Origins of Hatred

A popular colloquialism is that hatred is born of fear.  I’m not certain that I agree with this completely. To me, most hatred originates with weakness. It’s an outward manifestation of a person’s problems onto a scapegoat. It’s a lazy way of directing anger.

Not long after moving to my present location I took what was by far the worst ass kicking of my life. My wife and I were at a local bar of dubious reputation and what started as me trying to help a stranger fend off four attackers ended with me on the ground, trying to cover as much of my wife’s body as I could while about a dozen people, male and female, tried to stomp me through the floor.

After making our escape and returning home, that night I said some of the most hateful things that have ever come out of my mouth. Aweful slurs that I’m ashamed to recall. I was angry, concussed, and would have been equally vitriolic towards any other race or commonality that my attackers shared.

I felt weak. Not only had I failed to help the original victim but my wife was placed in a dangerous situation where I was unable to protect her. Thankfully no impressionable ears were around to hear me and the feelings faded not long after the stars I was seeing.  It made me realize how easy it can be to fall into prejudicial behaviors.

It was weakness that led to the founding of the KKK by six former members of Confederate Army shortly after the end of the Civil War. The “total war” strategy of Generals Grant and Sherman had laid waste to the farmlands of the deep south. Per capita income had dropped to less than 40% of that of the north.

The weak needed someone to blame and rallied around hate.

kkk

photo via news.yahoo.com

 

The Third Reich gained power in much the same way. Prior to WW1, Germany was a global empire. Their subsequent defeat and signing of The Treaty of Versailles left a humiliated country devastated and economically responsible for reparations. The Nazis turned this weakness into anti-Semitism  and hatred for all who didn’t belong to their “master race.”

History is filled with similar examples. Directionless people given purpose by directing their anger towards war, genocide, atrocity. Weakness replaced by hate.

hitleryouth

photo via alphahistory.com

 

The horrific events of this week have left us all heartbroken, scared, and wondering why. What drives a person to systematically gun down complete strangers?

I believe that the answer once again lies with the exploitation of weakness. A generation of middle-eastern youth have known nothing but conflict and poverty their entire lives. Their leaders hold onto power by handing them weapons and pointing west, redirecting anger away from themselves. They grow up fed on hate and propaganda.

This is in no way an attempt to excuse. These people will claim their reward in hell and every effort should continue to be made to send as many of their accomplices there to meet them as we can find. Understanding the etiology of a disease and attempting to eradicate it are not mutually exclusive.

But lets not condemn an entire region and its people. Let anger turn to bigotry and racism. That sort of hatred is born of weakness. We’re supposed to be better than that.

 

J

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39 thoughts on “Origins of Hatred”

  1. “We weep, but we will not fear”. Great post. We’re still trying to get our heads around the events in Paris and elsewhere, but we will not give into hatred. The people who did this, these are the people the refugees and everyone else, are running from.

  2. I always read your posts with such interest as I always feel I learn something. This is such a good way of looking at the awful things that have happened recently. We should be better than blaming entire races for a small subgroup – who as you say are very weak and have probably had not the best lives. No excuse but worth thinking about xx

  3. Once again, your post is thought provoking and to the point! I get upset at fellow Americans who use the Paris tragedy and others to hate on all Muslims. Have we learned nothing from WWII? We put Japanese Americans in camps because we were convinced that we couldn’t trust any of them. People are afraid but I saw someone write earlier today, “I am not afraid, I am just more aware of my surroundings.” I found that to be inspirational. Great post! So glad you wrote it!

  4. Yes, I think hatred can come from fear, but not always as you say. Weakness, disillusionment, projection from how people have been treated themselves, what you are taught, all play a role in people developing hatred and prejudice I think. #abitofeverything

  5. This is a very insightful post. I agree that hate is derived from a position of weakness. Even individuals like the so called Jihadi John who had an english upbringing still came from a background of being a foreigner in britian, and all the subtle (and not so subtle) prejudice that comes with that. Your right its no excuse, not at all but in order to tackle the mindset of people who are prepared to die for their cause, to prevent further individuals joining that cause, we need to understand the deepdown causes of radicalism.
    You have made me think a lot this evening, thanks for linking up, Tracey xx #abitofeverything xx

  6. This is an interesting and thought-provoking post. In Australia this week, a video went viral of one of our news presenters making a little speech about how ISIL is extremely weak and is trying to strengthen their position by creating an “us vs them” scenario. If we don’t buy into it and instead stay united with moderates of all religions and races against the weak and cowardly minority who are terrorist extremists, our position will continue to strengthen while theirs continues to weaken. Your examples are very insightful and apt. #abitofeverything

  7. I’ve seen some awful things posted on facebook pages over the last week and I wish so much that people would control those views at least. Social media can be a wonderful thing but also very dangerous. In the past these views may have been told to just those people close, now people are posting then for all the world to see and it generates further hatred. Great post ! #PoCoLo

  8. A great post. We’re all still reeling from the horrific actions of people across the world. It’s not race that causes this, just a group of very small minded people, most of whom are brainwashed. I don’t blame you for venting your anger the way you did, because you can’t vent your anger to the person you want to, you can’t hash it out and resolve the issue. Hate usually comes from unresolved anger, we all feel it. But we’re all pulling together!

  9. Very thought provoking! I agree, when people feel weak or vulnerable, they often lash out, perhaps hoping that by attacking first they will look stronger than they are. #SundayStars
    Debbie

    1. I think it just makes them angry and they need to find somebody to blame besides themselves. Its always somebody else’s fault for our failings

      1. Yes, if you point the finger often enough and shout about it loudly enough, people start to blindly believe what you are saying without stopping to examine any of the evidence!
        Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
        Debbie

  10. Totally agree with you, I have been so frustrated with people’s comments on facebook these past couple of weeks with people judging a whole religion. I would hate for my baby boy to grow up judging someone because of their religion, I want him to be open minded and respectful. #anythinggoes

  11. Hmm. It really makes you wonder whether we will ever live in a truly enlightened world. The same mistakes of history made again and again, the same weaknesses exploited. Very thought provoking post Jeremy – thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout

  12. Ive never really thought about where hate came from before. Ive just known that I was extremely angry with someone or thing lol and hated it. But once you actually sit down and think as to why you hate it and really dig deep. I find its because of fear or jealousy. So thanks for this post!! it really made me think tonight!
    Lx
    http://workingmumy.blogspot.com
    #justanotherlinky

  13. Yes, a very thought provoking post. School playground bullies are weak and exhibit hateful behaviour. They are just as vulnerable as the person they are picking on. Lots to think about here. Alison #justanotherlinky

    1. Its amazing how often you can notice some of these traits in everyday life once you start paying attention a bit to people’s behaviors

  14. There is a policy at my children’s school that when someone is bullied we help the bully (of course we help both), we search into ‘why’ this child feels the need to bully and counsellors look deeper than the surface and often find the bully needs help and so often does their family. As a result we rarely see bullying at their school. There is always so much going on in the background isn’t there. Awesome post! #justanotherlinky

    1. I like the idea behind that policy, as long as there is accompanying notice that it will not be tolerated. At that age, there usually is something going on to cause the child to act out, but I would also want to be sure that there is understand that it’s not an excuse

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