What causes someone to hate? And does this hate ever go away? From the assigned discussions, chapter five of the textbook, and pages fifty-one to one hundred and twelve from Hate Crimes: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas, it is evident that hate exists because of a person’s upbringing, their life experiences or their personal opinions of a person or group of people. In the case of the KKK Organization, hate is passed down from generation to generation, with no chance of it ever becoming non-existent.
It is hard to understand why hate continues because no one person is perfect, and it is so wrong to judge another person simply because of their lifestyle or the color of their skin. Too, it takes too much energy to hate, therefore, allowing stress to evolve in a person’s life.
People have the capability to control their own fate, and one would think that happiness and peace would be much more sought after, rather than hate.
It is a choice to hate, and if hate is the choice of how some individuals want to live their life, then leave innocent others out of the equation. The fact is hate exists within our society but it does not have to turn into violence. But more than not it does become violent, and it is the innocent people living their lives that are affected because of the existence of hate. Summary The first of the discussions that the class participated in was to look at a map of hate organizations and their location of existence within the United States.
It was shocking to see how many hate organizations exist in the United States particularly in West Virginia. Who knew that there was a KKK organization in Beckley, West Virginia. After examining the map of hate organizations, the directions were to pick an organization and find a news article on that organization committing a hate crime and explain the article to our fellow classmates. The second discussion for class participation was to watch a video on Netflix called KKK: The Fight for White Supremacy. It was about a group of white folks in North Carolina that call themselves the KKK. They wore robes and hoods to disguise their cowardly bodies and faces. It was sad to see young children wearing the robes and hoods and yelling “white power”. After watching the video, it was clear the requirements for this organization are to be white, ignorant, and to have huge misconceptions on United States History and the Bible.
The whole video was painful to watch. The name calling and cross burning was disgusting. Jesus died on a cross so we could be forgiven for our sins, his future intentions were not for white people to burn the cross, and they called themselves Christians? If people want to be a part of such a horrible organization, then do it and leave others alone. The third discussion was on chapter five of the textbook, The Benefits of Bigotry. This chapter spoke about how hate is derived from personal opinions of a group toward another person or group. Too, in this chapter, it suggests that hate is somehow justified if the majority wants to hate, and this hate is interpreted as bigotry. Our discussion was to think of a group, within our society, that benefits from bigotry. Even though bigotry is a judgment call from a person or group directed toward another person or group, there are people that somehow benefit from this nasty form of hate.
A great example of bigotry was stated by Levin and Nolan (2017) “between 1800 and 1930, whenever the cotton crops failed in southern states, Blacks were lynched. At low points in the business cycle, Ku Klux Klan (KKK) membership rose” (p. 149). The truth is the KKK benefited from bigotry in this case, because they gained members into their organization. The last assignment to summarize is pages fifty-one through one hundred and twelve from the book Hate Crime: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas by Joyce King. These pages began with television cameras, Jesse Jackson, President Clinton, Janet Reno, Dennis Rodman, and Joyce King participating, in some fashion, with the hate crime committed against James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, Texas. These pages also gave biographies of Shawn Berry, Lawrence Brewer, and John King, the criminals that committed the crime against James Byrd, Jr. All three had similar backgrounds of being raised with love and good intentions, but their lives took a turn for the worse when they began getting into crime and drugs.
The biggest common denominator for all three men was they had done time in prison. In fact, that is how they became to know each other. This section of the story also gave descriptions of the prison life, how guards were paid to look the other way, lawsuits by the prisoners, and visitor rules and routines. It too spoke about the many gangs that exist in this Texas prison, that the three offenders were housed in. As stated by King (2002) “according to the TDCJ Security Threat Management office there are more than 5,000 confirmed gang members in eleven security risk groups” (pp. 99-100). Some of the gangs that exist in the prison are the Aryan Brotherhood, the Texas Syndicate, Mexican Mafia, the Bloods, and the Crips (King, 2002, pp. 101-102). In fact, as noted by King (2002) “John King, Lawrence Brewer, and Shawn Berry were possibly members of the Aryan Brotherhood” (p. 112). Once the word got out about the incident plus the possibility of the three men being part of the Aryan Brotherhood, racial fights between blacks and whites began happening within the prison walls. But it turned out that the three men were not part of the Aryan Brotherhood after all, as reported by King (2002) “the Aryan Brotherhood has never been a white group any white man could just join. It is more discreet. He must have a sponsor, a certified member who can vouch for his character” (p. 112). Apparently, the three men did not meet the Aryan Brotherhood criteria. Relate to Class/Text Material The assigned class discussions and part two of the assigned book, that were summarized, all dealt with hate, hate crimes and hate organizations.
The class discussions, seven and eight, allowed the individual to see that hate organizations really do exist in our society today, and why they are formed. Especially, in the Netflix video, it gave more details of how a hate organization is formed and how an individual fulfills his or her membership. Those discussions in relation to chapter one, Perspectives on Hate and Violence, spoke of why hate groups are formed. According to Levin and Nolan (2017) “Rather than do the things that might help to assure their success in mainstream society, they join hate groups, visit hate websites, communicate with like-minded individuals in chat rooms, listen to white power CDs, and confront their enemies on the streets” (pp. 5-6). Discussion nine, was on chapter four, The Benefits of Bigotry, and it allowed the reader to see another form of hate. This discussion can be related to chapter one as well, when it first spoke about bigotry.
As stated by Levin and Nolan (2017) “there are certain negative beliefs and feelings about various groups in American society that seem, over the decades, to have persisted and even increased substantially” (p. 19). Discussion nine can also relate to chapter two because we had to pick a group that benefited from bigotry, and in South Africa the men do benefit from the women’s work performance. As per Levin and Nolan (2017) “discriminatory practices often prevent women from escaping lives of abject poverty. In South Africa, female workers are far more likely than men to be seasonal or temporary workers who perform menial and low-paying jobs” (p. 58). The chapter goes on to speak about how in other countries men benefit from the poor treatment of their women.
Part two of the assigned book allows the reader to see first-hand what an actual hate crime entails and the descriptions of the offenders that committed the hate crime. It very much relates to the class material because it was a real hate crime committed. While each assignment was different, their commonality was about the existence of hate within the United States. The material summarized was an excellent representation of this class; Hate Crimes. Personal Reaction First, I was surprised about the amount of hate organizations that exist in the United States. Second, that the KKK still exists was another surprise. I just do not understand how people can harbor so much hate for another color and allow it to continue from generation to generation. The video on the KKK was a display of pure ignorance. I know there are people that do not like others that they feel are different from themselves and that is their choice, but to blatantly act out to cause harm to another human being is so wrong, as in the dragging of James Byrd, Jr.
I wonder if hate is derived from the fear of not knowing? I believe some people feel entitled to hate someone who is not in their circle of friends, or live the same lifestyle, or have the same beliefs. As long as they have others that feel the same way, then it is easy to justify their hate. After reading chapter five, I have a better understanding of what bigotry is really about. I have seen a few instances of bigotry, but I never realized there was a technical term for being prejudice. Conclusion The assigned discussions, chapter reading, and the second part to the assigned extra reading, gave evidence of hate and hate groups existence. It is a shame that hate still exists in our society, and it is not going away. In fact, hate groups and crimes have become more prominent lately because of gay marriages, gender identity, and sexual orientation, just to mention a few. It is not fair to judge people for how they feel, think, or act, but our society has this picture of what the “norm” is and does anyone really know what is the “norm”. As a child we are taught that we can be anything we want to be, and to always be a leader not a follower. So does that mean to be different? Yes, it does, so why hate someone for being who or what they want to be? Therefore, instead of not accepting someone for being different than oneself, or pretending to be better than anyone, one must get a reality check. All people have the same color blood running through their veins and all were created by the same being. People should learn to treat others how they want to be treated, because if they do not, hate groups will continue to exist.