To address the issue of bigotry on ATS, and as I see it worldwide:
Now that the 20th century is behind us, I feel that we are, as a whole, becoming distant from the reality of some of the most significant events of
the 1900’s. Unfathomable numbers of lives were lost to genocide. My focus in this thread is primarily racist violence, and I believe the most
familiar example to many of you would be the Holocaust. It is not known how many people died during this terrible time, but the total number of
victims is thought to be between 11 and 17 million. We treat it now as a far-away nightmare, no longer the utterly horrific reality that it was then.
But to forget about this period in human history would be to wander blindly into the same trap. Some people today, even here on ATS, would deny that
the Holocaust happened at all. That is how easily we have forgotten. You know what they say; those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat
it. Well, they say that for a reason.
I recently came across a post, which has (thankfully) been appropriately dealt with now, that said something along the lines of, “well black people
aren’t fully human anyway.” My purpose is to address how incredibly dangerous this statement (and any other like it) can be.
This comment is just one example of a worrying trend in racist sentiment that seems to be globally pervasive. Race is a hotbed issue for some reason.
The most notable current example in American discourse is the murder of unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin. But this is by no means an American
-South Africa’s genocide watch status upgraded to stage 5: “Preparation”
-Israeli teenagers celebrating the deaths of Palestinian children
-And Palestinians have been guilty of the same
-Murder of Jewish children and rabbi in France (connected to the apparently also racially motivated murders of 3 soldiers just prior)
-Murder of Trayvon Martin
-Removal of Hitler’s parents’ tombstone because it had become a pilgrimage site for an increasing number of neo-Nazis
As you can see, this is a global problem, not specific to any one group of people.
Arguments about race issues are some of the most vile, spiteful disputes I’ve ever seen. I am truly concerned about the kinds of comments that are
being made. Bigoted elements (like the poster referenced above) tend towards rationalizing their thoughts and actions through the dehumanization of
other groups. This is my main concern. When we start regarding any group of people as somehow sub-human, violence against them is not far behind.
GenocideWatch.org’s 8 Stages of Genocide
list dehumanization as the 3rd
3. DEHUMANIZATION: One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases.
Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder.
Within every human being lies the potential to become a monster. No one of us should think that this issue isn’t relevant to us, or that we would
never be involved in such acts. Don’t let yourself fall victim to the false sense of security provided in the thought that, “well I
never do that” or, "it could never happen in my
area"; people are shockingly easy to manipulate, particularly en masse. And that is
Hitler didn’t slaughter millions with his own hands. The German people participated in this. The SS, Nazi party officials, German government, and
even civilians contributed to the horror. And it was not just the Germans. Lithuanians, for example, welcomed the Nazis as liberators from the Soviet
occupation in 1931. They celebrated by torturing and killing Jews in the streets. Normal people, it’s not that these thousands of people were just
inherently monsters. It’s that we all too often underestimate just how easy it is to become one. Ignoring this fact is ultimately as dangerous as
the fact itself.
Speaking from a certain degree of unfortunate personal experience, once convinced that you truly hate some person or group, dehumanization of them
falls right into line. And once you have dehumanized these people in your mind, you no longer feel the fact that to injure or kill them is a crime
against another human being. Their death at the hands of another is no longer murder in your eyes. It may even feel like something to celebrate.
Sufficiently indoctrinated in this language of dehumanization and hatred, any one among us would find it shockingly easy to commit that crime with our
Given the apparently growing trend of dehumanization and racially motivated crimes, I feel that it is more important now than ever that we remind
ourselves of how devastating the consequences of racism can be. We must always continue to be outraged and disgusted by these acts, from the past
through the present; there is no greater danger than apathy. We must acknowledge that we are always at risk for this level of violence, and that our
modern society is not any safer from it today. We must be ALWAYS aware of the factors that contribute to the materialization of these heinous ideas,
if we hope to continue to prevent them.
So my request to you, is that we all stop with this us vs. them mentality. We live in an increasingly globalized society. People from diverse
backgrounds are a part of our daily lives. If we can’t learn to care for one another, we are doomed to destroy ourselves. These racially
inflammatory remarks are no more acceptable on ATS than they would be in public. There are consequences for these things that we as a society should
not have to face again. So please, be mindful of your words and actions towards your fellow human beings.
Thank you for reading, I hope I have not wasted your time