Less Than Human

Once the object of hate has been successfully dehumanized the violence delivered upon them is excused and justifications for why they deserved it are generated no matter how insignificant the transgression. Things get worse when entire groups of people are dehumanized (they are not like us), homogenized (they are all the same), and demonized (they are a threat).  They become recognized only as the ultimate evil and receive no compassion or empathy.

The Morality of Retaliation

The concept of tit for tat or an eye for an eye has existed as long as humans has and honestly probably before (the behavior is also seen in other primate species). It feels good to retaliate when you have been wronged, Its justice!

How it Should Be

Each of us has a particular perspective of how things “should” be and move through the world wearing that particular wardrobe contained in our personalized boxes.  It goes kind of like this, “I am a Police officer; I have high social status and therefore people should interact with me in a respectful way that reflects my social status.” In my example I used an officer but literally you could insert any career, gender, income level or race and it still holds. Most don’t like to admit it, but we usually buy into the whole idea of social hierarchy. The CEO of a major corporation is handled a lot different than the cashier at Walmart.

Love: The Path to The Dark Side?

As previously stated most animals have instinctive or sensory ways to identify their family but we humans do not. As such we can simply decide that someone is one of our people based on any criterion we see fit. The oddest thing about human grouping is the fact the sometimes the love, connection, and passion I feel for my group of people can cause me to devalue or dismiss the humanity in others completely.

Us vs. Them

The notion that these are your people who love and care for you is comforting, humans need that sense of connection to thrive, to explore, and to be confident in who they are as an individual. This is why in the modern era where the family has become fractured so many seek outside sources as a sense of support and community ie., gangs, factions, political parties, and if you look online there are millions of groups that allow the most isolated and obscure traits to be a unifying attribute in the creation of an Us. With all that said is being in a family, political party, gang or group inherently bad? We know the obvious answer is no. Creating healthy loving families and groups are needed for society to develop, it’s the meaning and importance placed on belonging to a specific US and the devaluing those humans identified as THEMS that is the problem…