Friday, I just finished watching the Steven Spielberg series from the Discovery Channel “Why We Hate“, which looks both at hate, how it can fester and grow into genocide and destruction, but also at how we can work against hate to keep it from spreading. The series examines infamous examples of genocide or mass ethnic violence (Rwanda, South Africa, Cambodia, Nazi Germany, Colombia, lynchings, and others).
Saturday, just out of curiosity I watched Trump’s rally in Tulsa and it felt like I was listening to the same words from the instigators of past genocide and violence. The common themes are:
- Dehumanizing the victims by calling them thugs, killers, rapists, animals or vermin (in Rwanda, it was calling the ethnic Tutsi “cockroaches”),
- Stoking fear by claiming that the victims are out to destroy you, your family, and your way of life (taking away your guns, your jobs, and killing babies),
- Most importantly, an authority figure or leader telling the people that they have to use violence against the victims (telling them to not be gentle or to “rough them up”).
But the important message is that we cannot stop hate with more hate. Hate must be fought with understanding. There was so much good information and ideas in this show, coming from amazing experts who have spent their lives fighting and successfully overcoming hate. I hope we learn how to stop what is going on before it is too late for us.
UPDATE: this post made it into Electoral-Vote!