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 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!
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.
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.
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…
Richard Dawkins author of a book I sincerely enjoyed, The Selfish Gene, got caught in a bit of controversy around this time last year for suggesting that Eugenics would work. “It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice. Of course it would. It works for cows, horses, pigs, dogs & roses. Why on earth wouldn’t it work for humans? Facts ignore ideology.” He makes solid points but what exactly counts as working?
I intend to seriously dig deep and attempt to reveal the soft and vulnerable underbelly of hate. I will do so incorporating a wide variety of fields, disciplines, music, movies, books, and even anime. I want to explore hate on a personal and intimate level. I don’t want it to continue being overlooked and for language to dance around it, denial of hate and ignoring its complexities is, in my opinion, a social catastrophe waiting to happen. To do this effectively I need a plan. The plan is not written in stone, but one does need to move through tough topic with some sort of logic.
The virus, the run on stores, the police violence, the riots, the race-baiting, and on and on! It seemed to me that my desire to understand was met with a full-on dump of social chaos for me to sift through. Searching for a logical starting point I chose hate. Hate seems to influence everything in the media and political world. People in the streets appeared to harbor deep and long-lived attachments to hate, passed from generation to generation silently lurking and waiting for an opportunity to have its day in the sunshine. The negativity of it all oozed through my pores and I began to come to the realization that hate has always been and will always be. I wanted to know the source of hate, was there someplace in our very DNA that directed human hatred?
Social trust is the glue of society. This form of trust allows people to live and work together, feel safe, and belong to a group. It’s kind of funny when you take a moment to consider that without trust our entire country and way of life would crumble. Our ability to trust in money, a simple piece of linen, to believe that it holds value allows economies to flourish. Our ability to trust politicians and leaders creates a stable society and the absence of that trust can lead to division, public outcry, and can be the basis for the total destruction of a civilization.