Uncovering the tree of hatred

by , under All categories, Enrique

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.

Degrees of Us vs Them / Gloria Yamato’s Degrees of Racism.  Source: Community Village Activist*

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.

  1. Foreigner

    Is the implication here that pride onsets racism, discrimination etc? I do not see it that way. Pride to me is being happy and content with who you are.It is not the same as feeling that you are better than others.Pride is simply saying that “I love myself and you should love yourself too, regardless of who you are”

    In my opinion proud people have a high self esteem, and are more accepting of others.They know their own value, and are more willing to see and accept the value of others in society.The really scary people are those with low self esteem ,like the Finns.They are unsure of themselves, and so the only way they can feel better is to hate anything which they believe poses a threat to them.They are so unsure of themselves that they constantly live in fear. Fear breeds hate; hate breeds racism, discrimination etc.

  2. Allan

    The russification wasn’t “fear” it was a “fact”.
    1939 wasn’t fear – it was “fact” – just look at what happened to the Baltic republics.

    • Enrique

      Allan, Russification is an excellent example when a minority imposes its ways on a majority. It is also a good example of what happens when the majority imposes itself on minorities. If there is anything to learn from that it is that you cannot change and integrate people to your way of thinking. What comes to 1939 and the Winter War, we have the rise of fascism (like today in many European countries) that was at the core of Hitler’s ideology. You forgot to mention 1941-44, or the Continuation War, and how we backed the wrong country and suffered dearly because of it.

      Fear + ignorance = hate. It’s that simple.

      What we can do is learn from history. One of the most important things no hate, xenophobia, nationalism and war.