Hate, the book: 042

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part Two
Chapter Eight
Study How?  (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

Whether that was the intended amount of pain the gang wanted to inflict is another story.  It doesn’t matter if it was either retaliatory or initiated.

We also know that these events occurred many times and took many different forms. Hiding books, calling names, showing a flag.

Yet they are all facets of the same underlying intent. Is that intent something we can call hate?

Not yet.  Finally, these events occurred over an extended period.  At least one semester, perhaps longer.  Why they remained roommates for as long as they did is another question.  That it persisted over time is a very important consideration for us, because it shows that the underlying intent was not a passing fancy or mood swing.  Rather, it may well have been something fundamental to their character.

In summary, we have a group, we have great pain, we have consistency, and we have persistence.  These are, indeed, the hallmarks of a powerful underlying emotion.  It is very possible that, within this story, we have an example of hate.  Why is it only possible? Why indeed isn’t this an obvious hate crime whose perpetrators should be punished immediately?

Let me attempt to show you why the diagnosis is still deficient by turning to another discipline entirely, medicine.

It is known within the medical community that some young couples exhibit a rare condition.  The first part is a medical condition, and it occurs when the young woman becomes pregnant.  Her breasts become tender, she may feel ill, have digestive problems, and be overly emotional.  She has a good cause for these symptoms, the growing fetus in her womb.

The husband, however, if he is especially empathic, may also experience these symptoms.  This condition, called Couvade Syndrome, is poorly understood and more common than you might think.

Medically legitimate research agrees that this is a psychological condition, not medical. But while the husband is not pregnant, he does exhibit symptoms of pregnancy.  Make no mistake, the symptoms are real, they are not just “in his head.”

And so it is with our story in San Jose.  On the surface it’s obviously a situation of hate. The dark-skin student suffered.  His protagonists clearly caused that suffering.
In short, all of the symptoms of hate are there.

But where is the true cause? It’s time to search for it right now.

All hate has to come from some place and happen at some point in time.  None of these young men were born with hate, it was given to them.  And it’s too early in their lives to think that they may have invented it on their own.  The question is, who planted the seed of hate in them?

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 041

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part Two
Chapter Eight
Study How?  (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

Our next story opens in San Jose.  A young man enters the college environment, no doubt leaving home for the first time.  He’s on his own, looking for learning, love, and adventure.

Instead he encounters a highly localized environment of hostility, a series of events that make his days more challenging.  His roommates call him by a name he dislikes.  They make references to his skin color and “prank” him by hiding his textbooks and clothing from him.  Or they publicly present him with low-level threats, such as hanging the confederate flag from their window for an extended period of time.

As with our first drama, let’s first allow the emotions to well up within us in order to better appreciate the heartstrings the storytellers want to pluck.

First, we have the innocent youngster, apparently fresh-faced and full of trust and thirst for knowledge.  Then we have the conspirators, a redneck gang seemingly representing the racially charged Deep South.  They hang the “stars-and-bars” of the short-lived Confederacy.  A hundred and fifty years ago the Confederacy was known for slavery and wanting to break away from the Union.  Today it’s an emblem of terror, best pictured as white-headed cowards hanging unarmed men in front of their families.

Perhaps, however, the emotions can be interpreted another way.  Let us imagine that we represent the Deep South, and see the Confederate flag as an emblem of independence and confidence.

Perhaps our abused young man is not so innocent after all, but has come from a privileged and obnoxious background.  Perhaps he is the one starting with the stereotypes.  Perhaps he is the one who belittles and denigrates his roommates as being beneath him.  Perhaps, knowing several of his roommates are from the Deep South, he insults them by insinuating they were less intelligent as he.

Maybe what we are seeing is simply the reaction of normal young men to an abusive aristocrat. Perhaps the only reason this story came to light is because the young man’s parents have taught him to be obnoxious, querulous, and litigious.

They could well see this incident as an opportunity to make money, millions of dollars, according to the article.

With these possibilities in mind, how do your emotions run now?

The bottom line is we don’t know exactly what happened, and frankly, we shouldn’t care. The fundamental events of themselves will give us enough information to understand hate, if hate does exist in this instance.

So does it?

This is what we know for sure. Several young men acted as a group.  Another young man felt injured in some way, although nothing caused him bodily harm.  His pain and injury was mental.

However, the energy and funds required to initiate legal action are significant.  For that reason we can assume that the injury the plaintiff felt must be at least equal to the effort required for prosecution.  This gives us a rough measure as to the amount of pain he allegedly suffered.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 040

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part Two
Chapter Eight
Study How?  (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

Two men meet.  One is accompanying his daughter.  The other is alone.  The father interprets actions of the other as hostile towards his daughter and takes action.  The other is repulsed. The father dies, later.  A quick historical analysis of the alleged attacker shows a history of child endangerment.  There is no direct evidence of illegal acts towards any group of people, specifically those we can differentiate based on skin color.  If the attacker hates anyone, it is children, not ‘blacks.’  The law’s extension of hate to this crime is therefore misplaced at best, possibly counter-productive at worst.  Given his history, the attacker is likely someone with mental problems.  In fact, it should be obvious that anyone who hates children must have mental disorders, but that has not yet been concluded by our society.

My conclusion for this drama is that there is no “hate” for us to study.  It may be possible to find hate in ways that society does not yet recognize, but that is not our intent here.  Right now we want to refine the data so we can use it to better understand hate as society currently defines.

If there is no obvious hate in this first story, then what do we have?  A deranged mind, at least.  Violence, first from the attacker towards the daughter, and in return from the father to the attacker.  This violence of a physical sort we can term rage, and allow it to specifically apply between people.  The exact source of rage can vary widely, but we don’t have to concern ourselves with that issue now.

What we want to focus on is the exact behaviors exhibited in this drama.  The creep attacked.  The father defended. The creep left. The father died.  Here are the four fundamental behavioral events, and they are unambiguous.  Because they are events that can be easily observed, agreed upon by many other observers, and because we can easily return to history and re-affirm these events, we call them behavioral anchors.

Like a real anchor, they are hard, they stay where you put them, and everyone agrees on what they are.  We must use anchors as tools for learning, and avoid grasping at elements that are not as concrete.  The intentions of the attacker, the dressing of the daughter, even the medical condition of the father are not directly relevant.  So, again, as much as I would like to call this a misplaced hate crime, it is not.  We must discard this heart-wrenching story along with our sports teams and move along.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 039

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part Two
Chapter Eight
Study How?  (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

We do know, however, that the prosecutor wants to put the creep in prison.  And his best chance of accomplishing this means he must position his case in the strongest light.  To try and prove to the judge that this was a chance encounter, a misunderstanding and a heart attack waiting to happen does not present a strong case.  Proving that the creep hated dark-skinned men and wanted to harm young women allows the prosecutor to apply the legal term to his case that gives him the best chance of winning, and so this became a “hate crime.”

Under that label the papers publish their story, and subsequently you and I discuss it here.  But is it truly a hate crime?  Where is the hate?  Let’s peel back the events and see what lies beneath them.

The main actor in our drama is the creep.  He’s appeared out of nowhere, he’s threatened an innocent and beautiful child, a loving father has intervened and paid the ultimate price.

Our emotions are on high for all of this, because each of these elements plays them up to peak intensity.

Take the creepy villain appearing suddenly.  That is a perfectly villainous plot device. Our senses register this as premeditation.  How else could he have known to jump out and accost his victims at exactly the right time?

The suddenness of his attack also heightens our emotions, our hearts leap from our chest, adrenalin pumping.  I hear the blood pounding in my ears even as I write this.  My skin sweats, my muscles are tense, everything about his approach in this story signals villain, evil, and hate.

Imagine the setting. Our innocent victims were simply on their way to school.  They have nothing but homework on their minds.

They fit our idealistic scenario of loving father and daughter, enjoying their time together.  The shock of confronting the creep is greater for them because they are in the story.  Because we are human and identify with them, our level of shock is also increased.  This is why movie-goers prefer to watch unsuspecting innocents murdered, rather than prepared villains.  It adds to their own shock value.

The reason I’m going on about the emotions buried in this story is this: we must discard them.  Appreciate your emotions for what they are, part of me, part of you, something woven into our shared biological history.  For true understanding and advancement towards eliminating hate, we must put our emotions aside.  Let us look at our drama again through more objective eyes and see what develops.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 038

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part Two
Chapter Eight
Study How?  (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

Before we can make this a reality, our first task is to fully understand hate. So to that end, let’s return to our three stories.

While they are completely acceptable for our purposes they are used here as examples only.

I am not concerned with their veracity in any way at this time. The fact that they were so easy to find and so perfect for the purposes of this work is coincidental, though perhaps much less than I would like to believe.

Our immediate task is to tease apart these examples such that the core elements of hate can be discerned unambiguously.  As we shall soon see, this is not as easily done as said.
The first story is that of the father who died protecting his daughter from a convicted child predator.  That’s how the story was portrayed when the media first broke it.

But thorough reading revealed insights that help us construct a another scenario.
First, let’s consider the offender.  There’s a good chance this man was less than attractive; let’s call him creepy.  Then there’s also a good chance that his mental state was less than perfect. It’s possible he wasn’t eating regularly, or that he was on medication, inappropriate drugs, or was physically ill.

In fact, he could have suffered from all of that. We really don’t know, but what we do know is that he was not a model citizen to begin with, and that there’s an increased likelihood that his condition was even more impaired than what would be considered normal, even for him.

Second, let’s consider the father.  Obviously he was loving, protective and middle aged. Such loving and sensitive men typically don’t have confrontational personalities.  There was a good chance that any kind of confrontation would have put a stress on his heart, his mind, his body.

We know from the story that he did not die at the hands of the creep, but in a nearby store.  How he died is not material, that he died “naturally” and not at the hands of the creep is what’s important.  In our society and with our current level of understanding it’s extremely difficult to convict someone of murder because they frightened someone to death.

We simply don’t know if the father’s life was cut short by the creep, or if he would have died in his daughter’s arms on the way to school without ever having encountering him.

We can’t know.  Ever.

To be continued …