Hatred of Others Must End
Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
What Leads to Hate Crimes?
“Hate crimes are an extreme form of prejudice, made more likely by social and political change. Public and political discourse may devalue members of unfamiliar groups, and offenders may feel that demographic changes threaten their livelihood or way of life. Hate may not motivate offenders, but fear, ignorance, or anger. These can lead to the dehumanization of unfamiliar groups and targeted aggression.” (American Psychological Association)
Racial hatred motivated the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I grew up in the Bronx, a borough of New York City, during the 1940s and 1950s. The population of the borough was primarily Jewish, Irish, and Italian. Gradually, as America grew more affluent, families moved to the suburbs, where they owned their homes and left behind the urban environment. Black and Hispanic families replaced those who moved away. Because minority people moved into these neighborhoods, the remaining white population moved away. Unfortunately, fear and ignorance drove the remaining white people away.
During my High School years, I attended DeWitt Clinton High School. What always amazed me was that, during lunch, black kids sat together in one part of the cafeteria while white kids sat separately. There was an area between the two groups of black and white kids sitting together.
Psychological research shows a strong relationship between self-hatred and anxiety, resulting in racial and ethnic hatred against anyone perceived as different. People project their self-hated feelings onto those who seem different. A depressed individual might think they hate themselves and then see their self-hated characteristics in others. Mental health professionals trained in the psychoanalytic tradition say that we unconsciously split off the aspects of ourselves that we hate and project them onto others.
People in other countries also express racial, ethnic, and religious hatred. We know that there are warring groups throughout the world.
In a world where we instantly get news from around the world, it is essential to learn how to accept one another and not fall prey to the cycle of hatred.
We celebrate Dr. King because he represents tolerance, acceptance, and understanding among all the diverse groups worldwide.
What are your opinions and comments about this issue?
Your comments are welcome and encouraged.
Allan N. Schwartz, PhD
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