Webster's dictionary defines ethnocentrism as "The tendency to evaluate other groups according to the values and standards of one's own ethnic group, especially with the conviction that one's own ethnic group is superior to the other groups." When first reading this definition, one would naturally agree that ethnocentrism does exist in our world and society, often confusing it with patriotism. However, many do not realize that ethnocentrism is, has been, and continues to be a leading cause for violence in America. Different ethnic groups such as African Americans and Native Americans have suffered through years of violent crimes against them because of the white man's ethnocentric views of themselves when compared with other races and
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Even after slavery was outlawed, white ethnocentrism in America still prevailed. White supremacist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), were formed. They took pride in the racist and essentially ethnocentric ideas and African Americans saw the brunt of these attitudes. The KKK's main goal was to rid America of blacks as a whole. Throughout the latter part of the of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, African Americans were discriminated against, beaten, and had violent crimes committed against them by whites primarily do to these ethnocentric ideas. In 1919, in Oklahoma, racial tensions were high after a number of rapes of white women by black men. Will Brown, a black man was on trial for one of these rapes when suddenly the courthouse was attacked by a mob of racist whites. The building was set on fire and authorities were forced to give Brown up. He was shot over 1,000 times. This is only one of countless stories of blacks being killed in America because of racist ideas held by whites.
The saga of white ethnocentrism in America does not even end with violence against African Americans. Throughout our history, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and other immigrants have had countless acts of violence committed against them. And why does this go on? Because these groups are different from the original European settlers that came to this land over 500 years ago. Many whites still have these ethnocentric ideas that they are