We all remember as children when some kid (hopefully not ourselves) was
just a worthless, waste of space, butt of every joke, trash, etc.
Most of us have probably been that kid.
That behavior, whatever its origins, is expressed in adults, too. I
think it would be safe to say that in certain areas Latinos, especially
Mexicans, are seen as 'job-stealing', 'uneducated', 'immigration
law-breaking' criminals, regardless of their immigration status and/or
Muslims in many places, not just Manhattan, are seen as a 'terrorist'
culture that, it seems, meet in the dark - I suppose in Mosques, right? -
to conspire their "jihad" against the US and kill all Americans. They
are 'devils', 'Satan worshippers', and so on.
What's scary is those sorts of ideas are commonplace in mass media.
"Respectable" members of the broader culture - those who get a lot of
attention - repeat and reinforce such beliefs with little or no veneer
of "political correctness."
Instances of blatant racism are not difficult to find on Conservative radio and Fox News.
Moments of questionable speech - easily arguable as Hate Speech - are
almost constantly propagated as 'Conservative Values', 'Patriotism', or
Doing so is not only disrespectful to actual Conservative beliefs and
values, un-American, but also directly opposed to the actual teachings
of Jesus Christ.
What's more, homosexuals, 'gays', or whatever you want to call these
human beings, are seen as a 'threat' to 'family values' and again
In all these examples there is a clear distinction of "Us," being the
flag-waving, God-fearing "true Conservatives" of Jesus Christ's Promised
Land of the U-nited States, and "Them" - which is a loosely cast net
intended, and very effective at, capturing just about everyone else.
Are you a Catholic priest who feels that gay Catholics have a right to take communion at Mass?
YER' A TERRORIST!!!
This nonsense is nothing more than simple "Out Group" behavior in
Western culture, a grown-up, suit-and-tie wearing version of the same
bullying and collective abuse of human beings with differences that we
all experienced and likely participated in as children.
The difference is that some of us grew out of it. I know that my
participation in the abuse of some of my classmates was stupid, weak,
and cruel, and I regret every second of it. I also fell victim to it.
In it's grown up form there is a fine line between picketing that 'evil
Mosque' being built wherever - screw Ground Zero - and building
Concentration Camps to wipe them all out.
Very fine line.
The similarities between ourselves and the Nazis of the 1930s are
horrifying: banks failed, unemployment through the roof, houses
foreclosed on... sound familiar?
If we're not careful we could easily fall into the same pattern and become an abomination.