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Talking Points: Glen Bowersock on Intolerance

Published 2017

We are a nation shaped by immigrants, as the Statue of Liberty reminds us, but now, horrifyingly, immigrants are increasingly subjected to prejudice for both their ethnic identity and their religion. Older and equally repellent anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism, both of which were rampant when I grew up, have now been transformed into a vile intolerance of Muslims. We have never achieved the toleration to which we aspire, although there have been corrections, and our society has undoubtedly been better at absorbing ethnic and religious differences than many other countries. But the present election process has revealed that an ignorant, mendacious, and incoherent bully can find support among important segments of the American people. The impact of this support is potentially catastrophic. 
Glen Bowersock, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies, in “On the Election,” The New York Review of Books, October 22, 2016, http://bit.ly/2eFcWXV 

Published in The Institute Letter Spring 2017