By Enrique Tessieri
If we could draw a tree that bares these fruits of hatred how would it look like? Would our surprise be to discover that it’s the same-looking tree that continues to cast its shadow on all of our societies for centuries? It still stands mighty and tall because we continue to feed and protect it.
If we strive and aim for social freedom and social equality we must understand the terminology. It’s a bit like being imprisoned but having never heard the word freedom.
The same could apply to an immigrant or minority, who is discriminated by society but cannot place his finger on the words that he needs to know to help him break out of his predicament. How can you demand greater rights from others if you never heard and grasp key social concepts like mutual acceptance, respect and equal rights?
In order then to understand how fear, ignorance and hate promote racism, we’d have to understand the big picture like the one below.
Let’s take Finland and use Gloria Yamato’s tree to study how it could work in our context: fear leads to action (Russification, the 1918 Civil War, for example), fear leads to hate (Winter and Continuation War), and fear thoughts (we are such a small country that will be devoured by foreign hordes).
If we understand that fear+ignorance = hate (racism), what would you call a political party like the Perussuomalaiset in Finland that uses fear to attract public attention and votes?
I would call that the worst case of political opportunism and chicanery!
*Thank you Glenn Robinson for the heads-up! Glenn is a European-American married to a Mexican-American. They have two children. Glenn is interested in progressive immigration reform, and desegregation within schools and communities. He is a life long learner with interests in sociology, anthropology, psychology, history and politics.