Friday, July 21, 2006

Teaching Hate

In Marc Levin's documentary, Protocols of Zion, about the resurgence of anti-Semitism in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, there is one segment where an Egyptian newsreporter is shown interviewing a 3.5 year old girl. I'm reconstructing from memory, so the following might be off slightly (but not much):

Reporter: Do you hate the Jews?
Girl: Yes.
Reporter: Why?
Girl: Because they are apes and pigs.

That child wasn't born hating Jews. Someone poisoned her mind with hate. I would posit that teaching a child to hate is a crime against both the child and humanity. It transforms the child into a vehicle for the children of hate - bigotry, intolerance, cruelty, and violence. These can only serve to make the world a more miserable place. Hate begets more hate, and that child is likely to in turn become the target of someone else's hate.

A few days ago, a picture of two Jewish girls happily writing messages on missiles destined for Lebanon was circulating the internet. Someone failed to let those girls know that some of those missiles, possibly the ones they wrote message on, would end up killing girls their age in Lebanon, girls whose only crime was to be unfortunate enough to be born in a part of the world which has been unable to escape a cycle of hate which has lasted for over a thousand years.

If one truely wants to make the world a better place, one should teach children to hate intolerance, prejudice, and violence. They should be taught to imagine themselves in the place of others, and to see injustice committed against another as injustice committed against themself. A child who hates these things, but loves his/her fellow man, is a child who will likely strive to make the world a less miserable place. This child will hate the suffering of anyone, everywhere.

Hate blinds. A mind filled with hate is blinded to cruelty and suffering. As R. G. Ingersoll put it:

It is by imagination that we put ourselves in the place of another. When the whigs of that faculty are folded, the master does not put himself in the place of the slave; the tyrant is not locked in the dungeon, chained with his victim. The inquisitor did not feel the flames that devoured the martyr. The imaginative man, giving to the beggar, gives to himself. Those who feel indignant at the perpetration of wrong, feel for the instant that they are the victims; and when they attack the aggressor they feel that they are defending themselves. Love and pity are the children of the imagination.
It's just so terribly frustrating and disheartening to see children taught to hate other children. Those children are not the enemy of each other - their enemy is hate. They should be working together to put an end to hate. I'm reminded of another great speaker, Martin Luther King, maybe we can airdrop these words on the Middle East

In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.


the cynic librarian said...

Have you heard of the Islamophobic version of the Protocols? Here's a link. It seems that hatred is making its way in the world at break-neck speed.

Hume's Ghost said...

No, I hadn't heard of that. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Why fabricate? The Quaran is more damning than the Protocols.

Hume's Ghost said...

1. I didn't say anything about the Protocols being more or less damning than the Koran.
2. What is most damning is not relevant to the subject of this post.
3. Define "damning." The Protocols helped fuel the 20th century anti-Semitism that led to millions of dead Jews. I'd consider that pretty damning.