In East Timor, Southeast Asia, 700,000 frightened people had to flee the terror of killings, beatings, indiscriminate shootings, and forcible displacement. They left behind a landscape laid waste by marauding militias. “I feel like a hunted animal,” cried one of the victims
In Moscow an apartment building was ripped apart by a huge terrorist bomb blast. 94 bodies were dragged out of the rubbles, some of them children. Over 150 were injured.
Hatred can well be described as a global epidemic. Almost every day, news reports reveal what happens when racial, ethnic, or religious animosity joins hands with lawlessness. We see unspeakably inhumane acts being perpetrated simply because some people are “different”
Jealousy over social status, wealth, resources, and other advantages continue to pit people against one another. This jealousy is fueled by ignorance and fear. Before anyone could hate he must first be in fear because before hate there is fear. Prejudiced people tend to twist, distort, misinterpret, or even ignore facts that conflict with their predetermined opinion.
History account for many cultural stereotypes and our own personal history accounts for many of our biases too. In the USA, for example, the slave trade has left a legacy of tensions that persist to this day.
While bigotry is ugly enough on an individual scale, when it infects an entire nation or race, it can become lethal. The belief that one’s nationality, skincolor, culture, or language make one superior to others can breed bigotry and xenophobia. Hatred and bigotry need not necessarily be about skincolor or nationality, arbitrary division of individuals into two groups, even by flipping a coin, is enough to generate in-group preference.
Violent crime is associated with waging and winning wars. Nations participating in WW1 and WW2, especially nations on the winning side in these wars, show increase in homicide after the war is over.
The baby is positive, approaching nearly every type of stimulus, every type of person. Such observation argues that aggression, prejudice, and hate are primarily learned behaviors. This apparent ability of humans to learn hate is being aggressively exploited by teachers of hate.
Youth suffering feelings of insecurity and inferiority may feel that hate groups offer them a sense of belonging. The World Wide Web is a particularly powerful tool that some have used to foster hate. According to a recent tally, there may be as many as 1,000 hate-mongering web sites on the internet. The net has provided us with the opportunity to bring our point of view to hundreds thousands of people.
Some hate Web sites offer special sections containing games and activities for young people. Some groups create a page that offers crossword puzzles with racist comments. But not all promoters of hate are from the lunatic fringe. A sociologist who wrote about the recent conflicts in the Balkans said about certain reputable authors and public-opinion makers: “I was dumbfounded to see them adopt a style which panders to their compatriots’ beset impulses, stirs up their passionate hatred, blinds their judgments by urging them to see no behavior as taboo……, and falsifying reality. A great irony of the 1990s is that religion-supposedly a source of kindness and human concern-has taken the lead as the foremost contributing factor to hatred, war, and terrorism