“Race hate isn’t human nature – race hate is the abandonment of human nature.” Thus spake Orson Welles.
But sadly, awesome Orson was only HALF right.
Primitive man evolved a fear and loathing of people who were DIFFERENT from him, in order to keep the gene-pool clean. Therefore, he would kill anyone of a different colour, appearance, etc.
And so race hate IS human nature – if that human is PRIMITIVE.
However since those times, we have spent many MILLENNIA evolving understanding, consideration, empathy and civility. Therefore our MODERN nature SHOULD exclude race hate.
But DOES it?
Well, POLITICS has POLARISED humanity.
Right-Wing thinking has traditionally included a belief that those who are unlike oneself are inevitably INFERIOR. However, given that thinking leads from mistrust, through fear, then hatred – to eventual GENOCIDE – said Right-Wingers tend nowadays to (mostly) keep that thinking to THEMSELVES.
While Left-Wing thinking utterly REJECTS all that. But unfortunately, they go too far in the OTHER direction. Afraid that ANY perceived DIFFERENCE between individuals will lead to hatred and its consequences – they rail against ANY observation that generalises characteristics of a race.
Which leaves THIS writer’s lot – LIBERAL thinkers – to make SENSE of the issue. So here goes…
Firstly, we need to understand some basic human truths: ALL human beings are entitled to the same RESPECT, opportunities, consideration and treatment as each other. EQUALITY – when it comes to health, education, employment, accomodation and all social issues.
Secondly, we all have stereotypical qualities. They are what make us who we ARE. Our sex, sexual orientation, age, race, creed, colour, political leanings, socio-economic upbringing, tastes in music, clothes and food, life-goals, lifestyle, IQ, hobbies, habits, height, weight, occupation, etc.
And all of the above create STEREOTYPES; factors that enable us to make assumptions about each other, based on inductive reasoning – MOST of which will be CORRECT. This is fine, but it CAN lead to complications.
Assumptions can become JUDGEMENTS.
And since all people are INDIVIDUALS, SOME of those assumptions will inevitably be WRONG anyway. Like, this author is English – but hates tea, football and cricket with a PASSION.
Furthermore, it is but a small leap from making judgements – to WEAPONISING them.
And THIS is fundamentally WRONG. You can KID people about their CHOICES – like their politics, lifestyle or fashion sense – because they can CHANGE those.
But to ABUSE people about those things they HAVE no choice about – like their sex, sexual orientation, age, height, RACE or colour – is utterly UNSPEAKABLE.
Which leaves us with the LIBERAL viewpoint – at least, as this reporter understands and employs it.
If you are dealing with an individual on a short-term basis, it is OKAY to make those stereotypical assumptions you have gleaned over your lifetime – mostly, you will be RIGHT and it will allow you to communicate with and understand that individual better.
But if you know you will have to deal with that individual on a LONG-term basis, far better to wipe the slate clean and DISCOVER who they are. They may be completely UN-typical of their stereotype.
And while it is inevitable that a person may dislike another person based solely on their perception of that person’s racial characteristics – they CANNOT ABUSE them, or deny them their human rights because of it. As a society, we HAVE to rise ABOVE such behaviour.
Plus people have to remember that perceived qualities they personally may FROWN on, concerning a particular race – may JUST be the very qualities that other people may ADMIRE, given we are all DIFFERENT.
“I hate Swedes; they are awful people – they drive so SLOWLY – and they are GLUM.”
“I love Swedes; they are a fine people – they drive CAREFULLY – and they are SERIOUS.”
Same people – different perspective.
At the end of the day, it is rather like when as a child, you are making a list of people to invite to your birthday party. You do not HAVE to invite those you do not LIKE – but you have no right to HARASS them.
Of course, this is the situation TODAY. But what of the FUTURE?
Well, if the first stage of human evolution is to exercise compassion and tolerate those we perceive as being different – the NEXT is more tricky.
Another quote: “To understand is to forgive.” Blaise Pascal.
Oh yes – to TOTALLY eradicate racism from the human psyche, we need to get INTO THE HEADS of those who are different – and UNDERSTAND what makes them tick.
In theory, once we do so, we could even RELATE to the likes of Hitler, Bin Laden and Ted Bundy.
However, while personal appreciation of the lifestyle, upbringing and motives of those we dislike has VALUE, we cannot lose sight of the EFFECTS of their actions.
Love Thine Enemy is all very well – and understanding those who are different is even better. But if those people are bent on mind-control, fomenting hatred and destroying lives – then as a society, we have to PROTECT ourselves and CURTAIL those hate-fuelled activities.
But fighting WARS is NOT the answer. We must fight the CAUSES of war – misunderstanding, intolerance, poverty and ignorance. And at the same time, we must not lose sight of the ULTIMATE goal; as World Citizens, we are all in this TOGETHER.
MOST people are essentially decent, peace-loving and compassionate – but they are also easily lead – and MISLEAD. And thus, they can quickly descend to that primitive level where once again, mistrust leads to fear, then hatred, then genocide.
In the last century, OVER ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY MILLION PEOPLE DIED from the direct effects of WAR. That is more than half the current population of the USA. Add to that as many again from the INDIRECT effects…
And even now, in 2014 – the carnage continues. And pretty much ALL of it stems from humanity’s inability to LIVE with itself. And that in turn stems from RACISM.
No WONDER The Left HATES racism.
But getting their knickers in a twist when a comedian uses a stereotype in a joke – or berating a commentator who thoughtlessly makes a racial slur – achieves NOTHING. And banning the word Christmas because 5% of the population is declaredly non-Christian – is just STUPID.
The Left-Wing, Politically-Correct morons cling to the belief that if you avoid causing “offence” to anyone – everything will be fine. But that is like walking through a refuse dump, while putting your sweet-papers in your pocket.
The problem is rooted in ATTITUDE. This observer grew up in the Fifties and Sixties and saw REAL racism. In America, it was BRUTAL. In Britain – casual. But in many parts of the World TODAY, it is ENDEMIC.
The solution lies in EDUCATING the World’s population about the DANGER of REAL racism. Teaching the WORLD that misunderstanding, intolerance, poverty and ignorance is KILLING this planet’s population. And that the one hundred and sixty million – actually, nearer THREE hundred million – who died in the last century’s wars were only PART of the slaughter.
Poverty ALSO killed countless millions – and there are STILL areas of this World where children go to bed hungry. Where bad water, preventable diseases and pointless conflicts ensure their mortality rate is a TRAGEDY.
Imagine how many could be SAVED, if the inhabitants of this planet did not WASTE A MILLION, MILLION US DOLLARS on “defence” – ANNUALLY.
For crying out loud, we are now in the Third Millennium. And civilisation began around FIFTY millennia before THAT. Is it not WAY past time we damn-well GREW UP?