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Why Do We Have Bullies, Hate Crimes and Hate Groups?

Updated on December 2, 2021
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty has advanced degrees in preventive medicine and health psychology, with 35 years of work in allergy and other autoimmune treatment.

A Question of Hate

A reader called "confused world" 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 is that true?

Additional origins may exist and perhaps you can think of others as well.

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

A Famous Example

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 prejudice 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, which she describes in her book Beyond Uhura. She was successful in her career despite the discrimination.

Japan and World War Two

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 in his article "Honor Roll of American Hate Groups, Racists, and Nativists" in the 2010s.

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 about immigrants to the U.S.A. Some said exactly this before the Highland Clearances and the Potato Famines in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales when some of the population was replaced with herds of sheep.

"No room!" -- Therefore, the people wanting entrance "must be evil and wanting to steal resources from the already-starving." I hear these comments even in the 2020s.

A famous study found that the condition too many rodents in a box gave rise to tension, violence, self-mutilation, and avoidance, among other negative results.
A famous study found that the condition too many rodents in a box gave rise to tension, violence, self-mutilation, and avoidance, among other negative results.

Excuses for Greed and Hatred

I am reminded of a 1980s preacher that spoke on TV against bingo in the Catholic church, quoting scripture to decry “moneychangers in the temple.” However, the passage specifically is about merchants standing in the place designated for worshippers, taking up dedicated worship space. As it turned out, this specific preacher only wanted the revenues of the bingo halls without sponsoring the bingo games.

Many such individuals were taught that non-English non-protestant descendant groups and women are evil, and this teaching became central to the field of Eugenics, which led to the Nazi attempts at eliminating Jews, LBGTQA+, and other groups. Eugenics is active in America today, evident in campaigns to stop immigration and remove rights from groups of people that include women.

Training and Learning by Example

In the 1980s, the American Psychiatric Association reported that 98% of Americans are adversely affected by their own or other’s alcoholism. If true, perhaps the hallmark control needs among alcoholics, addicts, and associated codependents may be linked to some cases of this hatred, self-centeredness, and greed. These attitudes could be learned by children at home or among peer groups. Perhaps this is part of a widespread mental illness.

Hatred has spread to the extremes of our two major political groups and likely led to the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Eugenics and propaganda play a part in discrimination against ethnic groups and even indigenous peoples.Australian Aboriginals
Eugenics and propaganda play a part in discrimination against ethnic groups and even indigenous peoples.
Eugenics and propaganda play a part in discrimination against ethnic groups and even indigenous peoples.
Australian Aboriginals
Australian Aboriginals | Source

Eugenic Propaganda

Individuals that hate people outside their own demographic often hate the fact that they are related to that group. However, 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, the Irish, Indigenous Peoples, women, The false messages claim that the Jews in WWII and the Native Americans got what they deserved. False, but the writers want readers to believe it and help eliminate these people from America.

A book that describes hatred against slave brought to the Americas is that of a white crewman on a slave ship: 100 Days On A Slave Ship.

Some Spanish explorers mistreated Native North Americans in the 1400s and 1500s; other settlers slew “Indians” in the early 1600s. The spam proliferating today states that the mistreatments never occurred, but is a lie invented by President Jimmy Carter and the Department of Education from 1977 to 1980. The spam promotes the expulsion of all Hispanics and Native Americans from our country.

Avoid Teaching 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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Patty Inglish MS


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