How We Got Here: The 2020 Political Crisis and the Future of Social Change (Part VIII)

Part VIII: The Fundamental Origins of Extremist Hate and the Conditions for Demagoguery

Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash.

Hate does not arise in a vacuum. Hate arises from known conditions which predispose certain populations to extremism.

In this fashion, we must recognize Trump followers for what they are: they are also victims.

As I make these observations, let there be no doubt: even if hate has understandable origins, those who commit acts of hate remain accountable for their behavior, and those acts must still be denounced and stamped out from our society.

This fact also helps to explain why merely writing off Trump supporters as “hateful” misses the point — for widespread hate, or even widespread tolerance of hate, is primarily an expression of more complex social ills.

The common theme between riots and hate is that both arise when we fail to create resilient societies.

In the end, when we use the common threads of unity to address the common threads of oppression, we build a much more resilient society.

In the effort to move our country away from the brink of violence or to mitigate the damage of war, we must continue to employ humanistic, empathic strategies.

First, I fully understand that our society also contains “raw hatred” — that is, hate simply for the sake of hating, quite possibly with no discernible underlying social cause.

Second, it may not even be the case that all of Trump’s supporters are truly hateful or subscribe to the form of extremist hate that has spread.

Human, activist, scholar. Physician-Economist-in-training @UMich. CEO @proghealth. @FulbrightPrgrm Awardee. I work on anything that matters, locally & globally.

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