From Alex Berezow at ACSH:
Randa Jarrar, an English professor at Fresno State, is rightfully in hot water. In a Twitter tirade, she called the recently deceased Barbara Bush an “amazing racist” and said she was “happy the witch is dead.” For good measure, she wished death upon the rest of the Bush Family.
Let’s set aside the issues of free speech and tenure to focus on a bigger underlying concern: The psychology of pure, unadulterated hatred. How does a person become so consumed with animosity for a fellow human being?
Apparently, the subject has been studied, and Berezow provides some helpful pointers from an FBI analyst:
Though his article is about the behavior of hate groups, such as Neo-Nazis, his model appears to have some applicability to personal acts of hatred toward individuals. In summary, the seven stages are:
The haters find other haters to validate their hatred.
The hate group defines itself through symbols, rituals, and mythologies. More.
Examples are offered.
This is an unusual post from a science writer because most would respond by making up stories about how “we evolved to” behave that way, even though most extant human beings in North America do not sympathize with it. Some called for her to be fired – wrongly, in my view. She should be allowed to say it so that we can find out what she thinks and she can find out what the rest of us think about that peacefully.
Barbara Bush (1928–2018), like Rose Kennedy (1890-1995), was a matriarch who did her duty to her family, not a cruel dictator. Hating the Kennedy brothers or George H.W. or George W. Bush might make sense, depending on one’s politics and fortunes, but most people see random assaults on the famous dead, whatever their role, as undignified and uncivilized. My compatriot, Mark Steyn, struck the right note when he said, “spare a thought this morning for George Bush Sr on the first day in three-quarters of a century without the great love of his life.” Yes, even if one has no use for the old fellow’s politics.
It’s an old concept, summed up by the Romans as nil nisi bonum: In general, speak nothing but good of the dead (at the time of their passing). Save the evaluations for later. – O’Leary for News
Note: In general, a hate group is just a group of people who happen to hate the same thing. The more eccentric the choice of target, the harder it would be to form a group. Neo-Nazis might find it easier to organize than a handful who truly hate the late Mrs. Bush.
See also: “Erased” paleontologist Bechly gets support from Science and Health Council
From American Council for Science and Health: Journalists’ war on science