Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/18/16

The Weaponization of Hate

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   1 comment
Author 1486
Message Thom Hartmann
Become a Fan
  (134 fans)

Reprinted from Alternet

History is filled with the consequences of silence and passivity.


(Image by Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue / Flickr Creative Commons)   Details   DMCA

This is a particularly interesting week to be traveling across the French countryside, as news fills the papers and the airwaves of another assault weapon-of-war used in another mass shooting done by another frightened--and thus hate-filled--American.

The Europeans know well the wages of hate and fear. And it goes way back into the dim mists of history, well before the era of the names we all know so well from the 20th century.

"The Other" is the key.

Once a demagogue successfully turns a person, a group, a gender (or gender preference), a region, a nation, or a race into the Other, the consequences are terribly but consistently predictable.

An Other is, virtually by definition, less than fully human. They're not "us." They may be alive, they may be able to feel emotion, they may be able to communicate, but they're not us.

Therefore, what we do to Them isn't as important or consequential as what we may do to Us. (See "slavery"; U.S. history 101.)

And when this de-humanization is used by those with economic, religious or political power (the lines between the three are often indistinguishable), it becomes weaponized.

It seems one of the most fatal flaws of the human race is that we keep forgetting this lesson -- or that those elites lusting for wealth and power keep remembering and enthusiastically using it to rally their less-powerful, less-fortunate peers.

Yesterday, Louise and I visited a castle here in the Loire Valley where Joan of Arc helped plan a history-changing battle against an Other of that day. Slaughter and looting ensued, and one group of elites ended up ceding power and land to another. And while all the details of the elites and their fantastic lives are on display, both in the castle and in any history book, what is almost entirely missing from the narrative is how the use of wealth, religion and ancestry to "other-ize" the defeated people impacted the lives of what the Bernie Sanders of that era would have called the "ordinary working people."

While the elites marched into the history books, the "little people" were subject to rape, pillage, torture, murder and a shift from the service of one elite group to another.

It's a story you can find in the Bible over and over again (read the Book of Joshua for some particularly startling accounts of this phenomenon). The Epic of Gilgamesh tells the same story from millennia before Joshua. Every war in every part of the world in the 65 years of my lifetime tells the same story.

And so you'd think that people like Mitch McConnell would realize how powerful and dangerous it is to, as one of my elderly German friends once said, "Gently look the other way."

Instead, so far, like so many of his mostly Republican colleagues and much of the right-wing media, McConnell has so far refused to even acknowledge the role the systematic and even organized (both by party and by religion) other-ization of LGBT people played in the Orlando gay nightclub massacre.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Must Read 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Thom Hartmann Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

S&P Blames Republicans, Mainstream Media Fails to Report It

Globalization Is Killing The Globe: Return to Local Economies

The Great Tax Con Job

The Uncanny, Frightening Ways That Trump's America Mirrors Hitler's Germany

The Truth about the Trust Fund-- Destroying Social Security to Destroy the Two Party System

The Deciding Moment: The Theft of Human Right