A critical analysis of
Why We Hate: Understanding, Curbing, and Eliminating Hate in Ourselves and Our World By: Rush W. Dozier, Jr.
In the world today, young teenagers are bringing guns to school, people are flying airplanes into buildings, and riots are erupting in the city streets. Frighteningly enough, these actions find their origins deep within the regions of the human mind, the amygdala (Dozier, 2002, p.5). When this part of the body perceives a particular object as a threat to its survival or chances of reproduction, it commands the body the react aggressively in order to eliminate the threat. This extreme form of aggression, this emotion that drives terrorists to kill perfect strangers and which allows the ex-husband to think that killing his estranged wife and kids is the only way out has another name: hatred. These feelings of hatred that drive these individuals to perform such heinous acts usually go undetected by the general populace, and when the truth is revealed, all we can do is shake our heads and ask, “How did we miss this?” In Rush W. Dozier, Jr.’s book Why We Hate, possible answers to such questions are provided. This book gives solutions to the issue of eliminating hate in modern society and seeks to explain why we hate, why are these feelings so strong, and how they become so destructive.
In his book, Dozier describes hate as a powerful, yet controllable force which originates deep within the primitive brain. He describes hate as an emotion which emphasized an “us versus them” mentality, which allows one to dehumanize his opponent enough to put him on a level that a carnivore would put his prey (Dozier, 2002, p.41). Another reason for such violent outbursts of hate arises from the fact oftentimes, the person either feels physically or mentally trapped by his enemy. Humans are creatures of control, and when one feels trapped, he is experiencing a loss of control. When this happens, his “fight or flight” response kicks in, and, since he is not able to flee, he fights as if it is his last attempt at survival (Dozier, 2002, p.15). With these facts in hand, Dozier then formulates ten steps that he believes are to reduce and/or eliminate hatred within society. For one, he suggests that one should specifically identify the source of his anger in order to make sure it is an actual threat and not just a mental construction. Another is that he should develop an us-us orientation of thought, trying to empathize with other with whom one has no real reason to have any natural sympathy for. One could also communicate one’s, reasons for feeling angry is also another way to reduce feelings of resentment. By airing present grievances, an outlet for anger has been created. Seeking to negotiate constructively by speaking to the one another as intelligent beings without aiming to condescend is another suggestion. Also he theorizes that educating people will alleviate cultural misinterpretations among the masses and give one a deeper understanding of a different ethnicity. Next, make an attempt to form bonds of trust with one another by cooperating with one another in positive ways. And when faced with anger, try to put things into perspective and not overreact. Also, try not to feel trapped. If one’s current situation has his feeling trapped, he should expand his horizons and transform his former frustration into lessons in personal growth. But, if one invariable finds himself within the grips of hate, he should find a way to immerse himself within which that he has come to hate. And last but not least, seek justice, not revenge (Dozier, 2002, pp.31-37).
In an attempt to confirm Dozier’s claim of tolerance through the spread of empathy, a study conducted by Frey and colleges done on school children was consulted. According to the study, the application of perspective taking, problem solving, and anger management leads to the reduction of psychological problems and behavioral problems...
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