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The Race to Hate: Is Prejudice and Discrimination an Incurable Disease?

I long for the day when we are no longer defined by race, color, or class, but by a world that is undivided and unified by compassion, understanding and love. The race to hate seems to be gaining speed all the way to the checkered flag.  Are there valid arguments that can support hating one race over another? If there are valid arguments, which race is the race to hate?

Some people believe they have valid arguments with solid conclusions to support their reasons for hating one group of people over another. Are they correct in their convictions? Could you be a person who discriminates with prejudice without even realizing you are participating in the race to hate?

To achieve a better sense of what prejudice and discrimination are, here is how Dictionary.com defines both. "Prejudice...unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, esp. of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group."  

"Discrimination...treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit."

Simply put, prejudice is attitudes and hostility based on race, religion, class or physical condition and discrimination is the treatment of an individual based on prejudice because of categories rather than the quality and worthiness of an individual.

Both prejudice and discrimination are based on ignorance and irrational fear instead of being rooted in facts and knowledge and both include negative judgments, feelings and opinions held about certain groups or individuals. The result is the same, the intent to destroy an individual or group with words or actions.

What are the affects of racism and discrimination and should we embrace racial discrimination as a way of life? To find out the affects of racism and discrimination, we only need to look back in our history books. Prejudice and discrimination can be found as far back as recorded history goes. In the United States, prejudice is documented against Native Americans beginning with their dehumanization and enslavement in the 1400's.

Women of any race were considered property by law until the turn of the last century and because of that law, were discriminated against. The Woman's Rights Movement enabled the women of today their freedom's, but prior to that time, women were jailed for freedom, made to earn wages but were not allowed to keep the wages and put into insane asylums or convents when their husbands wanted to be free of them.

Prejudice enabled the enslavement of African's, which resulted in the Civil War in the 1800's as well as the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's. Prejudice has also reared its head against Asians with a few examples of such crises as the Yellow Peril, when Americans passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, as well as the internment of Asian American's during WWII.

Italians have suffered at the cruel hands of prejudice and discrimination too. Italian American's were used to fill the vacancy created by the abolishment of slavery and treated with the same harsh conditions and cruelties. Italians suffered lynching, with one of the largest lynching in American history taking place in 1891. The fear of Italians becoming too prolific played a role in the encouragement of birth control. Congress passed a racially based quota in 1921 to prevent "lowlife undesirablesa" from overwhelming America. That law was not repealed until 1965. In addition, Italian American's were put into interment camps during WWII.

The Latino community has also suffered from prejudice and discrimination. The famous Zuit Suit Riots in 1943 are well-documented accounts of racial violence that resulted from naval service members being stationed in a Latino neighborhood. During that time, large mobs of service members entered into civilian homes to attack Latino youths.

Irish Americans paid a price at the hands of prejudice and discrimination as well. During the 1860's, "No Irish need apply" symbolized the discrimination against Irish immigrants in search of employment. It was widely believed and proliferated through newspapers until the early 1900's that anyone of Irish decent was, "dirty, lazy and stupid."

More recently, because of the attacks of September 11, 2001, those of Arabic decent or those who looked like they were of Arabic decent, have been unjustly subjected to distrust and violence, including murder.

From their enslavement by Egyptians to the Holocaust of WWII, prejudice and discrimination for those of Jewish decent has been more prolific than with any other race. Violent attacks on entire communities that still occur in vast numbers to this day. The Washington Times reported in June 2007:  

"Anti-Semitism, one of the world’s oldest hatreds, has resurged with a vengeance. Around the globe, Jews are being assaulted, some even murdered. Synagogues are being attacked. Jewish gravestones are being desecrated by the hundreds. Even the historical fact of the Holocaust is being questioned. The threat today is not existential. There is no room for complacency."

According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitism is on the rise in America. A survey conducted by the ADL showed that 17% more Americans than the previous year held "hardcore" beliefs about people of Jewish descent. Here is a brief table of their findings in 2002:

"Strongly anti-Semitic:
17% of Americans
35% of Hispanics
44% of foreign-born Hispanics
20% of Hispanic Americans born in U.S.
35% of African-Americans
3% of U.S. college and university students"

There is also discrimination against Caucasians in the United States as well. Reverse discrimination is easily identifiable and includes Black Entertainment Television (BET), United Negro College Fund, Latin Grammy's, as well as others forms such as these. Conversely, if Caucasians were to hold the White Grammy Awards, White Entertainment Television or have a White College Fund, they would be shut down, protests would most certainly follow and lawsuits would be filed.

Additionally, statistics taken from the FBI databases and gathered from law enforcement agencies from every state in the U.S., showed that 90% of all hate crimes are inflicted upon Caucasian people by people of African or Latino backgrounds. (The FBI includes in their statistics rape, murder and beatings).

Hate crimes are on the rise in America because of the irrational fear known as prejudice and discrimination. The FBI UCRP (Uniform Crime Reporting Program) showed that most hate crimes in 2005 were based on ethnicity.  

Their findings were reported in this order: "anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-white, anti-homosexual, and anti-Hispanic bias. There are more hate crimes against whites than against Hispanics, Asians, American-Indians and multiple-race groups." The UCRP based their findings on law enforcement agency's filings across the U.S.

Formal hate groups such as, the Ku Klux Klani, the National Allianceii, National Socialist Movementiii, Aryan Nationsiv, Westboro Baptist Churchv, Nation of Islamvi, New Black Panther Partyvii, Nation of Aztlánviii, Nation of Yahwehviiii, and the White Order of Thulex; still operate in the United States.  

The propaganda from these hate groups, helps to spread loathing for a certain race or group from one faction of the population to another. In 2006, SPLCIP (The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project) found there were 844 active hate groups based in the United States alone. In addition to the hate groups previously mentioned, the Internet has given people the ability to proliferate racial discrimination and hate at an alarming rate.

Because freedom of speech is a constitutional right for any citizen of the United States under the First Amendment, as well as international law, under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Cyber Bullying has reached an all time high.  

Due to the instantaneous nature of the Internet, it is easier than ever to reach the masses and spread hate around the world anonymously with a click of a button. With social networking sites gaining in popularity over the years, a new and infinite medium for prejudice, hate and discrimination has begun.  Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor for Reuters reported the following:

“Internet bullying has emerged as a new and growing form of social cruelty,” Kirk Williams and Nancy Guerra of the University of California at Riverside wrote in one of a series of reports published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The reports, from researchers organized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show a 50 percent increase in the number of kids aged 10 to 17 who said they were harassed online—from 6 percent in 2000 to 9 percent in 2005."

All of these examples were a direct result of racism and discrimination. As the evidence clearly shows, all races have experienced prejudice and discrimination in the United Statesb, not to mention around the world. It is a wide spread epidemic.

What is the cause of prejudice and discrimination and where does it come from? Many times prejudice and discrimination begins within a family or group of people and the indoctrination of an individual may begin with the children inside these clusters at a very young age.

Racism of this type is taught and practiced inside a family unit and may be based on the belief that one race is superior to another or the fallacy of All Apples are Bad hypothesis, i.e. that one bad apple makes the entire bunch bad and therefore the entire bunch is judged on the one bad apple. This type of circular logic is often used when attempting to justify prejudice and discrimination.  

Often families and groups that proliferate prejudice and discrimination, will use various forms of rationalization to support their false moral justifications. These people may use scare tactics, peer pressure, arguments by force or outrage and the two wrongs make a right fallacy to influence other people, especially their family members, into believing their claim is true.

Prejudicial judgments based on racial superiority would take too much time and space to consider at this time. Suffice it to say that prejudice and discrimination, based on racial superiority, relies heavily on ignorance and is morally wrong. A judgment based on All Apples Are Bad is also wrong and is not only based on ignorance, but irrational fear as well. To help support my claim that the mindset of All Apples Are Bad is wrong, let me use the following example.

Most people would agree that Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin were evil men. These men helped brainwash many people into believing a certain ethnic populace needed to be exterminated and then proceeded with the extermination.

Hitler was German, Mussolini was Italian and Stalin was Russian. If the All Apples Are Bad theory were correct, then every single person of German, Italian and Russian descent would be an evil person. However, it was not an entire race that committed crimes against humanity, but these particular men and their following. Therefore, the All Apples Are Bad claim is not valid.

To prove that one bad apple does not make all the apples bad, here are a few examples of people from these races, who had integrity and accomplished great things for humanity.

Albert Einstein, known as one of the greatest scientific minds of all time, was German.
Albrecht Duerer, known as "The Genius of German Renaissance," was also German.
Oscar Schindler, known as "The Conscience of German People," single handedly saved more Jewish people from the gas chambers than anyone else. Schindler is a direct contradiction to the All Apples Are Bad theory because he was German and so was Hitler.
Dmitri Mendeleev, known for his invention of the world-famous periodic system of elements, was Russian.
Ivan Pavlov, a famous Russian biologist and Noble Prize Laureate, was Russian.
General Georgi Zhukov, a famous general who defeated the Nazis, was Russian.
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, a famous Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer, was Italian.
Mother Theresa, known for her charitable works and peace efforts as well as being a Noble Peace Prize Laureate, was Albanian / Italian
Ernesto Teodoro Moneta, a Noble Peace Prize Laureate for Peace and representative on the Commission of the International Peace Bureau, was Italian.

As the preceding examples show, just because one man of a particular race was evil, does not qualify the entire race that Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin each represented as evil.  

Which race is really the race to hate and who will determine which race that is? Will society allow the race to hate to continue?  When we relegate ourselves to our own little clicks of acceptable people in our group, we are practicing discrimination. If we can look past what we see externally and stop judging people by the colors that are inside a paint box or Crayola kit, we may be able to stem the tide of hatred and stop the race to hate dead in its tracks.

On the other hand, can prejudice and discrimination really be stopped? It would seem that one the functions of prejudice and discrimination are to help the discriminator feel good about themselves, and therefore, stopping prejudice and discrimination would depend on the state of an individual person's self-esteem.  

Because of that variable, it would take an enormous effort to raise the self-esteem of millions of individuals and then teach them to raise children who also had a high level of self-esteem, coupled with moral values. Therefore, while it is possible, it is also not probable that prejudice will be eradicated with this method.

However, there is a way to begin to quell the tide of prejudice and discrimination one person at a time. In order to wipe out this insidious disease, the layers of internalized images and conditioning from our families as well as our social groups will need to be heavily examined by each person individually.

Questions such as, "Why do I hate this person?", "What is color really and is their skin really yellow, black or white?" "What is the foundation upon which I base my hatred of one race or individual over another?" need to be intensely examined, dissected and discussed with an open mind.  

I challenge you today to think about any prejudices or preconceived notions you have about anyone or any group. Take a deep look, using facts instead of opinions, to find out for yourself what you base your prejudice and discrimination on. Be honest with yourself. Is your bias based on the values that were handed down to you during your childhood or are they based on a hatred that is rooted in ignorance and/or fear?

Alternatively, is your prejudice and discrimination based on personal experience or social acceptance? If your prejudice and discrimination are based on personal experience, then are you judging the many based on the one, therefore using the All Apples Are Bad hypothesis? If your prejudice and discrimination is based on social acceptance, then is hatred a space you really want to spend your life in?

Once you have begun to really exam your belief system, then you can begin to make a change. Educate yourself. Find out the facts. Retrain your brain to use verbal language that is not slanting towards another individual such as, "Oh...she's a waitress."; "He's just a janitor."; "Hey Honky." or "What a Chink."

When this kind of language is used, the inference is that these people are beneath you and that inference will transfer into your subconscious mind, which rules 87% of your thoughts and actions. Once that happens, your response to individuals in the categories you have labeled them in, becomes a conditioned response.

If you really want to make a change, become a mentor to other people in your family or social network. Work side-by-side with those you feared most or discriminated against so you can learn from them. This will help you learn that they are not so very different from you. Become a teacher of tolerance instead of a teacher of hate so you can help end the race to hate. One of the most important things you can do is to raise your children or future children without prejudice and discrimination.

No matter what race or class an individual is in, there may always be bad apples in every bunch. However, there are also good apples planting seeds that will bring forth strong and healthy apple trees. If we can weed out prejudice and discrimination in all societies, we can change the world into a place that is worthy to live in. You decide. Which race is really the race to hate?

If you would like to learn more about how to help stop prejudice and discrimination to make a real change in the world around you, here are a few groups that you can become active in.

Help Win the Race to Hate
Volunteer and Learn about Prejudice and Discrimination

The American Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee
www.adc.org
202-244-2990American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
[Link Removed]
The Human Rights Campaign
www.hrc.org
202-628-4160National Association for
Advancement of Colored People
www.naacp.org
410-521-4939
National Coalition Building Institute
ncbiinc@aol.com
202-785-9400The National Conference on
Community and Justice (NCCJ)
www.nccj.org
212-545-1300
National Organization for Women
www.now.org
202-331-0066The National Urban League
www.nul.org
212-558-5300
One America: The President’s
Initiative on Race
The New Executive Office Building
Washington, DC 20503
www.whitehouse.gov/Initiatives/OneAmerica
202-395-1010 Southern Poverty Law Center
400 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36104
www.splcenter.org
The National Council of La Raza
www.nclr.org
202-785-1670

a Wikipedia.com

b Not all races have been represented in this paper.

i "Ku Klux Klan (KKK) (pronounced “koo klux klann” or “kyoo klux klann“) is the name of organizations in the United States that have advocated white supremacy, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, homophobia, anti-Communism and nativism. These organizations have used terrorism, violence, and acts of intimidation, such as cross burning and lynching, to oppress African Americans and other social or ethnic groups." Wikipedia.com

ii "The National Alliance is a white nationalist and a white separatist organization. It is also described as white supremacist in orientation.[1] It was founded by William Luther Pierce, and is based in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Although it is based in the United States, the National Alliance claims to have members in various countries throughout the world. Membership is not based upon citizenship in any particular country, but on perceived white, gentile European ancestry. The National Alliance is often included in lists of neo-Nazi groups, in part due to its glorification of Adolf Hitler." Wikipedia.com

iii "The National Socialist Movement (also called NSM or NSM88) is a neo-Nazi Party operating in the United States. It is led by Jeff Schoep." Wikipedia.com

iv "Aryan Nations (AN) is an international white supremacist, Neo-Nazi organization that is affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan. It was founded in the 1970s by Richard Girnt Butler as an arm of the Christian Identity group Church of Jesus Christ-Christian." Wikipedia.com

v "Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) is a controversial church headed by Fred Phelps, and based in Topeka, Kansas, U.S.. It runs the websites GodHatesFags.com,[1] GodHatesAmerica.com and others expressing condemnation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (LGBT), Roman Catholics, Muslims and Jews, as well as populations it considers to support the forementioned groups, including Swedes, Canadians, Irish and Americans. The organization is monitored by the Anti-Defamation League,[2] and classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center." Wikipedia.com

vi "The Nation of Islam (NOI)is a religious and social/political organization founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace Fard Muhammad in July 1930, with the self-proclaimed goal of resurrecting the Spiritual, mental, social, economic condition of the black man and woman of America and belief that God will bring about a universal government of peace." Wikipedia.com

vii "The New Black Panthers or New Black Panther Party (NBPP), whose formal name is the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, is a U.S.-based black supremacist organization founded in Dallas, Texas in 1989." Wikipedia.com

viii "The Nation of Aztlán is a Chicano nationalist organization that has been described as anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League, which says that “[t]he group’s nationalist message is blurred by frequent appeals to anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, homophobia and other expressions of hatred." Wikipedia.com

viiii "Nation of Yahweh is a predominantly African American religious group that is an offshoot of the Black Hebrew Israelites line of thought. They were formed in the late 1970s in Miami-Dade county. While the Nation of Yahweh falls under the umbrella of Black Hebrew Israelites, their beliefs are unique and distinct from that of other known Black Hebrew Israelite groups. The founder and creator of the religion is Yahweh ben Yahweh. The group has engendered controversy due to legal issues of its founder. It also faced accusations of being a black supremacist cult by the Southern Poverty Law Center [1] and The Miami Herald." Wikipedia.com

x "The White Order of Thule was a loosely organized society formed mid-1990s by European Americans. It described itself as an esoteric brotherhood working toward the revitalization of the Culture-Soul of the European people. It sought to do this through individual and collective work in the Western Hermetic-Alchemical tradition." Wikipedia.com

Timeline of events taken directly from Wikipedia.com

"Nativist Period 1700s-1860
1829: Cincinnati Riot of 1829 (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Rioting against African-Americans results in thousands leaving for Canada.
1829: Charlestown Anti-Catholic Riots (Charlestown, Massachusetts)
1834: Massachusetts Convent Burning
1835: Five Points Riot (New York City, New York)
1841: Cincinnati Riot of 1841 (Cincinnati, Ohio)
1844: Philadelphia Nativist Riots (May 6-8/July 5-8)
1851: Hoboken Anti-German Riot
1855: Louisville Anti-German Riots
Civil War Period 1861-1865
1863: New York City Draft Riot
Post-Civil War and Reconstruction Period: 1865 - 1889
1866: New Orleans Riot (New Orleans, Louisiana)
1866: Memphis Riot of 1866 (Memphis, Tennessee)
1868: Pulaski Riot (Pulaski, Tennessee)
1868: Opelousas, Louisiana
1868: Camilla, Georgia
1868: Ward Island Riot
Irish and German-American indigent emigrants, temporarily interned at Ward’s Island by the Commissioners of Emigration, begin rioting following an altercation between two residents resulting in thirty men seriously wounded and around sixty arrested. [5] 1870: Meridian, Mississippi
1870: Eutaw, Alabama
1870: Laurens, South Carolina
1870: New York City Orange Riot
1871: Second New York City Orange Riot
1871: Los Angeles Anti-Chinese Riot
1871: Scranton Coal Riot
Violence occurs between striking members of a miners’ union in Scranton, Pennsylvania when Welsh miners attack Irish and German-American miners who chose to leave the union and accept the terms offered by local mining companies. [6]
1873: Colfax massacre (Colfax, Louisiana)
1874: Vicksburg, Mississippi
1874: New Orleans, Louisiana
1874: Coushatta, Louisiana
1875: Yazoo City, Mississippi
1875: Clinton, Mississippi
1876: Statewide violence in South Carolina
1876: Hamburg, South Carolina
1876: Ellenton, South Carolina
1887: Denver Riot of 1887
In one of the largest civil disturbances in the city’s history, fighting between Swedish, Hungarian and Polish immigrants results in the shooting death of one man and injuring several others before broken up by police.
1887: Thibodaux, Louisiana - Second highest fatalities in a labor dispute - 30 plus African Americans killed
Jim Crow Period: 1890 - 1914
Further information: Nadir of American race relations
1891: New Orleans Anti-Italian Riot
A lynch mob storms a local jail and hangs several Italians following the acquittal of several Sicilian immigrants alleged to be involved in the murder of New Orleans police chief David Hennessey.
1894: Buffalo, NY Riot of 1894
Two groups of Irish and Italian-Americans are arrested by police after a half hour of hurling bricks and shooting at each other resulting from a barroom brawl when visiting Italian patrons refused to pay for their drinks at a local saloon. After the mob is dispersed by police, five Italians are arrested while two others are sent to a local hospital.
1898: Wilmington Race Riot
1898: Lake City, North Carolina
1898: Greenwood County, South Carolina
1899: Newburg, NY Riot
Angered towards the recent hiring of African-American workers, a group of between 80 and 100 Arab laborers attack a group of African-American workers near the Freeman & Hammond brickyard with numerous men injured on both sides.
1900: New Orleans, Louisiana: Robert Charles Riots
1900: New York City, New York
1906: Atlanta Riots, Georgia
1908: Springfield, Illinois
1910: Nationwide riots following the heavyweight championship fight between Jack Johnson and Jim Jeffries in Reno, Nevada on July 4
War and Inter-War Period: 1914 - 1945
Further information: Nadir of American race relations
1917: East St. Louis, Illinois
1917: Chester, Pennsylvania
1917: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1917: Houston Riot (1917)
Red Summer of 1919
•1919: Washington, D.C.
•1919: Chicago, Illinois
•1919: Omaha, Nebraska
•1919: Charleston, South Carolina
•1919: Longview, Texas
•1919: Knoxville, Tennessee
•1919: Elaine, Arkansas
1921: Tulsa, Oklahoma
1923: Rosewood Massacre
1935: Harlem Race Riot
1943: Detroit Race Riot
1943: Harlem Race Riot
1943: Zoot Suit Riots, Los Angeles, California
Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Period: 1955 - 1977
1964 Rochester race riot; Rochester, New York - July
1964: New York City riot; New York City, New York - July
Philadelphia 1964 race riot; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - August
1965 Watts Riot; Los Angeles, California - August
1966 Hough Riots; Cleveland, Ohio - July
Hunter’s Point Riot; San Francisco
1967 Newark riots; Newark, New Jersey - July
12th Street riot; Detroit, Michigan - July
1967 Plainfield riots; Plainfield, New Jersey - July
1968 Orangeburg massacre; Orangeburg, South Carolina - February
125 cities in April and May, in response to the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. including:
•Baltimore riot of 1968; Baltimore Maryland
•1968 Washington, D.C. riots; Washington, D.C.
•1968 New York City riot; New York City, New York
•West Side Riots; Chicago, Illinois
•Louisville riots of 1968; Louisville, Kentucky
1970 Jackson State killings; Jackson, Mississippi - May
1972 Escambia High School riots; Pensacola, Florida
Modern
1980: Miami
1991: Crown Heights Riot
1992: Los Angeles
2001: 2001 Cincinnati Riots
2001: Seattle Mardi Gras Riots"

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