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Hate Is Back

Updated on June 16, 2009

On June 10, 2009, Stephen Tyrone Johns, an armed security guard at the National Holocaust Museum, was shot and killed by James von Brunn, an 88-year-old white supremacist. von Brunn was angry at the direction America was going, and he believed that the Jews and Blacks were to blame. In response to this, a guest on Fox News made the comment that, "Hate is back in America." Unfortunately, hate has never left. It has been present in America since almost the beginning, and if we don't make a conscious effort to stop it, it will remain indefinitely.

Hate is defined as an "intense dislike; extreme aversion or hostility." It seems to stem from an intense fear of something that is different- whether the difference manifests itself in a person's skin color, religion, or sexual preference. Fear can then transform into anger, and if that anger is intense enough, it may lead to hatred. When these feelings are cultivated over a long period of time, violence can occur.

The most classic example of hatred in America was the Atlantic Slave Trade, which lasted from the 16th century to the 19th century. What started out as a means for cheap labor, turned into something much worse. African slaves were considered less than human, and treated as such. Without giving a full on history lesson, the conclusion is drawn that this was a horrible life for these people, who were not even recognized as 3/5 of a human being until 1787. Although slavery was abolished in1865, that didn't end the hate and injustice between blacks and whites. Little more than a decade later, the Jim Crow laws were enacted from 1876-1965.

During this era, blacks were subjected to segregation. They had separate bathrooms, schools, and restaurants. They were not allowed to vote, thereby not being able to hold public office. They could not even play certain sports. There were unspeakable acts of violence- lynchings, house bombings, assassinations. Sometimes even looking at a white person resulted in death.

Unfortunately, this hostility between blacks and whites was not the only dark spot in America's history of hatred. From the late 1800's through the early 1900's, many immigrants coming to America for a better life had to endure harsh discrimination, racism, and even violence. At this time, Italians were subjected to lynchings more than any other nationality- only behind that of African Americans. Today, while the hatred and discrimination towards immigrants has lessened, it's still present. Since 9/11 many Arabs have had to endure the same types of discrimination as those passing through Ellis Island in the 20th Century.

Outside of the hatred and discrimination brought on by one's race or place of birth, Americans more recently have had to deal with hatred over one's sexual orientation. In 1998, homosexual Matthew Shepard was lured from a bar, beaten, and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming.

People today are hated because of their profession. Dr. George Tiller was assassinated on May 31, 2009, because he performed late-term abortions.

Flashback to the Columbine killings in 1999 where two students went on a rampage and killed 12 of their classmates and 1 teacher. Hate is everywhere.

In today's world, hate has become more sophisticated- if hate can ever truly be considered such. We now have the internet which allows millions of people to be connected through social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. They are able to share their feelings, thoughts, beliefs, passions, and goals- whether negative or positive thanks to our First Amendment rights.

With all that being said, it is truly up to us to no longer be complacent and tolerate this type of ideology. The things I mentioned are all well known incidents- just think of what goes on everyday that is not reported in the national news. Even the election of President Barack Obama brought a lot of negative feelings to the surface. We have to be the generation that sucks the venom out of people's subconscious. Otherwise, our children will grow up the same as we have- unable to accept people for who or what they are, and ultimately fearing things that are different.

Shepard Smith Denounces some nasty emails


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    • BeautySpeaks profile image

      BeautySpeaks 8 years ago from Prince Georges County, Maryland

      Oh of course it's no problem!! I actually thought you were James in the first place lol =) Thanks for trying to help clarify!! =)

    • BP9 profile image

      BP9 8 years ago from Cleveland Heights, Ohio

      Apologies. I was more responding to James A. Watkins to actually attempt to clarify or explain that his question is somewhat skewed by virtue of the generalization of the finding he based it on. This was my reasoning for chiming in so with those particular details. I didn't mean to take your original point further off track.

    • BeautySpeaks profile image

      BeautySpeaks 8 years ago from Prince Georges County, Maryland

      Again, you're correct, but that still was not the point of this article. I also mentioned that everything I discussed was well known events, or national news. I then went on to say "just think of what goes on everyday that is not reported in the national news," which is where that deeper analysis that you described would take place.

      I also wouldn't necessarily consider crimes of passion or even domestic violence necessarily as hatred. Maybe a hatred of oneself that stems from something deep within them....but not necessarily a hatred of the person they are necessarily abusing/hurting. In my opinion, hatred is more so a mentality, that may later escalate to violence.

    • BP9 profile image

      BP9 8 years ago from Cleveland Heights, Ohio

      I think in looking at that, one would also have to examine murders of friends, family members or those in the same proximity as far as neighborhood or community (gang related, crimes of passion, domestic violence, etc). Someone is far more likely to have the access to a weapon closer to home, and this is where what would more often end at becoming a physical altercation (fistfight) could escalate.

    • BeautySpeaks profile image

      BeautySpeaks 8 years ago from Prince Georges County, Maryland

      Well I have no explanation of that. This wasn't to point out hate vs. "other" as you put it, just hate period. I could run down a list of black on black violence, white on white, etc. Regardless of the race, I feel it needs to be eradicated. The Columbine shootings weren't necessarily "other" nor was Dr. Tiller. As I mentioned in the article, all the events I spoke about were well known. So when reaching out to my audience, I wanted to use examples that honestly, couldn't be denied as pure hatred.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      In view of your thesis, that much of hate is hate of the "other", how do you explain the fact that 90% of murder victims, black or white, were murdered by someone of their own race?

    • BeautySpeaks profile image

      BeautySpeaks 8 years ago from Prince Georges County, Maryland

      That's a valid point...I never looked at it from that perspective. The Sean Hannity's and the Rush Limbaugh's and the Ann Coulter's of the world try and legitimize their negative feelings. But I also think they do a good job of making an ass out of themselves- which keeps them from being no more than a joke to me. But it's still too bad they have such a large following =/ I wish Ann Coulter could walk in a single mother's shoes for one day....

    • BP9 profile image

      BP9 8 years ago from Cleveland Heights, Ohio

      What is truly horrifying in my opinion is the way that outright hatred is no longer par for the course.

      A man like James Von Brunn shouts from the top of his lungs and wears a very large and obvious sign saying "I hate you because..." thus and so.  Most of us whom have experienced discrimination on some level because of an obvious and incidental physical trait (skin color, gender) can actually even respect on some level a person who has the conviction to state clearly their disdain for us because of such...even if we deplore said hate or the reason for it.

      What is at work today in media and culture is hate which does not state clearly the hateful intent it actually embraces, but hides behind ultra-conservative perspectives.  This affords those who hold such views the faux legitimacy of implied concern for societal welfare while they take shots at every cause important to those who see life from the underside of said society.  They say they have no ill will toward people of color, but seem to have a problem with every self-defining assertion we make.  This what is referred to as "aversive racism."  

      To be honest, I'll take a James Von Brunn over a Sean Hannity any day of the week, because Von Brunn was honest about what he is.    

    • BeautySpeaks profile image

      BeautySpeaks 8 years ago from Prince Georges County, Maryland

      PREACH!!!!!!!!!! That's really all I can say!! =)

    • Keepin'ItReal profile image

      Keepin'ItReal 8 years ago

      Great article on hatred. I agree with Cheese, we won't be able to totally eradicate hatred, prejudice and bigotry; however, we can teach tolerance through education (school, T.V., internet, etc) and it needs to start NOW! I'm speaking from an African American female's prospective. I'm over 45 and grew up in the 60's in the South. I was a minority in my school, in my classroom, and in outside activities. Hell, I'm still a minority in my office. I'm the only black person in my office right now!! What I've notice through the years is that as minorities have risen and gain more "respect", for lack of a better term, (e.g. higher job pay, better education, etc.) they have in turn exercised prejudice and hated against others whom they see as less fortunate & I have a very hard time with this attitude. We need to remember from whence we came and teach our children to be proud of who they are. We need to teach them about their roots (not just their African-American roots that we see on T.V and read about in books), but teach them about "their famiy's roots," their heritage. Pass this information along so that they in turn will pass it along to their kids. Most kids now live a pretty comfortable life so it's hard for them to understand the struggles of our ancestors (hence the songs that use the "N" word like it's no big deal). It's not as offensive to them because they didn't live during that period and because as so many of us become successful we try to put the past behind us. I say put it behind us, live life to it's fullest not allowing the past to be our crutch, but ALWAYS remember. Haven't you noticed that most successful caucasions know their alot about their past and they have treasures, trinkets and stories that they pass on for generations. We need to do the what if our story isn't always pretty....neither was theirs! Our children need to know about where they came from. They need to know about their past generations in order to appreciate their current status. By doing more of this I honestly believe they will have more tolerance and acceptance of others. At least this is my hope and I feel that it's worked pretty well in my family. I myself came from very humble beginnings. I was the third of six children & we didn't have much. My parents had even less than we did when they were growing up. They tallked about their pass and taught us how to work hard and how to achieve with what we had and so as I'v risen in my education and career instead of looking down my nose at others & feeling like I'm better than those who have less I feel very blessed and grateful for the lessons I've learned and the opportunities that I have had. I've tried to teach my children to appreciate every fortune that they have from their health to their wealth! (No, we aren't really wealthy, we are middle class...but it rhymed with health! LOL). Anyway, great Hub Beauty Speaks, hope my reply wasn't too long and boring. Peace

    • BeautySpeaks profile image

      BeautySpeaks 8 years ago from Prince Georges County, Maryland


    • profile image

      Cheese 8 years ago

      Hate is all around us. we wont be able to eliminate it but we can minimize it!


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