The Fight For and Against White America

The Fight For and Against White America



Manzanar, CA.
Hollywood (Los Angeles), CA.
Washington D.C.
New York City, NY.
Rollins College (Winter Park), FL.

Communism during the 1950s was greatly feared among Americans, and any individual who seemed different could’ve immediately been assumed as one.However, since the American society didn’t necessarily know where or how communism would spread throughout America, they thought that those who weren’t like the majority would seem suspicious as being one.[1] One of those groups was the African-Americans. White segregationists went against those who were fighting for the Civil Rights Movement since they thought that it was the foreign Communists’ way of threatening the way that white Southerners lived, and disrupted their idea of ‘peace.’[2] Unfortunately, they never tried to see themselves through the eyes of a Black person, and thus led to the struggle of African-Americans fighting for their own civil human rights.

Another group of people who suffered from the American fear of communism were the Japanese-Americans. The government essentially watched over public opinion of the Japanese internment camps at the time of WWII, as well as balancing the rights of the individual versus society. Therefore, they were struggled to figure out what to do regarding the Japanese internees.[3] However, they only knew of the fact that because the Japanese-Americans looked like and may have come from the land of their enemies, most of them would’ve been brought up to think the same way as their enemies.

Stemming after WW2 came the Cold War, and the fight for segregation hadn’t stopped there. During the Cold War, American Catholics involved themselves with social engagement by speaking out against communism.[4] Bishop J Fulton was also one of the key leaders who led Catholic support against communism. [5] He was essentially seen as one of the major figures in 1950s American television, delivering sermons that spoke out against Communism and the idea that America needed to be brought back to their Christian roots in order to win against it.[6]

The examples of white American fear of change to their lifestyles led to the linking of communism to almost any political change that they thought would’ve disrupted their way of living, or the way that they would perceive others. Even until this day, there still is discrimination against people who do not fit within the category of a white American. However, over time, there has been change regarding the way that other Americans view foreigners and an understanding towards the idea that they are not always evil communists or terrorists like those projected in the mefia. Therefore, for this spatial photo essay, I will be looking at how the same anxiety that drove the anti-communist movement in the 1950s through McCarthyism has grown once again, except this time, through a growing anti-Muslim sentiment.


This was a pamphlet telling those within the entertainment business to be suspicious of anything that could be potentially communist or relate to communism.


This is a picture of an “I Am An American” sign that a Japanese-American storeowner put up after the Pearl Harbor attack during WWII.


Joseph McCarthy led the whole McCarthyism movement, when people would immediately assume that another person could be communist based off subjective views and without evidence.


Only later on, did American schools start allowing African-Americans to study in the same area as whites.


This picture is of a Japanese-American family saying goodbye to some of their relatives before leaving for the internment camps.


This is a picture of an American flag in the one of the areas of the Japanese internment camp, where Japanese families lived in close proximities for the sake of American trust.


This is a picture of Bishop Fulton J Sheen, who helped lead the anti-communist movement through a Catholic background, and was famous for presenting sermons on television.


Benjamin Davis was an African-American communist who had been elected to the New York City council, and was found to have violated the Smith act; breaking people’s trust.


This picture is of a march in Washington D.C., fighting for the civil rights movement for African-Americans.


What used to be some writing on the ground that said “Vote Trump” had the “Trump” name erased after some students felt uncomfortable from the mention of Donald Trump’s name.



More millennials have felt the need to voice out their own opinions regarding the results of the political election, whether it be through social media or apparel. (Profanity written on the cap has been striked out after being taken.)


Within one of the classrooms behind Rollins’ College ‘s chapel lies a room dedicated to other religions and cultures, hoping to cater to all those who desire to use it.


Although the chapel at Rollins College holds weekly ceremonies for Christian-based masses, the college has stated that it is open for all other religions.


Carnegie Hall is known among the students as the Office of International Students and Scholars. They have offered international students time to talk regarding concerns about the recent election results.


The Cornell Fine Arts Museum offers a variety of exhibitions from all over the world, celebrating diversity within the artists and their respective backgrounds.

In conclusion, 1950s depicted times of suffering and great misunderstanding due to the fear of white Americans thinking that their ‘American land’ was basically being taken away from minorities and foreigners. From the African-American fight for human rights, to Japanese internment camps, to the American Catholic propaganda; there have been many groups and people who have had to live with anxiety due to hatred spurred by fear of that specific, different individual.

However, at the same time, there have been changes in the attitudes of more Americans as time has passed, especially as people dare to become more vocal in speaking against this anxiety-driven hatred towards minorities. At times, they may be quite vulgar and profane, but people have grown to feel more attached to fighting for the rights for those who are not like them, because of their belief in equality. In general, anxiety drives the voice of reasoning behind both opinions for and against the increase of immigrant settlement throughout the years.

Used as an example for present time, in areas throughout Rollins College, a liberal arts school, the college has expressed their gratitude and embraced its pride in diversity through such buildings like their chapel and exhibitions in the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. These pictures have shown changes regarding people’s opinions of ignorance and hatred towards those of other religions and/or cultures. Yet, at the same time, there is still conservatives who call themselves the ‘silent majority,’ who believe that foreigners and immigrants should be feared.


[1] David Halberstam. The Fifties (New York: NY: Random House Publishing Group, 1994).

[2] Erik McDuffie. “Black Struggle, Red Scare: Segregation and Anti-Communism in the South, 1948-1968.” Labour / Le Travail 57, (Spring2006 2006): 227-230. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed November 20, 2016).

[3] Kimberly Parks. “Revisiting Manzanar: A history of Japanese American internment camps as presented in selected federal government documents 1941–2002.” Journal of Government Information (St. Louis, MO: 2004).

[4] Patrick W Carey. “Cold War Catholicism, 1945-1965.” Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century. Vol. 4. (New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1996), 1520-526.

[5] Larry Ceplair. Anti-Communism in Twentieth-Century America (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2011).

[6] Richard Layman. “Roman Catholic Priest: Television Personality.” American Decades 1950-1959. (Detroit, MI: Gale Research Inc, 1994), 391.

[7] Anticommunist Literature. 1950.

[8] United Press. “Joseph Raymond McCarthy.” Library of Congress. 1954.

[9] Fred Palumbo. “Fulton J. Sheen.” New York World – Telegram & Sun Collection. 1952.

[10] Dorothea Lange. “Japanese-American internment center 3, Manzanar, California.” Images of American Political History. July 3, 1942.

[11] Dorothea Lange. “Friends say good-bye as family of Japanese ancestry await evacuation bus.” U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. May 8, 1942.

[12] Dorothea Lange. “Banner unfurled after Pearl Harbor attack.” Wikimedia Commons. March 1942.

[13] Thomas J O’Halloran. “School Integration.” U.S. News & World Report Magazine Collection. 1955.

[14] United States Information Agency. “March on Washington.” National Archives Magazine. August 28, 1963.

[15] C. M. Stielgitz. “Robert Thompson and Benjamin Davis surrounded by pickets as they leave the Federal Courthouse in New York City.” Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. 1949.