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When Did We Learn To Hate Like This?

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Piece written by one of our members

I was talking to my friends at Resisting Hate about contributing to their blog. I felt this piece that I wrote earlier in the year might be a good addition to the website.

I read through it again today and it finally hit me (forgive my old brain) – what online hate fighting group Resisting Hate is all about.

The reason why we did not see the sort of hatred in times gone by that we see today is the creation and growth of social media. Social media can and has been used successfully to bombard the public with foul, hate filled lies about certain religions, immigration and just about anything else that suits the political agenda at the time.

My belief is that we can fight this. We are fighting back and Resisting Hate has been at the forefront of this movement long before I signed up. I am proud to be a member of the Resisting Hate family and I hope this piece I wrote gives a few people food for thought.

My overactive brain has been mulling over the latest terror attack in London and I have a few thoughts. I grew up in the 70’s (yeah I’m that old), so lived daily with the Irish “Troubles”. I have just looked up the statistics for deaths and injury, caused by the IRA’s numerous bombings on the UK mainland. The numbers are staggering and far outnumber any of the so-called ISIS terror attacks here.

So why did we never call for the Irish to be kicked out of England? Why did we never attack innocent people on the street because they had an Irish accent? If two Irish passengers on a plane started speaking Gaelic why were they never thrown off?

We did none of these things and neither did the USA. The truth of the matter is that political parties in the US openly supported the IRA, sending millions of dollars to fund and further the cause.

So how were we able to understand the difference between an everyday Irish person and a terrorist in the days of the IRA, but we can’t be so tolerant of Muslims who are just as disgusted as we are about the terror attacks in our cities in the modern day?

I don’t recall the sort of xenophobic jingoism about the Irish that we see every day about Muslims. And don’t try and tell me it’s about religion, because Ireland has seen its fair share of division due to religious beliefs and we did not see the hatred toward the Irish that we see toward our Muslims.

“Immigration!” is shouted time and time again. But read the history books – the Irish were forced to leave their country due to starvation and fled to mainland Britain as well as the US. They were welcomed, not shunned and treated as terrorists. We didn’t see the hatred toward Irish migrants that we see from UK Nationalists toward migrants in our country today.

I bet an Irish person never had to worry about not getting a Visa to enter the US. It appears that the far right logic suggesting if someone is a terrorist and Muslim, then all Muslims are terrorists only applies in that very specific case.

Below is a list of some of the worst attacks over a 35 year period and the number of dead and injured. Quite an eye opener, don’t you think?

February 1974 – Coach carrying soldiers and families in northern England is bombed by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Twelve people killed, 14 hurt.

October-November 1974 – Wave of IRA bombs in British pubs kills 28 people and wounds more than 200.

July 1982 – Two IRA bomb attacks on soldiers in London’s royal parks kill 11 people and wound 50.

December 1983 – IRA bomb at Harrods department store kills six.

October 1984 – Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet narrowly escapes IRA bomb that kills five people at Brighton hotel during Conservative Party’s annual conference.

September 1989 – Bomb at Royal Marines Music School in Deal, southeast England, kills 11 and wounds 22.

February 1990 – Explosion at Army recruitment centre in Leicester. Two wounded.

May 1990 – Seven wounded by blast at Army Educational Service headquarters in London suburb of Eltham.

May 1990 – One soldier is killed and another wounded by car bomb in Wembley.

June 1990 – Soldier is shot dead at train station in Lichfield.

February 1991 – IRA comes close to killing Prime Minister John Major and key cabinet members in a mortar attack on Downing Street. One of three mortar bombs slammed into garden behind building, exploding within 50 feet (15 metres) of the target.

ALSO IN UK

Police identify British-born attacker, victim count rises to four

Confusion and fear – Theresa May’s London attack escape

April 1992 – Huge car bomb outside Baltic Exchange in London’s financial district kills three people and wounds 91.

March 1993 – Bombs in two litter bins in Warrington kill two boys aged three and 12.

April 1993 – IRA truck bomb devastates Bishopsgate area of London’s financial district, killing one and wounding 44.

February 1996 – Two people die when IRA paramilitaries detonate large bomb in London’s Docklands area.

March 2001 – Car bomb explodes outside BBC’s London headquarters. Police say the Real IRA, a republican splinter group opposed to the IRA’s cease-fire, was behind the blast. One man was wounded.

May 2011 – A warning comes from Irish dissident republicans opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland.

(Dates by David Cutler; London Editorial Reference Unit)

So will someone please tell me what went so wrong with us as a nation that we can treat innocent people like this? Why we used to understand that one or two individuals don’t represent a faith or a country but now we hold entire communities accountable for the acts of the few. When did we learn to hate like this?

 

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3 thoughts on “When Did We Learn To Hate Like This?

  1. Hate is taught by the koran and it’s scholors. Louis Farrakhan just made a long anti semetic speech too. Hate is also tought when people become victims of crime and when their rights are being stolen from them because of hate speech laws that they protect violent criminals for diversity’s sake.

  2. I’m not sure we have changed, sadly. I think there has hitherto been a silent and significant part of our society which have always harboured bigotry. They just didn’t quite have the triggers required to release the bile and hatred.

    In the case of “the troubles’, any prejudice against the Irish was viewed through the common perception that they were sort of similar to the British so whilst there was hatred afoot, it was more limited, as your excellent article pointed out. However, the treatment of Muslims in the wake of the ISIS atrocities had one added dimension, namely the perception of race which has combined to fuel a widespread, and particularly toxic, form of hatred.

    It’s the underlying racism which has always been there, lying dormant, waiting for its day in what is at least a significant majority of the population. That racism was the trigger which generated the hatred. But it took another ingredient to unleash that hatred, and that arrived in the form of Brexit. Suddenly the bigots, even the meek bigots, were given license to hate and the victims who ticked all their boxes were the Muslims.

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