Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Do you think hate is on the rise?

Asked by Demosthenes (8586points) April 27th, 2019

There was another synagogue shooting today, in Poway, California. The 19-year-old shooter apparently had a manifesto laced with racism and Bible quotes. He also takes credit for an arson incident at a mosque in Escondido, in which messages spray painted at the mosque referenced the NZ mosque shooting.

Attacks on religious institutions, mosques, synagogues, and churches seem to be making the headlines lately. I’ve heard numerous reports that hate crimes are on the rise in the United States.

One thing’s for certain: tribalism is on the rise worldwide. And I think it’s going to continue to make life worse for everyone.

Have you noticed a rise in hate in the area you live in? What can be done to stop it?

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37 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I actually don’t, I think ideological people are. I also think the ones who do the most damage like school shooters are exceedingly rare but get the spotlight for their actions. Garden variety “hate” is falling by the wayside. People will disagree with me but what most seem to want to call “hate” is just disagreement about 80%-90% of the time. Labeling it hate is just a cheap tactic that is getting pretty tired and cliche’.

Demosthenes's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me I agree that the word “hate” is overused, that many people use “hate” as a synonym for disagreement or criticism. Though in asking this question, I was thinking of “true” hate, i.e. bigotry, racism, anti-religious sentiment. The kind of thing that fuels these attacks. They are rare and the attention they receive does create a sense that they are more prevalent than they may actually be, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t increasing in frequency. And that may be an increase from the past couple of decades, not necessarily a statement about long-term historical trends.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not really. I think that the degree of hate is pretty much constant.

There are two things that are different, however:

1) availability of weapons

2) societal approval (or at least lack of disapproval) towards killing people of other religions.

It used to be that killing was wrong no matter what. Now, thanks in no small part to the right wing and the tacit permission from Trump, it’s not as socially unacceptable to be antisemitic as it used to be. (and for that matter, anti-moslem or anything else).

Demosthenes's avatar

@elbanditoroso Well, I knew someone was going to say that, and part of my asking this question was that I wanted to discuss that point.

I have definitely heard the claim that there are no more hateful people than there have been for a while, it’s just that they are coming out of the woodwork now because they feel “empowered by Trump”. But the question comes back to the symptom/cause debate. Trump didn’t cause the division in this country. The divisions were already there and festering. The Trump presidency has exacerbated the division and revealed the fault lines. The tribal climate empowers people who already had an “us vs. them” mentality and has been driving more people to “pick a side” who might otherwise have tried to stay out of it.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I actually feel that a lot of the criminal activity in the US is frustration more than hate. People are being categorized more than ever. There used to be us and them, but now it is us and those, and some others, and that bunch.
With sexuality alone we have LGBTQ, and some other letters, and gender identity, that alone makes about a dozen “categories”. There is left, far left, right, far right, ADD, ADHD, OCD, bipolar, have’s, have nots, and the religions.
Many of those markers existed already for a long time, but groupings hung out together and were happily ignorant of most other groups. With the information age, which then morphed into massive, global social media, we see each other. Not everyone is happy about that. Lots of people are uncomfortable about being categorized. Others are unhappy to learn of groups they oppose.

It has little to do with Trump, nothing to do with gun ownership. It involves a lot of frustration, anxiety, a need for things to evolve more slowly, and gently.
There are lots of people seeking acceptance, and some who need more time to be willing to accept, or seek their own acceptance.

We have new ways to attack each other, and instead of using restraint and civility, we are full on in attack mode much of the time. It drives sometimes perfectly good people to strike out.
We need to find it in ourselves to be more respectful, and patient with those who need more time, more room.

JLeslie's avatar

19! Dear God.

Society has got to do something about this. I’m not talking about mental illness, it’s a given that we should be doing something about mental illness, not only for those who might be violent, but also for those who will never be violent, but who with help can feel better and do better in life. What I am talking about is people who feel left behind in society, who feel powerless, who don’t feel safe, who feel insecure, who are unhappy, and disconnected. Society needs to be there before they seek purpose with gangs, hate groups, or cults.

Supposedly, statistics show hate is on the rise, but I don’t really know how they are measuring this. My guess is we are documenting hate crimes more often now. The nationally news is certainly reporting it more, and it stays in the news for more days and weeks. I think people who are not minorities are now way way more aware of the hate crimes happening, and they are totaling them up as they happen. So, what I mean by that is I would bet that most Jewish jellies can name more antisemetic shootings, bombings, scares, KKK marches, and swastikas drawn, in the last 30 years in America than people who aren’t Jewish. Same with black people, etc. An analogy would be when you are thinking about buying a Honda Accord, and suddenly you see more of them on the road. The cars were always there, just your awareness is heightened.

With Trump president, the people who hate him, want to find every reason to hate him more, so hate crime on the rise is one thing they point out. I personally do think Trump has added to the haters feeling empowered, but they were always there.

The internet doesn’t help. Now people can get cultivated by hate groups online.

Leaders in America better get their shit together and start preaching peace and harmony.

Schools need to be teaching K-12 empathy and integrity.

I just don’t even know what to say anymore. There has always been hate, I have always been afraid in synagogues—always. It does feel a little scarier now though. My husband for the first time since we have been married is afraid to wear his Mexico t-shirt where we live. He’s been afraid since Trump.

America has an excess of money and a lot of resources and no one in our country should be suffering so much that they commit acts like this. The good religious leaders need to have voices that drown out those using religion as a tool for hate.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It’s pretty glib of you, @Patty_Melt to say that “Trump has nothing to do with it”.

True, he hasn’t said “go out and kill people” to his followers, but his statements as a candidate, and after the Charlottesville right-wing riot, and and numerous other times, have shown that (a) he supports the right wing in their quest for white power, and (b) he is OK with violence to get there.

To argue that Trump is an innocent in all this – that’s willful blindness.

Patty_Melt's avatar

So tired of all that.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I think that not only hate, but anger from grief. It is hard for anyone to climb the ladder when the bottom rungs are cut down. Like starting playing monopoly after all the houses are sold. The game is rigged for only a few to climb. The glass ceiling is extending to everyone who is not rich and well off.
It would take some epic effort, and focus, to become well off now.

Demosthenes's avatar

@elbanditoroso Well they said it had “little to do with Trump” not “Trump has nothing to do with it”, so you know, if you’re going to quote someone, quote them correctly. But that’s what I’m asking about: 1) has there been an uptick in hate crimes, 2) when did it start, and 3) what is causing it? It seems too simplistic to say “Trump” in answer to Question 3. That’s just scapegoating. And you reducing the right wing to a “quest for white power” is too reductive as well. That’s just becoming part of the division. It’s “the other side is evil and responsible for everything that is wrong with the world”. That’s the kind of thinking leading to these attacks.

Unfortunately I think many of us are too far gone. Thankfully most of us won’t become violent.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Patty_Melt Re. social media, I don’t think it’s just a matter of people becoming more aware of groups they oppose, but also becoming more aware of people who feel as they do. The types with extreme views might have remained in the shadows, remained loners who kept their ideas to themselves, but in the age of social media now are able to find communities of like-minded people who share their hateful ideas and they receive inspiration and empowerment from these circles. The New Zealand shooter, for example, was active on 4chan, a site where the lines between “edgy joking” and “sincerely plotting a terrorist attack” are blurred. ISIS uses social media to recruit. They target people who are troubled and angry. I do think the internet is allowing these attacks to become easier to carry out.

flutherother's avatar

Hate is closely aligned with stupidity and that is definitely on the rise.

JLeslie's avatar

I saw an interview with one of the WS in Charlottesville, and he basically said Trump makes them feel they have more power right now, but it would be better to get in a president that doesn’t have a Jew daughter. Trump does have an effect on these people, he just doesn’t have an effect on people who are never going to be haters or violent. When Trump said there are good people there too, I at first did take it as he meant people who came out because they didn’t want the statue to come down. I have friends who would never be violent, who would never support groups like the KKK, but who had a problem with taking down the confederate statues. I disagree with my friends, I think the statues should come down from the public square, but that is besides the point. The media, and in my opinion the neo-Nazis, and most liberals take Trump’s words to mean the neo-Nazis have good people. For this reason, even though I initially give Trump the benefit of the doubt, he needs to be more careful with his words, because he is adding to the hate and violence in my opinion. It is a serious problem. He needs to give up that vote. His selfishness is seriously harming the country. He double downed recently and said he was talking about people just there for the statue, but if he wants to double down on that, he needs to follow it by clearly stating that the WS are bad people, that there is no place for hate, that marching with guns and torches is not a peaceful protest, it is antagonizing, and not welcome in America.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think so either. We just have a leader who embraces hate. That emboldens haters to step forth.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I don’t know how you would conclude that hate is on the rise or decline. Shootings and bombings are certainly on the rise, but I think that has a lot more to do with the proliferation of weaponry displacing the classics, like arson & lynching.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@Demosthenes, I have thought about that also, social media emboldening some who might otherwise not act out. One very good example is teen girls. Some posted video of themselves beating the stuffing out of another. Suddenly it became a trend. “Who do we hate enough we can beat her until she is a bag of organ donations?”

mazingerz88's avatar

Hard to accurately tell if hate is on the rise. How does a statistician go about knowing?

On the surface, imo it is on the rise. Especially when you have a hateful deplorable clown in the WH.

ucme's avatar

No, definitely not.

Yellowdog's avatar

@JLeslie The context of what Trump said after Charlottesville was very clear. He emphasized all around that sentence when he spoke it that he did NOT mean the Klan or Antifa. That he was referring to the people who came out to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. and went on to condemn the people who want to eradicate history. He said he did not mean the Klan or the White Supremacists as “good people on both sides”

This also means, of course, that Joe Biden begins his campaign with a video that is a lie. Which begs the question, If he is disingenuous on this level, then how can he be trusted with anything else?

chyna's avatar

@yellowdog do you have a reference for the part that you say Trump disputes what he said?

Demosthenes's avatar

@Yellowdog I agree. Trump was not saying white supremacists were good people, he didn’t say all Mexicans are rapists, and Hillary didn’t say all Trump supporters are deplorable. People always hear what they want to hear. But even if they were misinterpreted, in each of these cases, the statements were poorly worded and indecorous. What Trump should’ve done after Charlottesville was condemn hateful ideologies, not engage in whataboutism and “bothsidesism”. There shouldn’t have been grounds for misinterpretation. (At least not as much). Trump has condemned plenty of other people, but his statement after Charlottesville was fairly weak.

JLeslie's avatar

@Yellowdog As you can see I sort of defended Trump, so you don’t have to explain it to me. Not that I mind you making the point, I am just making sure you realize, I am one of the people giving Trump the benefit of the doubt. What I hear a lot of Democrats saying, is that the people who were at Charlottesville simply to protest the statue coming down should have acted when they saw the Klansman and WS and signs that were racist and antisemetic. That since they stayed adjacent to and with the WS, it was the same as being with them. I don’t know what I think about that. I usually am not fond of incriminating someone because of the person they are standing next to, but this was a large presence, and I do see people on here and in real life defending WS’s and I just think that is crazy and awful.

Trump needed to be more specific. Both sides is dividing the group into two, but I would argue it isn’t two. Antifa does not represent me. The KKK does not represent my conservative friends, yet using both sides implies just that. When talking to the nation the president needs to be more careful. Here I might say “Christians” are pro-life, when I know very well that some Christians are pro-choice, but it is a generalization regarding politics. If I were speaking to an audience as the president, I would be much more careful about generalizing.

This is THE VERY THING that worried me the most about Trump when he was running. That he would say things that offend people, other world leaders, and possibly get the country into a very bad situation.

I am very willing to agree that the media and Democrats twist an omit a lot of what he says, but the Republicans do it also in a huge way, so they are both bad.

Yellowdog's avatar

You are right, @Demosthenes Hillary said only HALF of Trump supporters are are a basketful of deplorables,

Stache's avatar

Robert E. Lee is the equivalent to Hitler for black Americans. When Trump defends people who support Robert E. Lee this tells the black people in our country that he doesn’t support them.

Lee opposed the construction of public memorials to Confederate rebellion on the grounds that they would prevent the healing of wounds inflicted during the war.[9] Nevertheless, after his death, Lee became an icon used by promoters of “Lost Cause” mythology, who sought to romanticize the Confederate cause and strengthen white supremacy in the South

End of story.

Stache's avatar

Waiting for a white male to disagree…

Yellowdog's avatar

Robert E Lee was Hitler for black Americans? Uh, no. There was no Holocaust of black people. I suggest you read about the holocaust and the death camps.

Slavery was wrong, technically never legal in this country— but it’s not the Holocaust.

But that’s not what much of the media and Joe Biden said about Trump’s response to the 2017 Charlottesville protesters / rioters. They misquoted Trump, saying that Trump said there were good people on both sides: the Klansmen and the protesters.

Some of the people who were attacked by Antifa were people protesting the removal of a monument, a part of regional / vernacular history. They were not white supremacists. Trump made no equivalency pf Klansmen pr Antifa as being good people, and made that EXTREMELY clear in the quote the fake Press and Joe Biden are misquoting.

Stache's avatar

I got my white man answer. Just as expected.

Patty_Melt's avatar

In regards to, “where I live” part of OP, not only do we enjoy a reasonably healthy relationship in my city, between colors, religions, and financial status, nobody sets things on fire when Trump comes to visit. Of course, the majority in my area are Trump supporters.
There was one incident some time back of some threatening, racist notes were received by a young woman, but it turned out she wrote them herself.

The only people who are hated in my area are haters, and poachers.
I guess that deflates that, “Trump supporters are racists” theory.

Yellowdog's avatar

The Civil War still has a strong hold on many people, and many people’s sense of place.

Families were divided as sons fought on both sides. Sons and fathers did not come home. Homes and towns were pilfered and burned. The Confederate States were a homeland for many people. Slavery itself was a tremendous moral issue we as a nation had to deal with and live through—the Civil War was just a flashpoint in a nation’s conscience that culminated again in the Civil Rights movement, and got us to where we are. It was a time when the nation was divided and fought amongst itself,

Civil war monuments cause people to think of the past and all the bloodshed that went on as one system was obliterated and we moved towards where we are today.

There are powerful sensations, an energy if you will, some of us get from these places and the stories of people’s lives that went on there, long ago. Its all a part of America.

Some people, I suppose, commemorate the Holocaust. We don’t keep up the old camps in Nazi Germany because we like what went on there or long to return to it, but because it is something we lived through, even though they were places of death and human desecration.
Holocaust survivors still return to these places.

I will give you, however, that it is true that blacks in the rural south mostly after the civil war and through the civil rights movement were indeed caricatured and de-humanized ind demeaning ways, by the Ku Klux Klan and others treated like Jews were in the days of the Nazi pogroms

And yes, it is true that white Americans which dominate American history were subjugators of other peoples, such as blacks and native Americans—paradoxically while writing profound documents about liberty, freedom, and the dignity of all persons,

But the only thing that truly is like the holocaust in American history is, perhaps, the Prisoner of War camps BOTH the North and South had during and after the civil war, and I emphasize that they were particularly horrible and holocaust-like for black soldiers who were captured by southerners.

JLeslie's avatar

@Yellowdog I don’t like people throwing around the Holocaust and Hitler either, but I do think I go a little farther than you in the comparison to slavery. Black Americans were in a sort of prison. They were owned by people, so the place where they lived was a prison camp for them. Their skin was the same as having to wear a star on their sleeve. If a white person decided to harm, rape, or kill a slave there was no punishment.

America brought in black slaves rather than white indentured servants from other countries because it would be easier to spot a black person trying to escape. Black persons in the wrong place at the wrong time would be suspicious, they would stand out. Although they did have an advantage in the dark having darker skin, but they risked torture and death as punishment if caught.

There aren’t statues of Hitler or any of his henchmen in public squares in Germany or Europe that I know of. Walls and camps that still remain are memorials to honor those killed, and a museum to remember what should never happen again. Lee is not that.

Many white Southerners themselves talk about being proud of their confederate soldiers. By contrast Germans are embarrassed they had Nazis in their families. There are still Nazis in Germany, I’m not saying Germany doesn’t have its own WS still, it does, but the overwhelming feeling among the citizenry and government is to squash any hints of it. No one can fly a Nazi flag, or draw or wear a swastika, because they understand how that is terrorism for the people who are targeted.

Let’s say white Christians became targeted and the symbol was a fish with an X over it, and there are churches being burned down, some white Christian families have parents killed right in front of their children, and then the children are kept as prisoners and labor by the people who killed their parents. As you travel around people have the fishX on their houses, on top of state houses, and some of the leaders of the movement are honored with statues. That’s what it’s like for blacks and Jews. A little bit of reminders or terror, or at least wondering if that guy is just a proud southerner, or does he hate me, as they walk around parts of this country.

I don’t say Trump is Hitler, but I would say what the black people endured in our country as slaves is like Hitler.

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