Origins of Bullies, Hate Crimes and Hate Groups

A reader called confusedworld asked, "Why do we hate?" Decades of 20th Century research and vaguely-related aphorisms spoken at meetings and in coffee houses state that hate stems from fear, but in the 2010s, I think that the answer is no longer so simple.

Additional origins and exacerbation exist, in my experience. Perhaps you can think of others and place them in the Comments section at the end of this document. Thanks for reading.

Mathew Morrison: You've Got to Be Carefully Taught - from South Pacific

Star Trek's (1966 - 1969) first pilot episode failed, partially because of prejudices against intelligence, other races, women, and non-dependence in the future on money. Ironically, this show was about erasing all of that by the 23rd Century. The African, Uhura, was feared to be an offense to viewers of the American South; and throughout the three-year life of the program, Nichelle Nichols was the only major player without a contract (reference Beyond Uhura). It did not hurt her career, however.

Japan and WWII

South Pacific, written and first performed during WWII, shone a light on prejudice. This was an appropriate time to do so, since the propagandized myth of the Yellow Menace (Asians) was at a peak because of our war in the Pacific against Japan. American internment camps were filled with Japanese and Japanese descendants that were American citizens.

Actors Pat Morita (The Karate Kid) and George Takei (Star Trek) were interned in them and Takei describes that life in his book.

The pilot of the Enola Gay, which bombed Hiroshima, lived his last years in Columbus, Ohio. The local PBS affiliate interviewed him and his surviving crew, asking them if they felt any sadness or remorse in killing the Japanese, which included families.

Not only did they report feeling no remorse or sadness, but they also chuckled with glee in their memories of the events. The pilot seemed to have difficult in refraining from breaking out into actual happy laughter.

When I first saw a several-paged newsprint magazine of hate group listings, I was surprised at the number operating in America. Ralph Deeds put together an impressive list of hate groups that he had found and published as a Hub for our knowledge:

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Elements of Tension and Hate

For decades in the 20th Century, social science lectures pointed out that prejudice and group-hate are the direct descendants of fear of the Other. If so, then why do not a majority of infants and toddlers have prejudice and related hatred?

In the animal world, infants of differing species will play together until maturity and some set of brain and body chemicals begin to act toward the hunt for survival. In captivity, cats are raised with bird and mouse friends; dogs care for abandoned kittens. Gorillas have pet cats. Now in animal compounds, jaguars are raised with large dog companions. Human toddlers don’t seem to notice color and social differences in the daycare center as they play, except perhaps the ethnic textures of baby hairdos and to them, that’s fun.

I think that in the 21st Century, the density of population in some areas, including the USA, creates a Petri dish for prejudice and hatred as the Lower 48 runs out of room and resources. From the 1400s through the 1900s, North America welcomed immigrants to a land of plenty of room. In 2011, the population numbers are phenomenal in comparison.

” We’re running out of room!” some factions shout today - some said that before the Highland Clearances and the Potato Famines in Ireland and Scotland when some of the population was replaced with herds of sheep.

No room -- Therefore, the people wanting entrance to this box already too full of rats "must be evil and wanting to steal resources from the already-starving."

Excuses and Reasons for Hatred

I am reminded of a 1980s preacher that spoke on TV against bingo in the Catholic church in an urban county here, quoting scripture to decry “moneychangers in the temple.” However, the passage specifically is about merchants standing in the place disignated for worshippers, taking up dedicated worship space; they could have set up stalls farther out. The Catholic church I mention maintained dedicated bingo halls or scheduling times in the gym, so no problem per se. Gambling is another topic and the preacher was all for gambling - especially the racetrack.

As it turned out, the preacher wanted the revenues of the bingo halls without sponsoring the bingo games. He wanted the players to come to his church and put their bingo money in his offering plates while he bullied the congregation. How’d that go? It seems the gentleman was transferred to smaller and smaller church congregations over the ensuing years, an opportunity to ignite growth. It didn't happen.

As with many of his generation, the individual was taught that non-English non-protestant descendant groups - and women - are evil: Catholics, Blacks, Jews, Asians, Hispanics, Poles, Italians, all the others. He was raised in a family decayed by alcoholism, morbid obesity, anger, and inordinate control mechanisms. His childhood house was like too many rats in a box, but there were only two or three rats in a large box. This seems a breeding ground of hatred, its occupants perhaps awaiting opportunities for revenge on the outside.

Training and Learning by Example

I was trained in an internship that the American Psychiatric Association reported (mid-1980s), that 98% of Americans were adversely affected by their own or other’s alcoholism. If this is true then or now, perhaps the hallmark control needs among many alcoholics and similar groups and associated codependents might be linked to at least some of these folks showing hatred, greed, and self-centeredness against other demographics. It could be learned in the home by children like our friend mentioned above, alcoholism/addictions or not.

Thus, perhaps mental health conditions and teaching by example (even unintentionally) can be blamed for some hatred.

Hatred also is evident in some of the furthest extremes of our two major political groups, with rhetoric and negative campaign ads fueling hatred farther aflame and forcing the beginnings of hatred in the undecided into bloom. Add the hatred portrayed on TV and film, even if the point is to not hate, and some few viewers will take it as a cue and permission TO hate. These are additional ways in which hatred can continue to live within a few.

An example of all this is a woman that cheats and lies, because in her words, “The government is giving away the country to X, Y, and Z; and I deserve it more than they do. They play the system; I'll play it better.” Misreading an article about reservation casino revenues that described the yearly sum as equivalent to $4,000 per individual resident in a nearby city, she thought that the government was paying those individuals that amount monthly. Or, perhaps she spun the story for negative political propaganda.

Interestingly, alcohol, drugs, and discrimination against women may have played a part of the recent venom. Many individuals have been maltreated and some of them want revenge on someone. Abusers and bullies, as well as the abused and the bullied, are frequently in this sinking ship. This type of hatred is deep-rooted.

Having It Both Ways

Individuals that hate people outside their own demographic often hate the fact that they are related to that group. If one has human DNA, one is somewhat related to all humans.

I have seen increasing amounts of spam against Jews, Africans, African Americans, Asians, women, the Irish, Indigenous Peoples, et.al. The false messages claim that the Jews in WWII and the Native Americans got what they deserved, because the Jews were too illicitly rich and Native Americans so greedy that they immediately approached incoming Europeans to sell them their lands. False, but the writers want readers to believe it and help eliminate these people from America.

The research I use regarding Indigenous Peoples in the New World began in grade school in the 1960s and is corroborated by diaries of settlers and later pioneers; and of a white crewman on a slave ship: 100 Days On A Slave Ship.

It is evident that some Spanish explorers mistreated some Native North Americans in the 1400s and 1500s; other settlers slew “Indians” in the early 1600s. The spam going around further states mistreatment of Native Americans never occurred, but is a lie invented by US President Jimmy Carter and the Department of Education from 1977 - 1980 --

Odd, then, that one of my grandfathers knew about it in the 1870s and passed the story down through the mid-20th century. It is handy to have known senior citizens or their descendants who kept good notes. Is it also not odd that a single spam letter says

  1. the Jews suffered no Holocaust and the greedy Indians were not harmed, but
  2. all of them “got what they deserved” in those very same genocides (the genocides that did not exist).

In addition, many people study the works of Ann Rand, who stated that people who are born indigenously in a country (specifically, Native Americans) do not automatically have the right to stay there if they are savages. Plenty of political propaganda supports hate groups.

Avoid Teaching Children To Hate

Heartland Men's Chorus

The group in the video below presents a multimedia performance of You've Got to be Carefully Taught, along with Children Will Listen from the musical Into the Woods. With these musical numbers, they opened their And Justice for All Concert. Visit http://www.hmckc.org.

You've Got to be Carefully Taught and Children Will Listen

More by this Author


Comments 24 comments

Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Fantastic hub as always You give us so much information and put it in a wonderful, readable way.

sorry l haven´t been around for a while.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Patty, I believe a lot of hate has it's roots in fear. How frightening is it that the man who bombed Hiroshima was so pleased about it?

Hatred for racial groups and religious groups is passed down from generation to generation. The children, and even the parents, aren't really sure why they hate but know they do.

I found your article fascinating, I often wonder about the root of the hatred that I sometimes see around me .


phillip goodson profile image

phillip goodson 5 years ago

it is really disturbing knowing how many hate groups are out there.


susannah42 profile image

susannah42 5 years ago from Florida

Very well written. Some many true statements.


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 5 years ago from Nashville, TN

I tend to hate what I don't know, and who I don't know. Things that are foreign to us are scary, as we have a natural internal bent toward thinking that the way we are raised and the conditions we are raised in are 'right', even if they are more dysfunctional than those we don't understand. I wrote a hub about this, which is largely tongue-in-cheek, but has a bigger message about the concept of hating what we don't know - http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Comfortabl


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for the link Stan, and thanks to everyone here for reading and taking the time to post.

I did not grasp what really happened at Hiroshima until I read Hershey's books twice and saw two documentaries. Sometimes, I think the crew of the Enola Gay felt removed from the bombing, as if it were a video game of today - just another simulation. Perhaps they did not know that children were running around like lit candles, hair aflame, and radiation killing them from the inside out. I'd like to ask them, but I think all are deceased now.

Thisis one reason writing is so important -reporting first hand experiences of people that were there. All of you keep writing!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Up and awesome! I have noticed that if you go to a playground with your kids - no matter what color - gender - they are - they seem just happy to play together. Kids don't discriminate:-)


Radioguy profile image

Radioguy 5 years ago from Maine

Great information! Hate seems to be part of the human condition based on our desire to dominate and prove we have value. You have many good ideas here!


LASUECOOKS 5 years ago

Thank you. I enjoyed your hub and Real housewife is right...Kids Do Not Discriminate...that is a learned behavior. Not a very good one I might add. Sue


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

I agree - learned behavior.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Exactly! Exactly what I was thinking - but for me it was just a guess. Thanks!


David99999 5 years ago

This is a very thought-inspiring essay, Patti. Though, I believe that it is basically a symptom of fear, I would agree that hate is a complex concept. Children definitely absorb the words and actions of the adults who raise them.

The internment of native-born American citizens by the United States government is something, I believe, that will - like slavery - forever haunt the conscience of majority Americans.

As an eternal idealist, I keep hoping that hate will, one day, totally vanish from humanity. I do, however, believe that America has improved in the last half-century, or so. In the early 1960's a ban on interracial marriage was finally abolished. No longer is the United States Military racially segregated. Women are, now, in many high-level leadership positions, in both, the private, and, the public sectors.

There are - sadly - social problems, regarding discrimination, which have yet to be resolved. I believe that, part of the reason for hate is, envy. Sadly, hate can start by someone asking, "Why did that person from another country receive such-and-such, while I didn't.

God bless you, Patti. I've lived a half-century, now. I can remember when there were no African Americans living in middle class suburban communities. I can remember when Italian Americans were thought of as dishonest. I can remember when Jewish Americans were barred from joining prestigious organizations.

We have a ways to go...but, America and the world are better, today.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for your comments, David99999. I have a few of your memories myself, but had forgotten country clubs and business organizatons barring Jews. We must never forgtet what happened and could happen again.


Lisa 5 years ago

Hate and fear are one and the same in my view, looking at hate and asking ourselves ???why??? - We need to come to see the TRUE nature of the being which is a choice we each have as it is the TRUTH that we fear, our biggest fear is that we may LOVE the truth as we will come to understand that it is more like us than we wish to accept. As it is easier to accept and live behind the established norms which are acceptable to our societies than to fight it as this would require effort and risk which goes against what we have come to believe/ have been taught are fearful undertakings in themselves.... so in FEAR we reside and pray every day because if we WILL NOT change our perception, the fear of ever having to will conquer us... fear perpetuates fear. God/LOVE made it that we should love, even those we are not feeling loving toward and He is the judge that everyone should FEAR.


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Patti, I was offline for a few days because I didn't feel so well. I signed on and couldn't wait to see what you had written about. Kudos to you!!!!

I commend you for tackling a subject that cannot be talked about enough. You have lifted my spirits more than I can say.

Voted way up and awesome.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Fay, I'm pleased that you liked this one. it's an important topic imo. Glad you're feeling better!


nadrahan 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing your valuable Views.Please keep writing

www.socialsitting.com


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

Great hub Patty,

I grew up in a small town where other ethnic groups were almost unheard of. When I transferred my senior year to a larger place (my graduating class went from 32 to 240) I seen a large amount of hate crimes. I was caught off guard by the amount of hate displayed in the school just because of the color of the person's skin. Outside our classroom one day two people opened fire on each other because they “hated” the other. When asked what provoked the hate, the excuse was that they each deemed the other as worthless trash because they were of a certain race. Hate and greed will continue to grow unless taught otherwise.

Great hub! I gave it a vote up.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

nadrahan and tlpoague - Thank you for reading this Hub and appreciating the problem in our society. Hate is a distraction from making a better life for people everywhere.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

[note, hate speech has been removed]


GNelson profile image

GNelson 5 years ago from Florida

It is eaiser to hate than to understand Hate gives purpose and meaning to some people.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

I thnk that's right. A couple people I know are happy only when angry and denigrating other political and ethnic groups.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Bullying is a horrible side of children. It can distroy you and some even take their lives because of it and they don't seemed to batan eye. Hate, I never understand it. They too never give up. Thank you, Patty, for raising these horrible points in human beings. If it could die out the world would a better place.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Yes, we can't stop pointing it out and expect it to cure itself. It's like a cancer, imo. Thanks Hello, hello.

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