Dehumanizing Others, Dehumanizes Ourselves

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While our history is filled with one people group, or another, dehumanizing other people groups, it seems like, today, we are reaching new levels in our desire to dehumanize others. We do this by saying, ‘Mexicans are crooks, drug dealers, and rapists. We need a wall.’ We say Blacks are, ‘thieves, leaches, welfare-babies, system abusers, fatherless, who refuse to follow our civil, and criminal, laws, so we need more police.’ We say Muslims are, ‘liars, sneaky, dirty, and we need to carpet bomb them back to the stone age.’ We say the Poor are, ‘entitled, takers, lazy, drug-addicted, people who simply want to take [steal] what is rightful ours, and they need to get a job like the rest of us.’

We dehumanize others based on their Gender, Religion, Sexuality, Customs, Culture, Color, Age, Political View, and more; basically, we dehumanize anyone who are different from us. If we see ourselves as 100% human, anyone who is different from us, who we see as less than us, must not be fully human, even if the degree of dehumanization is small.

When we take away the personalization of the individual, and subscribe animal qualities to the people groups as a collective we’re in the process of dehumanization; we represent those in the other people groups as, apes, monkeys, dogs, snakes, or other animal our people group finds offensive. But there is more, in order to dehumanize others, we need to place upon them qualities we [in our people group] find offensive; to dehumanize them we say they’re, an abomination, vermin, dirty, leaches, takers, abusers, lazy, smelly, unsocial; we see their religions as wrong, hurtful, evil, abusive, and not true. Once we have successfully placed upon those we seek to dehumanize the labels that dehumanize, we find it easier to discount their needs, desire, and concerns. In fact, we develop generalizations about others, and jokes to make passing along the dehumanization easy, and somehow fun. Because we have, or are in the process of, dehumanizing them we don’t care how the generalizations, or jokes, affect those we seek to dehumanize. After all, they must not feel the same way we do about things, because they’re not like us, they’re not fully human.

Dehumanizing other people groups is important if the “human people group” wished to marginalize the other people groups; you see, it’s easier to push aside those who aren’t truly human. If we see African Americans, Hispanic, Asians, Muslims, Gays, Trans, the poor, and others as not fully human [not like us], it is easier for us to marginalize them, harm them, war with them, ignore their pains, or not care about the conditions in which they live. You see, they’re not human, and they don’t need what we need, as humans, to have a quality of life that we enjoy. One way to see this come to reality, is when the people who are dehumanizing a people group, will, at some point in the conversation, say, “Those people…”

Dehumanizing others always gets to the point where it backfires, when we dehumanize others, we are in fact dehumanizing ourselves. When we dehumanize others, we place ourselves right smack in the middle of proclaiming our own dehumanization; the qualities we use to dehumanize others, are the same qualities that prove our own dehumanization.

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