Saturday, 25 February 2017

Hatred or Prejudice, who benefits?

This article was written jointly by Roger Froikin and Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks

Both hatred, and prejudice have plagued humanity since early days. Unfortunately, they still do.

Since we all have our own different conception of what they mean, we decided, for the sake of this article, its clarity and its endeavor to share our opinion and view on its subject, to provide an objective definition of the two terms.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines Hatred as: “an extremely strong feeling of dislike.” “Prejudice” is defined by it as: “an unfair and unreasonable opinion or feeling when formed without enough thought or knowledge.” 

The common denominator these two terms share, as we believe the readers will agree with us, is that they both reside in the domain of emotions, not the rational one in us, humans.
 We also believe that almost everyone today acknowledges that these are sentiments that tend to be destructive and should, therefore, be put in the past in favor of fact, objectivity and rationality. Yet they are not. They are with us. It is a shame that, in this day and age, we need to discuss “hatred” or “prejudice.”

Moreover, we both feel that the problems they present are growing, not diminishing.  All one needs to do is look around the world. And while looking, one should try to understand why there is prejudice and why there is hatred, and maybe most of all ask, who benefits from both?

We all have our preferences, some rational, some not. So long as none of these preferences are imposed on others to their disadvantage, we could all live with it and practice the dignity of difference. Prejudice and hatred, as we suggested above, operate on an irrational plane. They motivate through unthinking emotions, no matter how well rationalized by those employing them or the damaging behaviours they produce.

Many studies have shown that prejudice is learned. Others have suggested that prejudice is innate. Whatever its source is, one fact remains clear, however. It is the taking of natural affinities and worries, and turning them into methods humans adopt to defend what we perceive as our interests or feed our egos irrationally where there is really no advantage for us.

Hatred, on the other hand, is something a bit simpler. Hate is the response to loss and to fear. People hate those that take something from them, those that injure them and those that hurt their interests. People hate anyone or anything that causes them to lose something.

Unfortunately, too often people hate what they have been taught to hate. In some cases, hatred is acquired and built upon our innate prejudices which some elements outside of us capitalize upon, stoke and simmer to the full fire of hatred. Those who fall prey to such destructive influences are oblivious to them, and are involuntarily fulfilling some socially demanded rule. By doing so, they become part of something bigger than themselves. Hatred, in these cases, gets the victims of such antics nothing, neither compensation for loss, nor justice, nor any reward.


Whatever and wherever the trigger for hatred is or rests, whether it’s racial bigotry, Anti-Semitism, Xenophobia, or hate against a political figure, one needs to study the source of the force, outside of oneself, that exploits and utilizes these emotions.

Unfortunately, in many cases, one will eventually find out that they fell victims to one’s twisted agenda. It can be the agenda of a ruling group which refuses to change the comforts of its status quo, or of an interest faction which feels threatened by an outsider, or perhaps even by a biased media that fails to differentiate facts from opinion.

One should never underestimate that interesting question, who stands to benefit from fanning the flames of prejudice and hatred?

The odds are, dear readers, that it is not the average person on the street, you or anyone of us! 

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