jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (11 posts)

Learning to hate

  1. habee profile image96
    habeeposted 5 years ago

    I took four of my grandsons to the park this afternoon. Their ages range from 6 to 9. As they were playing on the playground, a black boy about their age asked if they wanted to play tag with him. They enthusiastically agreed. After a while, a little Hispanic girl asked if she could join them. All 5 boys shouted in unison, "Sure!" The group played together beautifully for more than an hour. As I sat watching, I started thinking. These kids weren't the least bit concerned with politics, religion, ethnicity, gender, social class, etc. They haven't learned to hate yet. At what age do humans learn to hate those who are different than them?

    1. gmwilliams profile image85
      gmwilliamsposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Young children of themselves are usually unaware of racial differences.   All young children believe that all are alike.    They become aware of race differences when their parents inculcate them into the racial construct that races are different; therefore, some are good and/or others are bad.    If the parents do not inculcate them in this, there are other components in the social enviroment whether it is neighbors, grandparents,  adult associates and/or friends of the parents, and/or other relatives.    I remember a commercial not long ago where a white child played with a black child and the former's parent loudly stated not to play with him-he's ........well different!   This illustrates the point that prejudice is not innate but is taught and learned!

    2. fpherj48 profile image75
      fpherj48posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I wouldn't guess at what age...Habee......but I'd easily believe the shift happens gradually,as children grow, lose some of their inborn purity and innocence, have more contact and involvement with individuals other than family.....begin to "hear" the comments of biggots, racists and radicals...and too often, see them in action.
      This incremental chipping away can result in any number of attitudes.  This is also when their upbringing, parental influence, background and possibly, religious training is most important, in terms of having a basic and good foundation, being solidly trained and educated in tolerance, acceptance and love of fellow-man.

  2. paradigmsearch profile image91
    paradigmsearchposted 5 years ago

    Serious answer.

    When puberty hits.

    I have no idea why.


    1. habee profile image96
      habeeposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You might be right. I don't think they even like themselves at that point.

      1. paradigmsearch profile image91
        paradigmsearchposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        A peculiar way to design a species...

    2. CrisSp profile image83
      CrisSpposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Why puberty stage? I think because that's when they start to get conscious of themselves and feel different from others.

  3. prettydarkhorse profile image66
    prettydarkhorseposted 5 years ago

    You are such a loving grandma habee.

    I watched this episode in CNN before. http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/02/s … ilds-eyes/

    People around the children can influence their KAP - knowledge attitude and practice.

  4. Ultimater profile image59
    Ultimaterposted 5 years ago

    You have confused 'becoming aware of differences' with 'hating others based on differences'. They are completely different. Kids may even converse with trees. They often don't have enough discretion to differentiate  between a tree and a human being.

    Politics, religion, ethnicity, gender, social class, etc. do have some significance. However, you can blindly deny that they don't exist. There is nothing wrong in getting conscious of differences. What should really concern is when that didn't happen, or isn't happening.

  5. Cody Hodge5 profile image59
    Cody Hodge5posted 5 years ago

    That's certainly a complicated question.

    I have to wonder if it really has to do with hating someone because of their racial background.

    I think its more about disliking the content of someone's character really. There are good people of all races and bad people of all races. White people are certainly not immune from calling other white people "white trash".

    Personally, I think it becomes a factor when things start getting competitive. When someone sees a black person or a Hispanic person get a job or a scholarship, it is human nature to wonder how they got that job.

    When a black or a Hispanic person gets pulled over, it is human nature to wonder if it was racially motivated. When a black or Hispanic person is having trouble getting to the voting booth, it is human nature to wonder if it isn't just a majority or establishment ploy to suppress an opposition voice.

    These days, it is probably less about racism and more about having a convenient excuse to gain an edge over someone who may be competition for a job, house, political job etc.

    1. American View profile image60
      American Viewposted 5 years agoin reply to this


      You have an interesting point but I disagree about it being human nature. It is a product of environment. What is the difference between a child who grew up in a KKK household and my child? One promoted hate as casual everyday life, one did not. Which kid will have the racist views growing up?

      Where human nature comes in is when people use racism to induce fear or promote an agenda.