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Overly Sensitive People and Overkill

Updated on January 1, 2013

Not long ago I published an article on an African American rapist and notorious serial killer named Jake Bird. Bird was executed on July 15, 1949. He was the seventh African American to be executed in Washington State since the death penalty was established in 1904.

The reason I bring this up is because of a comment posted about it by a reader who was obviously very disturbed by comments others had made. These comments concerned off hand remarks about how Bird should perhaps have been hung at birth because of the atrocities he had committed. I can’t say with certainty the race of the person, gender or age. However, they used the online identifier of “Racist.” Here, is the comment:

“What about the other 70% white serial killers, should they have been hung at birth? What about the klan? They definitely should have been hung at birth...What about the people who brought slaves to America? God should have never given them breath. Oh okay.” The article can be read at:

“Racist” was responding to an off the cuff remark I made to another reader’s comment about Bird’s infatuation with voodoo curses who wrote: “They should have hung him sooner, and then the hex might have been lifted! Maybe his mom was a voodoo priestess.” What apparently upset “Racist” was my response to this which was: “I think his momma should have hung him at birth.” Some may have found this offensive although most readers, in my opinion, would recognize it to be a humorous statement about a tragic event. But, perhaps I was wrong to make the statement. I’m a human being and human beings make mistakes…were allowed to do that you know? However, to soothe “Racist’s” ruffled feathers I answered with:

“Lighten up. You are taking these off the wall remarks way to seriously. Of course, I don't really want to see a baby hung. The comments were basically just a figure of speech. No doubt, what the people you refer to did, was inexcusable. It was a different time and place and many people were also uneducated.” I felt this to be a calm and legitimate defense. As of this writing, “Racist” hasn’t answered back.

The comment “Racist” made doesn’t concern me, but it’s an example of how overly sensitive people in this country have become. People have been arrested merely because someone thought they might be praying in a public place. Call something who or what they are and one can also end up incarcerated because they committed a “hate crime” against some group or minority. Life in America, as far as common sense goes, now seems to be governed by minorities. At the risk of offending someone, I find this ludicrous.

Are there any explanations to define this over sensitivity? Perhaps, but they may or may not be directly related. Several studies have been done on highly sensitive people (HSP). According to these studies one in every twenty people is considered to be a highly sensitive person (HSP). This means you may be an HSP or someone you know is. Be that as it may, the question becomes why are some overly sensitive to what others feel to be a minor problem?

One source says sensitivity comes from “an over indulgence of negativity.” This means whenever someone renders something as negative, they analyze it to death and think only of how the situation and implications affects them. Naturally, this tends to make one feel bad or insecure, thus, the sometimes overkill retaliations.

There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive, it shows a concern for others. But we need to learn how to balance it. Perhaps it wouldn’t hurt any of us to take some sensitivity and anger management classes.


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    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      5 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Exceptional hub as usual. Some people just need to grow up and stop being whiny babies, really.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      I don't think it's being a bigot to despise an evil serial killer of any race, gender, age, or creed. The fact he was black isn't meaningful in the context of serial killers. They're all bad, and I hope like anything never to meet up with one.

      As far as the comment, "His mother should have hung him at birth", well, it certainly would have saved some lives later on...but she nor anyone else could know that. I've often thought it would have been so much better if Hitler's mom lost the baby before he could even get started.

      The oversensitivity some people display is possibly because of prior bad experiences, maybe not with you, J, specifically, or what you casually commented.

    • SweetMocha-Monroe profile image


      7 years ago

      I will and thank you again for such interesting articles.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      SweetMocha-Monroe, Thank you for the comments. I have written many articles on African Americans as well as Jim Crow Laws, slavery etc. I hope you will read them.

    • SweetMocha-Monroe profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Hub. Being African American, I can honestly say we do not like to reminded of our history as to being hung, slavery, etc. It is an sensitive matter to us; however, as the remarks made "Racist" could have easily looked over them because we all have an right to our opinion. Not being of the African American race many can find humor in the early beginnings of history. We had nothing to laugh about and would most definitely like to forget it. As for the serial killer himself, I don't care what race he was from, he should have been hung. Anyone who selectively kills others should be put to death. I always enjoy your hubs and sense of humor. Voted up and interesting.

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      WOW Lucky,I wonder what you would've said if you had drank your coffee! Love ya for the comments.

      Joan Whetzel, I'm glad you saw my comment wasn't meant to offend.

    • profile image

      Joan Whetzel 

      7 years ago

      It's difficult for some people to discern when others are intentionally being insulting and when they aren't. Clearly, no one would REALLY want a mother to hang their child at birth. This comment is not to be taken literally, but with a grain of salt.

    • Lucky Cats profile image


      7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Hi John. I agree with your perception regarding oversensitivity. Sometimes, actually, I think overt, overly emotional reactions to every day occurances (be they verbal, physical, imagined or real...) is an indication of lacking in the individual who displays such behavior or response(s) to same. Possibly, too, it is almost 'expected,' that one reacts in a prescribed way to a 'stereotypical' situation or verbal comment. We've become a nation ruled and defined by the idea of being politically correct. The primary problem with this (and there are many) is 'according to whom?' We find ourselves in a knee jerk situation where the individual conforms to a group mentality; allowing our individuality to be submerged and replaced by a dominant mind set. We've lost our sense of humor. We cannot say something for fear of being chastized, ostrisized and incarcerated. Well, of course, unless one falls into the current and societally accepted group who is considered open game. You are correct when you suggest we've become a nation ruled by minority opinion. I feel as if we and, sadly (and unfortunately...we had better beware)have become weak and without a 'backbone.' We submit to silly rules of etiquette while we apologize for our very existence...this will (and I underscore) WILL lead to disastrous results when those who live by detrimental and destructive philosophies which are presently being protected by our "politically correct" dogma, turn on us, utilizing our divided nation against us rather than finding themselves dealing with a nation united. We've lost our sense of nationality and history; we've actually willfully denied the premise of and significance of our historical beginnings.

      I've gotten a bit off tracki (early am..w/out coffee)...but, to finish my thoughts on this hub; this problem can be found in the individual who has no real sense of true self as well as a society which has lost it's identity.

      great hub, John; and one which should make us pause and consider what we're becomming.


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