Katie and I were watching the most recent episode of The Closer last night in which the team is investigating the involvement of a couple of neo-Nazis in the shooting death of two LAPD officers. As they were interrogating the pair and executing the search warrant of the house where one of them lived, they displayed more and more evidence, both in terms of behavior and material product, of their personal venom.
Although I've wondered this before, I'm pretty sure I've never blogged it... but what has to happen to a person to become that hateful? To just take a wide-bore paintbrush and lay down a stroke that covers an entire people and say "I hate you all"?
"Hate" is an ugly and powerful word, but I cannot say I'm completely immune to it. I have hated in the past. There have been people that have pissed me off so badly or done something to me I have felt was so despicable that I developed what I can only describe as hate or utter contempt for this person. But the difference is that this feeling was targeted at a single person... the person who did wrong by me. I didn't generalize my hatred to everyone that was similar to this person either in terms of race, gender, religion, culture, upbringing, sexual preference, career choice, etc. It was just this one person that I hated and upon whom I imagined all kinds of horrible deaths, simply put.
So how do you wind up hating a whole group of people?
I know psychologists say "you live what you know," meaning that you can inherit these feelings either from your parents/guardians, friends, teachers, siblings, or anyone else who holds a level of influence over you. I believe this wholeheartedly. When you're around something enough, it can take hold in you. Even hatred.
But who made your personal influencer so hateful? Eventually, if you dig back enough generations, there has to be some traumatic event that caused it. That started the whole mad downward spiral into the pit of personal despair. You can't tell me that it dates all the way back to the dawn of mankind, regardless if you believe in evolution or creation.
I'm sorry, but this is such a foreign concept to me. I just can't wrap my brain around it.