Saturday, February 18, 2012

How Genocide Happens

Genocide.

An awful, dirty, terrible word, made only more hateful by that fact that it actually occurs. One man, one woman, discriminating and then slaughtering their neighbors, co-workers, anyone that falls into their categorized thoughts as ‘undesirable’. We have all heard horror stories from the Holocaust, slaughtering in Rwanda, and Middle Eastern terrorist bombings.

Race seems to be everything.

It’s not.

How could someone, anyone, stray so far from what is good and what is right and be able to commit such unthinkable acts? Shooting babies for target practice? Literally hacking the limbs from a living person? The sentences alone have power to break ones heart.

How?
It begins very simply. The very day, the very second when you meet someone, learn a trait about them and then apply the trait not TO them, but to an ATTRIBUTE about them. For example, your neighbor is lazy. He is also Asian. Rather than acknowledging your neighbor as a lazy man, you create a false truth: Asians are lazy. It begins so simply, so nearly innocently. For in that moment, you have removed a piece of his humanity in your own eyes.
*He is not a lazy man.
*He is a lazy Asian.
*He is not a human- but an it.
*It isn’t difficult to move from that thought to simply believe all Asians are lazy.
*Lazy Asians don’t deserve the good they get in life.
*There’s a rich Asian. She, too, is lazy.
*She, being lazy, doesn’t deserve that wealth. That dirty awful lazy Asian. Asian’s are no good.

Continue in on this trail, this all-too-often-traversed trail, and you find that, in your eyes, no Asian has the same humanity as you. Find a few social injustices and pin them on your scape goat, these lazy Asians, and soon, with the prodding of a persuasive and forceful leader, you find yourself as capable of the horrors of genocide.

What an awful failing of mankind.

Think carefully, think deeply about the way you describe others. Is this co-worker black and deceitful? Or is he a deceitful black? The way that you describe people in your mind will determine the way you, your friends, and your family see every other race. Do not couple yourself with the type of thought pattern that makes genocide a reality.

Rise above ignorance.

1 comment:

  1. there is a book, actually two books, that talk about this very thing.
    they call it "being in the box" --the premise of the box is that you see people as things or objects instead of people. The names are:
    Leadership and Self Deception and The Anatomy of Peace. They are both by the Arbinger Institute. IMO they are both a good read.

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