CAPTION: Einsatzgruppen (Mobile Killing Units) in Nazi Germany
For at least six (6) years (1933-1939) Adolph Hitler and Joseph Goebbels inoculated German society with a vitriolic and dehumanizing ideology of Hate for the "other."
The mechanism: information / education. They used state sponsored media, newspapers, schools, children's games, pamphlets, books and all manner of information technology available.
It was a series of necessary events and circumstances that had to align in order for Hitler to rise to power.
But they needed the Hate to take up permanent residence in order to justify their cause.
They didn't need everyone to believe...just enough of the population would make it possible.
More importantly, they needed the rest of society who thought it would never happen to remain silent.
Without the Hate there could not and would not have been a holocaust.
Many say it will never happen to them.
Most don't even think about it...until it happens.
Then, when it does...it seems we only wish to legislate action and choice. We don't think about trying to affect the way we think which informs how we act.
You can put up a stop sign, but you can't make people stop.
That doesn't mean we don't need stop signs...it is a practical observation that you simply cannot force people to follow a law (without a gun to their head...which some have tried throughout history--and it never ends well, but that's an entirely different conversation).
The question of how many stop signs (laws) we need and what kind is not the subject of this writing...but is a worthy dialogue.
It seems NO ONE really wants to talk about root causes and behavior.
We legislate vaccinations. It's in the interest of BOTH the individual AND the collective. It's policy.
We legislate concussion training for student athletes. It's in the interest of BOTH the individual AND the collective. It's policy.
But we do not legislate ANY measure of the moral or values training that would solve most of these problems before they ever became the seed of an idea. IT SHOULD BE POLICY.
NOTE: Attempting to treat violence with zero consideration for treating the information (education) and behavior that leads to violence is like putting a band-aid on a gaping chest wound.
Through the inoculation of values and ideas that are in the best interest of BOTH the individual AND the collective, you can begin to remove strains of Hate and replace them with the following characteristics:
- Mutual respect
Replace the Hate with even a minimal dose of mutual respect, tolerance, empathy and compassion and all of those no longer with us...would still be with us.
Without the Hate...much of the violence we see today could not and would not happen.
The below listed tragic series of events touched people who never would have believed that Hate-tinged violence would take them.
Fathers, mothers, children, friends, parents, lovers, brothers, sisters and colleagues...
The men who carry out such acts of heinous evil would be horrified if they were on the receiving end of their own actions.
If you think Hate-tinged violence won't touch you...neither did any of those associated with the following series of tragic events; only a few of too many:
Going to high-school:
Littleton, Colorado, U.S.
No longer with us: 15
At the movies:
Aurora, Colorado, U.S.
No longer with us: 12
Going to elementary school:
Newtown, Connecticut, U.S.
No longer with us: 28
At a church prayer service:
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
No longer with us: 9
On the train:
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
No longer with us: 2
Out on the town for a night of partying:
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
No longer with us: 49
At a concert:
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
No longer with us: 59
At morning worship:
Sutherland Springs, Texas, U.S.
No longer with us: 27
At their place of worship:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
No longer with us: 11
What if it Just Started Raining? It's the most important question no one is asking.
*Oirginally published August, 13, 2018.