It’s the New Year so let’s raise a glass to those of us who were and are despised, rejected and marginalized. From the witches of Salem to the Muslims of Syria, from the old and the poor and the fat to gays and American blacks and Hitler’s murdered Jews and the interned Japanese of the Second World War.
Why do we inflict such harm on others? We are parents and teachers and leaders, politicians and grandparents, doctors and lawyers, and salesmen and nurses. We attend church and synagogue and believe in the Ten Commandments. We think we are kind.
Then why do we do it?
Because hostility toward the marginalized increases our sense of security, patriotism and membership in the in-group.