Palestinos desplazados por los bombardeos israelíes en la Franja de Gaza se congregan en un campamento en Rafah, en el sur de la Franja de Gaza, el 4 de diciembre de 2023. (Foto: AP/Fatima Shbair)

They say that when we are born, we are a clean slate. We are born ready to learn, to love and perhaps to hate.

Years of research and experience has taught us that we can create a circle of love and respect or instead create a whirlwind of fear and hate amongst our children and yes, some adults.

Does someone want to hate you, to destroy you? Well, let’s take a look at what it takes to do this.

This can become evident as early as your time in the school, by the bullying to defenseless youth.

You can demonize a whole population by making them less then human and thus, make it easier to starve, torture or kill them. This happens every day around the world.

In the process, you can deny them education, voting rights, clean water and food. You could deny them access to government facilities and decide that the judicial system can discriminate against them. You can find ways to imprison these demonized people quicker, and for a longer period than the people in power.

Take, for example, the steps that were taken to move the indigenous of the USA to barren lands and the lives lost. They had branded these first Americans “savages”, who were not to be considered human. Thus, they could take away their lands and move them to barren reservations where many died in the process.

Look at how black slaves were brought to this country, as if they were but an agricultural animal, and how lands were stolen from Mexican farmers and ranchers. And, yes, lynching was used against many as a way of oppressing blacks, Mexicans, and Indians. And the vestiges of this fear and hate still exist today, and have infected the highest courts of the land.

Isn’t this a good way to develop a class of people who might want to hate you?

Internationally, we see lands controlled by a super power which deny the people statehood, water, electricity and the right to move freely. Some believe that those oppressed will never come to power. So why should they worry about them and their lives of misery.

South Africa starved and killed so many in their efforts to maintain an apartaid system and demonized the ANC, the African National Congress; and daily they told the world how evil Nelson Mandela was.

We could do just the opposite, and teach love and tolerance instead of instilling hate and fear.

The United Nations and the USA with their power, dollars and influence are silent, too silent, while people’s rights, immigrants and refugees who flee their homelands are fleeing violence, starvation, oppression and a sure death if they stay.

Children will remember who killed their families and destroyed their homes and will want justice or revenge.

Revolutions come not by some academic thesis talking about human rights, although it is a help to have this knowledge; but the driving force for change is the oppression of a people. And while change is difficult and many innocents will die, there comes a time when the oppressed will rise and demand their human rights and their place in history.

Power is the most dangerous addiction and those that have it will do anything to stay in power and continue to oppress others.

Would you like people to hate you or would you rather that they respect you and appreciate living with you in a fair and free community?


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