Finding a suitable word, despite the vastness of the American –English lexicon, adequate to the depiction of our perennial hate groups, is a challenge equal to the vain search for a suitable synonym for the noun “nausea.” Such hate groups are the ultimate ugly blemish on our body politic and a slur on American society. Such stark symptoms may be more usefully discussed in the medical jargon of syndromic diseases; the etiology of the same, having their infectious presentation in such unhealthy organisms as the KKK, White Supremacy, The Nationalist White Party, The American Nazi Party (a genuine oxymoron), the pseudo-patriotic right wing militias and others of such deplorable ilk.
These singular cohorts of non -regenerate bigots, are variously composed of maladjusted and damaged personalities (possibly deprived of parental nurturance and doubtlessly lacking normal socialization) who have an intense, unfulfilled need for personal identity, and above all, for acceptance. Membership and participation in such groups, apparently provides the tenuous adhesive of acceptance and recognized persona, as a co- participant in a common anti-social cause. The specific choice of target, such as Jew, black or member of gay community it would seem, is of less importance than the all-important neurotic need for personal identity and group acceptance by way of a shared cause.
The recent events at Charlottesville Virginia, were shameful, but by no means a new pathology. Research shows that antisemitism dates back to the reign of Emperor Constantine during the 4th Century, while the minimization of black people antedates the Civil War; a time when black people were shamefully accorded the status of agricultural equipment, such that a slave owner had the legal right to their recovery (Dred Scott case, SCOTUS, Justice Taney). These groups also have their perverse, iconic and revered idols, such as George Lincoln Rockwell and David Duke. Their historic mantra is to purify the American race and prevent it from “mongrelization.”Sound familiar? It is right from Adolph Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” This ignorant and demented goal is the delusional aim and the veritable religion of these Hitler worshippers, whose evil intentions unquestionably qualifies them for places of notable prominence in the literary hell of Dante’s “Inferno.”
Most of us, understandably, engaged in the context of the challenges and responsibilities of our mainstream lives, invest little or no thought on this subject. Yet this underbelly of society which consistently manifests the dogmatic mantra of hatred is eternally dangerous and aggressive. The Skokie march, in full Nazi military regalia had as its sole, sadistic and pathological purpose, the causation of great anguish and trauma at that nuanced city, known for its many Jewish death camp survivors. We cannot risk any degree of complacency. These dedicated hate groups have intentionally caused fear and have committed homicide at houses of worship, theaters, schools, playgrounds, federal buildings and even, military installations. Right thinking people would identify such horrific deeds as acts of domestic terrorism.
It is ironic to note that even such overt acts of these distasteful psychopaths, can be seen as actually serving some useful purpose, by way of their educative, although tragic, occurrence. Our complacency is, by necessity, replaced by a reminder of the existence of such sub-surface danger. Similar to our awareness of the underground phenomena that cause volcanoes and earthquakes, we can, by our dedication and creativity, minimize the impact of these pernicious enterprises and their potential damage. We can ill afford to ignore this species of human pathology lest it perpetuates its existence and metastasizes. Programs of public education, teaching respect for other peoples are always salutary, but we would suggest that programs of re- education preferably begin on a small, inter- personal level; one might start by affirmatively, expressly and emphatically, voicing disapproval of ethnic jokes and related inane, stereotype- based humor.