Hatred and Tribalism

“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.” Albert Einstein

Question: Where are we on the spectrum, stupid or genius? I vote for stupid when it comes to humankind. Allan N Schwartz (smile)

I woke up this morning to the Paul McCartney and the Beatles Song, “Let it Be.” The song hearkens back to the war in Vietnam. If only we had listened to that message. I remember one news reporter on the radio stating, “Paul, we can’t let it be.” War, hatred, prejudice, and intolerance never seem to stop.

A friend of mine who is a clinical psychologist tells me it’s tribalism. Tribalism is a phenomenon where individuals form groups based on their shared cultural, social, or ethnic identities. Humans naturally seek others like them or share their beliefs and values. However, tribalism also leads to discrimination and prejudice against those perceived as different or outside the group. It creates divisions and conflicts within societies and limits opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. 

Sure enough, I was met by the following article typical of tribalism and hate this AM after I fed and walked my dog:

Two synagogues in California were evacuated during services as a wave of bomb threats entered the 4th week. Here is part of the report:

  • At least 26 congregations in 12 states have received the threats, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which is raising the alarm about the barrage. The organization believes the instigators are selecting their targets based on the availability of live-streamed services and other events. They are motivated by their desire to watch the congregations react to the threats in real-time.
  • “The two California synagogues that evacuated in response to the threats were Temple Beth Torah, a Reform congregation in Fremont, which emptied its building on Friday evening, and Temple Beth Tikvah, a Reform congregation in Fullerton, which did the same during Saturday services. Both had received anonymous phoned-in bomb threats.”
  • “Beth Tikvah’s Facebook livestream captures the moment the threat reached the prayer leaders. “I am afraid that we need to stop and leave the building right now,” Rabbi Mati Kirschenbaum says after placing one hand on the shoulder of Cantor Shannon McGrady Bane, causing her to stop singing. She nods, removes her headset, and exits the camera’s view as a message goes up for viewers: “Coverage will be stopping.”

Jews are not the only targets of hate as Alabama once again attempts to rewrite its congressional districts to reduce minority representation in Washington, D.C.

Tribalism, Hatred, and Prejudice: Overcoming Divisions for a Harmonious Society

Tribalism, hatred, and prejudice are complex social phenomena that have plagued humanity for centuries. These divisive forces emerge when people prioritize their group or ethnicity and harbor negative attitudes toward others based on their differences. Tribalism can lead to a dangerous hate spiral, creating barriers between individuals and hindering societal progress. However, by understanding the roots of these issues and actively seeking unity, we can work towards building a more inclusive and harmonious society.

Tribalism, rooted in our evolutionary heritage, has been a natural way for humans to form groups and ensure survival. However, when taken to the extreme, this human tendency can foster discrimination and hostility towards those outside our group. Prejudice and hatred can often arise from fear of the unknown or scapegoating to simplify complex issues. Recognizing these psychological processes is crucial in addressing these challenges.

The consequences of Tribalism, Hatred, and Prejudice: Tribalism, hatred, and prejudice are far-reaching and destructive. Social cohesion is compromised as individuals and communities isolate themselves, contributing to exclusion, marginalization, and violence. Economic development, political stability, and resource access are hindered when divisions persist. These forces can perpetuate cycles of conflict and hinder progress towards greater understanding and cooperation.

To overcome tribalism and prejudice, we need education and Awareness. Education is valuable in overcoming tribalistic tendencies and prejudice because it can promote diversity. We can challenge stereotypes, foster empathy, and enhance mutual understanding. Educating future generations on the benefits of embracing diversity can help break the cycle of hatred and promote a more inclusive society.

Open conversations across diverse groups are crucial. Encouraging dialogue helps to dismantle stereotypes and promotes understanding of different perspectives. Constructive conversations can build bridges between communities, foster empathy, and create spaces for collaboration.

Promoting equality and social justice by addressing systemic inequalities and promoting social justice is essential in reducing hatred. For example, policies that promote fair access to education and healthcare can help create a more inclusive society. Efforts such as job training and skills for disadvantaged groups can reduce poverty and provide opportunities. 

It is important to remember that creating a more inclusive society requires effort from all of us. 

As I write this blog article, I am well aware of just the opposite of these things happening. Our cynical right-wing Republicans have ended Affirmative action, which allowed students to enter college regardless of race and in Florida have banned books and disallowed teachers from using the word Gay.

Tribalism, hatred, and prejudice have long been hindrances to a cohesive and prosperous society. However, these divisions can be confronted and overcome through education, dialogue, promoting equality, and responsible leadership. Our collective responsibility is to strive for a world where people embrace diversity, challenge prejudice, and work together toward a future free from tribalism and discrimination. Remember, it is by celebrating our differences that we can truly unite as one human family.

The idea of uniting as one human family reminds me of John Lennon’s song “Imagine.” Here are just a few lyrics to capture the message:

“Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world


You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one.”

People claimed he was a communist, but another form of intolerance exists. Perhaps he was, but the message was meaningful because it conveyed the romantic view of a world with peace and unity.

Well, I’m also a dreamer.

Are you?

Please join me in the conversation about these issues.


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