March 26, 1999 Halifax Herald
The psychology of hate
The psychology of hate
We live in a World so troubled by racism that it makes one wonder if its possible to eradicate such an evil disease. Among the many evils stemming from it, white supremacist beliefs are the most ingrained and destructive.
In Canada's case, such beliefs have been around for so long that it has become systemic. Thus, many people are unaware that they are racist. Example: The propaganda spread by European colonial leaders that First Nation civilizations were inferior and savage is so entrenched in white minds that the majority still subconsciously accept it as fact.
As a result, its not unusual to read letters to editor, and other commentary, which espouses the view that Natives give up their cultures and embrace white culture. These advocates give no thought, or are unaware, that they are advocating cultural genocide, a sin strictly forbidden by international law.
Before proceeding, it must be said that white supremacist thought can also be turned against whites. When there are no people of colour around to degrade, it’s not unusual to see white pitted against white about religious beliefs, or because one white race perceives another as not being white enough, i.e., Europe's Gypsies.
To spread their evil beliefs, white supremacist have organized. Their creations have had their ups and downs - at present its an up. The Klu Klux Klan and the Nazi inspired National Alliance are being revitalized and others are being founded.
People with receptive minds for the mindless garbage they spew are being recruited and brainwashed via modern methods. The extent of this sad development is witnessed by the 254 Internet Web sites t supremacist have set up.
I firmly believe that the heinous mindset that begets these groups is related to the way European societies developed. Class status, unfortunately, was part of the evolution of these societies. Without question, it is one of humanity's most vile inventions.
When a society evolves around the philosophy that the King and the wealthy aristocrat are the cream of it and that all others are their inferiors and that these inferiors have varying levels of inferiority among them, which establishes their stations in life, such has to produce superiority and inferiority complexes that are enormous and destructive. It has.
The superiority side: From colonial times alone, historical records are so full with the details of atrocities committed by self-perceived superior European Nations, and the Nations they founded overseas, that it’s not possible in a lifetime to digest more than a bit of the info. Tens of millions of deaths, horrible human suffering and the hundreds of civilizations destroyed are monuments to what superiority beliefs can beget. The inferiority side is just as destructive. Inferiority feelings give rise to the existence of extremist hate groups. When you believe that your own racial peers consider you inferior, you look for people who you can believe to be inferior to you. The selected victims usually are peoples of colour, jews, etc.
The hierarchy of these misfit groups are also inferiority driven. Leaders are by and large very intelligent, but are rejected by the majority of their white peers because of their extremist views. Thus, they cannot hope to lead main-stream groups. This leads them to organize fellow rejects. I believe that Hitler and his fellow Nazis were among these types.
Possessing and cultivating a belief that your racial group's colour makes your culture superior to others is indefensible. People who harbour such nonsense within and believe that it gives them a God-given right to impose their “superior” ideals and teachings upon other cultures by force, or subject citizens of these cultures to horrific sufferings, are evil incarnate.
If the ideals of a culture are good, no force is needed to spread them. Many positive aspects of the cultures of the First Nations have peacefully spread around the World. Unfortunately, racial tolerance, one of their best, was not among those adopted by other cultures.
Regarding tolerance for the differences of others the red man's philosophy that all people can have their own wares and live in peace with them is the correct one. This says it all: In spite of all the provocations suffered at the hands of white intruders, Native Americans have never organized a red supremacist group.
Recently, several superiority-driven outrages committed by American white extremists have hit the headlines. A black man was dragged to death behind a pickup, an unarmed and un-threatening black man was shot dozens of times by white police, to name a few. The Canadian news media have correctly highlighted these and condemned them.
But, when similar crimes occur on this side of the border, rarely do the same news media give them the high-profile national attention and the condemnation deserved. It did not make big headlines when a white supremacist store owner shot in the back and killed, with a high-powered rifle, a Native man leaving his store. Nor did the fact that he got only a minimal sentence for it cause outrage. I stumbled upon the details of this ghastly shooting incident by reading fillers in newspapers and magazines.
Such incidents are rarely nationally debated because they expose what Canada tries very hard to hide - its own unacceptable level of racial intolerance. Before condemning others, we need to divest our society of its unearned smugness and make a major effort to root out homegrown racial bigotry forever!
Daniel N. Paul