A Global Epidemic of Hate

THERE is a monster on the loose—a monster called hate. And it is running rampant all over the globe.

In the Balkans a province is reeling from the spasms of a recent ethnic cleansing campaign. Centuries-old animosities have led to mass executions, rape, expulsions, burning and looting of homes and villages, destruction of crops and livestock, hunger, and starvation. Land mines still abound.

In East Timor, Southeast Asia, 700,000 frightened people had to flee the terror of killings, beatings, indiscriminate shootings, and forcible displacement. They left behind a landscape laid waste by marauding militias. “I feel like a hunted animal,” cried one of the victims.

In Moscow an apartment building was ripped apart by a huge terrorist bomb blast. The bodies of 94 innocent people—some of them children—were scattered about by the explosion. Over 150 were injured. In the aftermath of such horror, people ask, ‘Who will be next?’

In Los Angeles, California, a racist took aim at a group of preschool Jewish children and later gunned down a Filipino mailman.

Hatred can well be described as a global epidemic. Almost every day, news reports reveal what happens when racial, ethnic, or religious animosity joins hands with lawlessness. We see nations, communities, and families torn apart. We see countries embroiled in wholesale genocide. We see unspeakably inhumane acts being perpetrated simply because some people are “different.”

If the monster called hate is ever to be caged, we must understand the origins of such hateful violence. Is hate implanted in human genes? Is it learned behavior? Is it possible to break the cycle of hate?

[Picture Credit Line on page 3]

Kemal Jufri/Sipa Press