“So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the [slave] trade’s wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for abolition. Let the consequences be what they would:I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.”
There is much said about intolerance, and much of it is wrong.
As I’ve written here before, intolerance in-and-of-itself is amoral.
It is the object of intolerance that renders intolerance moral or immoral. It is good to be intolerant of racism; it is bad to be tolerant of it.
The reason racism is still pervasive in the United States is because we tolerate it. By “we” I mean those who are not victims of it or who benefit from it. We tolerate it because it doesn’t affect us, and to the extent it does affect us we benefit from it.
I live downtown in one of the largest cities in America.
My wife and I have watched from our home some of the protests and arrests that have occurred following the killing of George Floyd.
I’ve also observed the initial sympathy expressed by my caucasian friends be replaced by anger when the looting and violence began. I’ve heard some pundits try to explain the looting and violence, and I’ve heard others even try to justify it.
The Jews in the first century were prejudiced against Samaritans.
The Samaritans were remnants of the Northern kingdom of Israel, which had established its capital in Samaria.
Judah, the Southern kingdom, had established its capital in Jerusalem
When the Assyrians invaded and carried away the Jews into captivity, those living in Samaria who remained intermarried with other non-Jewish people groups.
As a result, Samarians were not seen as pure Jews. Jewish prejudice was religious as well, rooted in a dispute over the proper place to worship God. See John 4: 20 (“Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”)
Consequently, Jews had nothing to do with Samaritans, as John noted. See John 4:9 (“For Jews do not associate with Samaritans”). It is also believed by many historians, that Jews would even walk around Samaria rather than through it when traveling north from Jerusalem.