, Irish settlers were exposed to denigration same as that by which the mainstream group embodied African Americans. Due to necessity, immigrants from Ireland created close communities separated from their Anglo fellow people. The subsequent wave of settlers from Eastern and Southern Europe also experienced severe discrimination. Specifically, the mainstream wave— which currently comprised second and third-generation of Irish and German immigrants— viewed Italian settlers as the remnants of Europe and feared for the pureness of the American race; settlers inhabited the ghettoized or isolated shantytowns in Northeast cities, and in certain instances were victimized by aggression and lynchings.
The laboured harder and received smaller wages than other labourers, usually performing the hazardous jobs that other workers were hesitant to do. Trying to assimilate into the mainstream society, mostly white Anglo-Saxon Protestant is hard when facial attributes or cultural practices are different from the ‘ norm’ .
The innate and attained prejudices of the mainstream society hamper acceptance and hinder access to the dominant group’ s political, social, and economic system.
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