About cbt0

Philosopher, inventor, writer, student of behavior, aficionado of physics, very amateur astronomy, terrible poet, businessman. Also enjoy eating, traveling, and flying. Did I mention eating?

Hate, the book: 014

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 One
Chapter Three
Why Study Hate?  (Continued)

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

Almost everywhere I look, in almost every year of my life, I can point to some event and say “here is evidence of hate.”

Here is a story from the 1960s, told by a young Columbia college student of the time, James Simon Kunen.  He’s standing by a group of other students, watching as their protests against the Vietnam War are being countered by school administration and city police.

“I’m standing with some friends when I notice two husky grey-suited gentlemen walking up to a long-haired kid standing alone on the edge of the lawn with a camera. Suddenly they run up to him and knock him to the ground and start punching him and dragging him away. He screams, “Leave me alone, please, I was just standing there!” They’re plainclothesmen. I yell “Come on, there’s just two of them. Let’s get him back.” Five of us start to run towards them. I am terribly frightened and I don’t know what I’m going to do when I get there. Someone behind us throws an empty Seven-up can which bounces off one of the plainclothesmen’s heads. Right off his grey crew cut. He yells, “Get back or somebody’s going to get killed,” and reaches to his side, pulls out a gun and waves it at us. I yell, “He’s got a gun” and bolt away, not knowing whether or not I am going to hear a bang.”
James Simon Kunen, “Strawberry Statement” pages 42 – 7 describing an event from the 1960s, New York City.

The student revolts of the 1960s marked the beginning of my awareness, yet a lifetime of evidence is still insufficient. For my life began at the dawn of the space age, not so long ago. My parents, their parents and beyond, all lived lives in this same world, decades before mine.

What did they see? Our ancestors saw an iron curtain fall upon a city, and then half the world. They watched as a single bomb instantly flattened two cities and annihilated hundreds of thousands of lives. They watched entire cities burn, engulfed in raging firestorms. Later they saw that Hitler had millions of innocent Jews, Christians, Gypsy, Muslim, and other “alien” people gassed as part of some deranged “final solution.”
Not to be outdone, Stalin also launched his own version of a final solution, moving millions of his own citizens into Siberia, most of whom never returned.

All of this is just the tip of an iceberg.  Unknown millions of people have been used and abused through recent centuries.  Armenians were marched to their death across Turkey; Chinese, Indians and other Asians were consumed by their European overlords; and slaves were transported from Africa to the “New World” in order to provide the new lands of liberty with cheap manpower.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 013

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 One
Chapter Three
Why Study Hate?  (Continued)

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

But his mother could.  She was in charge of his welfare.  Being recently divorced, taking care of her son was her hard-won right. When the killer’s high school administrators warned her that he was disturbed and needed counseling, she refused. When she bought her gun, she was taught, as all gun owners are taught, to be careful with her weapon and to secure it safely so that no unauthorized or untrained persons would have access to that gun, especially children.  Instead, her son had access to that weapon.

It may be that the underlying reasons she refused to help her son, or refused to restrict his access to firearms was because, within her, she felt that she had been wronged. In other words, within the mother, was a form of hate. Alas, we will never know for sure. The killer murdered his mother before he killed anyone else.

What about the cowardly act Russian President Vladimir Putin and his puppets perpetrated on the people of Crimea? Including downing a passenger jet in Crimean airspace by unknown missiles?

Starting from the very top of the Russian hierarchy all the way down to the lowliest soldier, a mindset must exist that makes them all believe they have the right to kill Ukrainians as they see fit.  They assume, apparently, that Ukrainians do not deserve the same respect as everyday Russians.

Clearly, they say to themselves this simple, yet damning phrase: “I hate them.”
They may never say this out loud, they may never even say it in these exact words, or even in thought. But they say it in a thousand different other ways… in their actions… how they look at them… the way they speak their names in the jokes they tell… and ultimately, how they kill them when given the chance.

As people we measure all things relative to ourselves. A speck of dust is small, and the galaxy is large. When it comes to time, we are most comfortable with events that occur within our own lifetimes, especially the part of our lives that we are most aware of. It should be no surprise, then, that the most significant events of hate for us individually will always be those that occur during these “recent” years.

My years of awareness are not the same as yours, yet let me share some of the more notable events of hate I have experienced during my roughly half-century of awareness. It starts with the assassination of a president, John F. Kennedy. Then the great Martin Luther King, and Robert F. Kennedy. There’s the shooting of unarmed students at Kent State University, which left four dead. There’s the bombing of a marine barracks in Lebanon, and the forced exodus of Palestinians from the lands in Israel. There was Saddam Hussein of Iraq gassing his own people. There were massacres in Uganda and Rwanda, dirty diamonds in Central Africa, and ethnic cleansing in Serbia and Ethiopia. Today there is the rise of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, along with ultra-nationalists in Germany and the USA. And the despot of North Korea turning the people into robots to do his bidding.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 012

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 One
Chapter Three
Why Study Hate?  (Continued)

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

Such is the scale of humanity’s capacity for tragedy that I have the ability to show a second example that is far more tragic, hateful, and even more of an ominous portent of our shared future. For less than a month ago in Pakistan, a band of religious extremists decided that their god wanted to see 130 young, innocent children slaughtered, even while under the sheltering gaze of their elementary teachers.

These extremists apparently believed their god wanted those children dead because they were learning subjects like reading, math, and biology. In their twisted minds, they felt their all-powerful deity did not want these innocent kids to discover common concepts like as democracy, liberty, free will, and gender equality. Instead, this “heavenly being” offered his suicidal followers a bribe: an after-life paradise in return for creating Hell on Earth.

Like the senseless killings in New York City, the original cause of this tragedy can most likely be traced back to some preceding event, each of which has some kernel of similarity to what unfolded in Pakistan. Before this cowardly attack on innocent and unsuspecting school children, there may have been a drone strike in the Taliban’s village. Perhaps the drone hit a school there, we may never know. It may be that the suicide killers were told this as part of their motivational training. This we will also never know.
But the fact that each and every atrocity can have another event singled out as the “cause” of that atrocity seems to be a common denominator for all hateful acts. This seems to hold true no matter what the atrocity is, who committed it, or when.

Speaking of when, let’s leave these events of the most recent past behind and analyze a few that that have occurred over the past few years. One atrocity that comes to mind parallels the bloodshed in Pakistan, and that is the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

Here, a classroom of children was gunned down by a deranged teenager. Perhaps it’s unfair to include this exact example in our depiction of hate, if only because there is a chance that the killer (who shall remain nameless) was not indeed hateful, but was sick instead.

Mental illness is a real and serious disease, and the science of recognizing and treating it is still in its infancy. The Sandy Hook Elementary School killer may have only been acting out deranged thoughts beyond his control.

Yet, in order to be completely fair in our analysis of hate, can we let him and those close to him off the hook completely? Perhaps not. For he lived with his mother. Being young and troubled, he could not legally own guns.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 011

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 One
Chapter Three
Why Study Hate?  (Continued)

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

Hate is the emotion to tackle. But let’s examine “why” more closely. If you are already convinced, then by all means, skip ahead to the next chapter. You, and I, already feel the pain and anguish hate has leveled on society.

If, however, you are not convinced, then please read on. You should know that I was also not convinced when I began this project. Hate seemed to me to be secondary to fear, for instance. But thinking through the problem in many different ways led me to this conclusion – hate is the greatest emotional danger facing mankind. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the many faces of mankind’s greatest antagonist: Hate.

It is my expectation that this chapter will be as hard for you to read as it was for me to write. To begin I’m going to explain why we must study hate, and the first step of that process is to show examples of hate. This evidence should convince you that hate is all around us today and been with us as long as any of us can personally remember. In fact, hate seems to have been present since the very beginning of history itself.

As I write this in the closing days of 2014, various acts have occurred within the month casting a pall over this normally festive time of year.

The first was within our nation, and appears connected to a string of violent encounters between “blacks” and police. I put blacks in quotes because these people aren’t black; they have darker skin than most Americans, mostly shades of brown. Police, on the other hand, are exactly who they are supposed to be. Hard-working employees of our local government attempting to maintain order and decency within society. It’s hard, thankless, and unforgiving work that requires a very special mind. Small wonder that police officers throughout the world find that they have more in common with each other than with their own neighbors.

This first hateful event happened in New York City, where two officers were killed in cold blood. The coward who killed them didn’t know them and hadn’t even bothered to try. Supposedly, as the story currently goes, these poor police officers were killed in retribution for violent clashes other officers had previously with black men in other cities.

In Missouri, a young man was killed for carrying a toy gun in a store that sold toy guns.
In New York City, another man was killed by a choke-hold over selling packages of cigarettes. In these last two cases, the extent of the root crime appears ridiculous: Buying a toy? Selling smokes? Yet something deeper, something more sinister was at work. And two police officers, both dark skinned, were killed in cold blood.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 010

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 One
Chapter Three
Why Study Hate?

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

Leave me alone, please!” screamed the innocent passer-by as two plainclothes police proceeded to beat him up.
James Simon Kunen, “Strawberry Statement” pages 42 – 7 describing an event from the 1960s, New York City.

“They commenced an indiscriminate slaughter; until, weary of using their weapons, they hurled the few survivors from the rocks into the Zab (river) below.”
From Layard’s “Nineveh and its Remains” page 142 Lyons Press, 2001 Originally published 1851, describing an event in what is now known as Iraq.

What do these events have in common? Others imposing their will on seemingly innocent souls, with terrible consequences. These are only two events in what is a planet-sized ocean of violent emotions. It would seem that hate is everywhere, and has been here for a long time.

I present these two events as an incentive for you and me. For if you, like me, hope for a better world, then perhaps we should work together. If we are working together to build a better world, where should we start? I suggest that we start at the root of the problem: hate.

Ask someone to list the world’s problems, and what do they say? Crime, poverty, unbridled exploitation, pollution, the list seems to go on and on. But of all these problems and more, hate appears to be the one great problem which underlies so many of the others. Solve this one, and we will hold the key to solving so many of the others.
The amount of pain and anguish caused by hate should be enough to motivate anyone to work to get rid of it. Yet the opposite typically occurs. For we have been immersed in hate for so long that it’s background noise.

Psychologists call this habituation. And because we’re habituated to hate, we think it’s normal and that there is little chance it can be eradicated.

Wrong.

Hate can be addressed, attacked, and solved. We can start by recognizing it, isolating it, reducing it, and mitigating it. We can begin its quarantine and start vaccinating ourselves against it. In time, in a perfect future, hate can be made extinct.

And the benefit of working to rid the world of hate is that it will give us our greatest satisfaction. Reduce it one iota, and the effort would pay us back ten-fold. Consider the benefits the tourism industry in the Middle East would enjoy if hate were no more. In the absence of hate, who wouldn’t want to see the Egyptian Pyramids, the Wailing Wall, or any of the other innumerable wonders in that part of the world? This is just one tiny example of the benefits of eliminating hate.

To be continued …