In nature, animals kill for food, for the right to mate with the females and for territory or habitat. Animals don’t kill out of hatred; they kill out of the instinct and need to survive. Human beings are the only inhabitants of this planet, who hate and kill for no reason other than the need to hate. For a number of reasons, human beings are capable of taking one, five or a hundred individuals and assigning blame to an entire race or religion for the ills of society and the world. No matter what country or group, human beings find a way to separate and discriminate against people who are not like them.
Usually, it’s a majority oppressing a minority. But that isn’t a rule. Jews have always been easy scapegoats because of their religion. More specifically, I’m referring to the latest stupidity out of the mouth of Kenye West with antisemitic comments. I believe he is mentally unhinged and is a publicity hound as opposed to being an outright antisemite, but that’s just my opinion. Nury Martinez, (who clearly is a racist and no apology can negate that fact) from California, referred to another council member’s adopted child of color, as a “little monkey”. It’s sickening and all the council members who were present, should be banned from ever seeking office again. Kanye’s comments should be repudiated. Adidas, has ended its massive contract with him, due to his comments stating that “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech.”
However, this is not just about West and Martinez, this is about a much larger issue. It’s about the fact that racism is not confined to any one group. Racism, sexism, antisemitism, and any other unwarranted hatred of a group simply because that group is different, needs to be addressed and all those associated with such hatred, castigated with all certainty. Hatred and racism need to be met head on as it was with the conviction of Derek Chauvin who clearly demonstrated a lack of humanity and compassion while he deprived George Floyd of his most basic human right, the right to life.
In discussing the murder of George Floyd, it once again brought to the forefront, the terrible history and horrid treatment of people of color in the United States. African Americans and people of color from wherever they originally arrived, were treated as less than human, as property, hence the 3/5 compromise. Slavery and its evils need to be taught in school and from an early age. It’s why in college and grad school, I wrote papers in favor of affirmative action. If someone has a 50-meter head start in a 100-meter race, it’s impossible for that the person with the 50-meter handicap to win, no matter how fast. But that’s for a different, upcoming post.
I want this to be very clear even as we recognize the horrific treatment of various groups in our society. No one owns the title of most oppressed. Everyone, other than perhaps the Royal Families and some other elites, have suffered from hatred and oppression at some point in their history. Whether the immigrants emigrating here in the early and mid-20th century or the immigrants arriving today, none were welcomed with open arms, despite the beautiful words written by Emma Lazarus at the base of the Statue of Liberty.
There are no “Good Guys.” Humans will separate themselves and discriminate regardless of color, race or religion. Martinez made that very clear. So, we need to stop pretending that hatred is only limited to one or a couple of groups. All groups suffer from this defect. I have a long memory, so I haven’t forgotten when Louis Farrakhan referred to Judaism as a “gutter religion” and the Reverend Jesse Jackson referred to New York City as “Hymietown.”
If any group has a real gripe, it’s women. Systemic misogyny has existed since the beginning of humankind and continues today. Most recently, depriving a woman the right to choose, (regardless of why), what she does with her body. Women in the United States didn’t receive the right to vote until 50 years after men of color. Women still make only $.83 to every dollar that a man earns. Successful women are overbearing or bossy. Men are strong or assertive. Women in many middle eastern countries are expected to cover themselves from head to toe, aren’t allowed to drive and in extreme cases, aren’t allowed to go outside without a male escort. African countries like Somalia, Guinea, Djibouti and Sierra Leone, allow female genital mutilation because men, regardless of color, are weak psychologically, and don’t have the self-confidence to believe they can “tame” the sexual desires of their women, so they mutilate them. They believe that women are their property and that gives them the right to do with them what they choose.
But clearly, the evils of men are not reserved to any one person, country or continent. History is replete with example of evil men, doing evil often having nothing to do with racism. Let’s look at Africa for example. Some of the most brutal dictators in history are from the African continent, including Idi Amin, from Uganda, a genocidal maniac. Robert Mugabe, war hero, who helped his country gain Independence from white minority rule in 1980, and then ordered the Gukurahundi genocide, which took place between 1982-1987. Then there was Jean Kambanda a banker who became the Prime Minister of Rwanda. His distinction is that he’s the first and only leader of a country to ever plead guilty to genocide. This evil dictator was responsible for the slaughter of as many as eight-hundred-thousand members of the Tutsi minority in what became known as the 100-day-slaughter. It’s well known that some African leaders were not only tolerant but complicit in the slave trade.
And while we’re on the topic of brutal dictators, let’s not forget Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini. Going back further in history we could discuss the sadist, Caligula or Enver Pasha of Turkish infamy. Then there’s Porfirio Diaz of Mexico who was seen at first as a “great liberator” but ended up a brutal authoritarian dictator. And the list goes on. These insane lunatics murdered tens of millions of innocent human beings. Whether Asia, South America, or any of the other continents brutal dictators are part of history. with blood on their hands.
We need to address racism, antisemitism, sexism, homophobia and all of the other phobias and “isms” while recognizing that no one group has a monopoly on unwarranted hatred. Even the most “liberal progressives” live in segregated neighborhoods while supposedly standing for justice and equality. At the end of the day, passion for wealth and power and the need and desire to obtain it, is most often what drives men to do evil. Of course, religion would be a close second. But understand this, in these very divisive times, rarely, if ever in history, has revolution led to a better society. The down and out simply take over the role as oppressor. It’s because once again, there are “No Good Guys.” There are the haves and the have nots and when the have nots become the haves, they act no differently and remember not from whence they came. A fatal flaw in the character of humanity. Evil and cruelty is not reserved to any race, religion color or culture. It’s universal and something that cannot be explained by scientists or psychologists. Humanity, particularly men, have an affinity towards evil. Is man inherently evil? There’s little poof to argue the contrary.