(This article was written several years ago. Not much has changed since I first put this together.)
Who Taught Us How To Hate?
"How come dogs chase cats?"
A young boy asked his grandpa one day, “How come dogs chase cats?”
The grandfather lowered his head and thought for a moment. The boy knew that when he did this, his grandpa was in deep thought, and would always come up with a wise answer.
“That’s a good question, young man.” The grandfather looked at him with a smile on his face.
“Dogs and cats are like people, in a way,” he began. “I guess it depends on how they were raised. Some dogs and cats have a happy life, and they learn to love one another. Sometimes, they don’t. The ones that don’t end up fighting and scratching each other. The dog barks, and the cat hisses.”
The little boy interrupted. “Have you ever seen happy dogs and cats, Grandpa?”
“Oh sure,” the grandfather replied. “Lots of time. But I’ve also seen them fight. It’s never a pretty sight. And there never is a true winner of that fight. They just go off by themselves, still unhappy with each other, and themselves.”
“What do the ones that like each other do?” The little boy was very curious.
“Oh, they play games with each other,” Grandpa replied. “Sometimes, they share their food. Sometimes, they take walks with each other. They even take naps at the same time, sharing the bed. They might even carry on conversations with each other. And the ones who like each other, they’ll come to help each other when the other one is in trouble. They sometimes were very young together, so they drew up as friends, and didn’t know what it was to chase and fight each other.”
“Like in the stories,” the boy said, “they live happy forever?”
The grandfather smiled. “Just like in the stories.”
Wouldn’t it be so nice if life could be that way? A time and place where we could all just come together and be friends? But there always seems to be something in the way, and there always seems to be someone or some issue that creates problems that don’t need to be there.
People hate, because they are taught to hate. And others, who have so much hate built up in them that they cannot let go of the past, and are afraid of a happy future, will encourage others around them to feel the way they do. Evil, powerful men will sometimes pay people money to encourage people to go out and be mean and hurt each other. Just like the dogs and cats, or the Capulets and Montagues in Romeo and Juliet.
As a boy growing up, in part, on the streets of Galveston, Texas, I made all sorts of friends. While my mother managed a hotel, a black lady she knew helped babysit me, and I grew up with her son. We had a lot of fun. Our first pool was a big hole in the ground we dug. And, kids being kids, we had a few arguments now and then, but we always made up, and went out to play again. I always wondered what happened to him. I knew his mother passed away, and he was given up for adoption to family members. After about the age of six, I never him again. Not too many years later, I was also sent to family to be adopted, because my mother was ill and could not take care of me anymore. And my life at that early age was rough. I almost became a ward of the court in Texas. Who knows where I would have wound up?
Here are a series of questions to consider, since the climate of the nation and the world is in such a chaotic state.
Who taught us how to hate?
When a child is born, his/her mind is a clean slate, ready for all the inputs it can absorb from all the senses. In the formative years, they will gain a lot of information from us, as adults and parents.
They were born with knowing the need for love and security, which will continue to grow in them, by being touched and held. They cannot speak, but they learn by crying, and reaching out their arms that they will be changed when wet or soiled, and held and comforted and nurtured.
Who explained to them what racial prejudice is?
A young child did not know this. That is, unfortunately, learned from us as adults and parents. Their curiosity is stronger than their fear sense. Children observe and question everything. They will see how we treat each other, regardless of skin color, religion, or gender. Having been born innocent, they do not know if what they see is right or wrong behavior.
There was a great anti-smoking commercial which aired between September, 1967 and 1982. “Like Father, Like Son” showed them walking along together, skipping rocks together, and then while under a tree together, the son saw the father pull out a pack of cigarettes and light one up. Then, sat the pack beside him on the grass. The two-year old watched his dad do this, and then the film image froze at the point where the boy reached for the cigarette pack to pick it up. “Like Father, Like Son.”
That story is told only to emphasize how innocent and curious a child is. They need to keep their innocence for as long as they can. They will lose it soon enough in a cruel, selfish world.
As I said earlier, a child will watch their parents closely, in what they say and do, and will think that this is normal behavior and is okay, until hopefully taught otherwise.
A young black boy and white boy can have their arms around each other’s shoulders, and be the best of friends for a long time, even for their whole lives. Then, when their families begin with the hate speech and actions, that closeness can vanish. And not just their families, but also their friends. They, too, will have a tremendous influence on them.
When did we abandon the ability to seek out all the facts and decide for ourselves what is true or not?
Just because something is said, or repeated often, does not mean it is true. And no one has the right to say that you must believe a certain way or think a certain line of thought, or adhere to a certain religion or philosophy.
People who follow the mob mentality do not want to make a genuine effort to solve an issue. Right or wrong, they forfeit their freedom of choice and ability to decide for themselves in order to take the easy way out of a circumstance.
Let’s look at some versions of “mob mentality,” and how it affects the functioning of society. I can’t keep up with all of them, but this is beginning.
The Charleston church massacre was a mass shooting that took place on the evening of June 17, 2015, at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Police arrested a suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Dylann Roof, in Shelby, North Carolina, the morning after the attack. The full story and information on Roof can be found on Wikipedia. This is the link:
From the information, he had an agenda. And yes, it may be a racist agenda. But you do not defeat racism with more racism. Hate does not defeat hate. While the community was rallying at the church, praying together and worshipping together, regardless of religion, in an effort to curb the evil and show love and true strength, the leader of the New Black Panther Party arrived in Charleston, preaching hate, and to kill the “white slave owners.” He was pushing his evil agenda, which was certainly not helping matters any.
I am surprised that the KKK was not there, pushing their agenda of white supremacy. That would have been icing on the cake to see these two groups tangle on the streets of Charleston. The police would have had their hands full with the shooting and the carnage. What would that have solved?
And what about the “skin heads,” and their agenda? Why don’t we invite every hate and religious fanatic group we can find, and finally get it all out in the open? That would probably be too easy. Maybe they want to slowly destroy civilization as we know it, and not try to fix the situation.
This quote keeps coming to my mind, anytime I see such stupidity and foolishness taking place in and effort to create more unnecessary tensions between peoples:
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel - Former Obama Chief of Staff in the White House
And since we are dealing with hatred, bigotry, and such, let us not forget our human brethren overseas: Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and others. Surely their agenda is equally as “noble” in their sight. In the case of ISIS, the show no mercy for even their own Muslim brothers. Look at the eon’s old fight between the Shia and Sunni, who started their feud because they could not agree on who would control the Islamic faith after the death of Mohammed.
And, in an effort to update this article, now in the summer of 2016, the latest attack is on police officers in the Dallas, Texas area. Six killed, and a number of others wounded, along with several civilians. It seems a week cannot go by without at least one or two shootings of such a horrible nature happen around the country.
Look at the Christians, who have so many different sects, denominations, and versions of the Bible that they will never agree on any segment of doctrine or dogma. Some even enjoy trying to disrupt funerals of soldiers because they were military, and believe they don’t deserve a decent burial regardless of the fact that they were on the battlefield defending their right to be so bigoted. Many religious groups seem to have common ground in the fact they all hate gay/lesbian/transgender individuals. For the most part, what have they really done to hurt anyone?
I will assume, albeit cautiously, that they are all talking about the same Jesus, who taught love and turning the other cheek, while they go out and wreak havoc on the faith they so strongly claim to have and cherish. This same Jesus associated with and dined with sinners, because the self-righteous of his day did not want him. He came to help the poor and downtrodden, and yet we turn our backs on the very same poor today, walking past them on the streets. We show no mercy, unless, like some I know, they are only a member of our church. We need more “Good Samaritans” today, not bigots and race baiters.
And if you want justice for all, then reflect on history, and how even in Africa, stronger tribes were raiding other villages and tribes, kidnapping men, women, and children to sell to those who would ship them overseas to be used to harvest crops and help in the homes. Slavery was big business in those days, but perhaps we don’t want to bring that up, because then the issue would change from “social justice” to “justice for all.” We can’t have that, can we, Reverend Sharpton? We can only talk about how white policemen are killing black men. We cannot talk about how blacks are killing blacks, or how many whites are being killed by blacks, and vice versa. No, that would require “justice for all,” not “social justice.” Why don’t you come down and live among the people you claim to defend? Why don’t you give up your jet, and home in the Beverly Hills area, and suffer with those you claim to care about? Where is the “social justice” there? And it doesn’t matter that slavery is all over the world, and that if it is wrong here in America, it is wrong everywhere. Who is addressing the issue of Christians being killed in other countries, while the Muslims are granted immunity for the killings, because we are too busy trying not to offend them? How do you feel about that, “Uncle Al?”
And remember why the Crusades began? It was because the Muslims marched across Northern Africa up into Europe, trying to convert everyone to Islam, and if they refused, they were killed. Not only were millions killed because of faith, but the great libraries of Egypt and elsewhere were burned and thousands of historical documents and books of medical information destroyed because they did not deal with the Koran or Islam. Then, the Catholic Church began the Crusades, to restore the Holy Land and Jerusalem to the Christians. War after war, all in the name of God. Whose God are we talking about? The one of Abram, Isaac, and Jacob? The Muslim God?
And while we are on the subject, what about war? Do you realize that more people have died in the same of some “god” than in all wars combined? Who benefits from these wars? Surely not the innocent people who want to just live in peace and quiet, and raise their families. Consider the fact that banks funded both sides of the wars, and managed to reap the spoils of their labors. But that is for another day, and another discussion.
So how do we break the violent cycle? How do we learn to love one another, and be human beings, instead of racist animals trying to control each other for the need of power, money or religious zeal? How do we learn to stop teaching our children this poisonous venom?
Society is partly to blame. Then there is the individual. To give up the hate and evil in their heart is to give up control of it. To think that they are truly “in control” is the biggest fallacy of all. The truth is that as an individual, we are never truly “in control.” We all interact with each other, and are affected by so many variables in life, it is mind boggling.
Oscar Wilde once said: “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s thoughts, are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
There will always be antagonists and protagonists in sufficient number to continue this senseless behavior forever. Some will even join up together, such as the Allies or the Axis Powers. If not of a country or political alliance, then what about of a religious nature?