Educate to Stop the Hate

Educate to Stop the Hate

Kanye West did a thing. Again. It started in the beginning of October, when West took to Instagram to accuse Sean “Diddy” Combs, of being under the influence of “Jewish people” in an attempt to influence West himself. This post was taken down and West’s account was suspended. He then took to Twitter and said that he was going to go “death con 3 on Jewish people,” which was presumably a reference to DEFCON. This tweet was then removed and his Twitter account was suspended. West doing and saying strange and discriminatory things isn’t necessarily new, but it is part of a larger trend that is rising in this country again. 

According to PBS, Antisemetic incidents hit an all time high in 2021– since this figure has begun to be tracked. Last year there were over 2,700 incidents, a 34% increase from 2020. 

This leads to a fairly pressing question regarding the history and fate of our country. Will we always be a country of hate? We seem to be stuck in a fairly controlling cycle of it. Over the course of history, different groups have always hated the other for something, whether that be possession of land or perceived power. Typically, especially in the case of Jewish people, they are the scapegoat that is blamed for things that are going wrong in different questions. In Germany, they were blamed for the economic issues following World War I, in medieval England, Jews were wards of the crown, and as such were resented for their presumed wealth, as many were bankers, and special status. They were expelled from England in 1290 on pain of death. That sentiment also appeared in the US through Jewish immigration quotas and pro-Nazi sentiment and attacks on Jews in the 1930s. There are still demonstrating neo-Nazi/white supremacist groups in the US today, most notably in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Those facts certainly seem to make the case that this cycle of hate is something we both physically and mentally remove ourselves from. A sentiment brought into even starker contrast these past few weeks, when protestors in LA hung a sign from a freeway bridge saying, “Honk if you know Kanye is right about the Jews.”

The response to West’s statements may engender some hope, with Creighton University banning his music from being played at events and Adidas dropping their partnership with West’s Yeezy line. However, one can argue that punishing violations of today’s societal standards doesn’t address the root of the problem, which must lie in one place and one place alone: education. 

We live in a society today where there can be, or shouldn’t be, an excuse for lack of education. Skepticism and hatred comes from a lack of understanding. When we see something we don’t understand, we’re afraid of it, that’s human nature, a survival instinct. Then, that lesson is passed down through generations, unless education can break the cycle. This is a twofold process. Jewish traditions need to be taught so that they no longer appear to be “other” or “apart from the norm.” Economic education also needs to be addressed, as many of the fears and anger regarding different races or peoples comes from a place of fear regarding personal loss. People have historically feared those immigrant populations because they are afraid of losing jobs to them. According to the ACLU, this is a fallacy, as there is not a fixed number of jobs in the economy, as they expand total output of the economy and increase the amount of tax revenue the government collects, which can then be reinvested in new government jobs and projects that create them.

That is information that can be discovered in the short time it takes someone to type something into Google, so there is no reason that we as a country should be allowed to be party to a continued hatred that exists solely because of a lack of education. It is imperative, in fact, that we do not. If we as a country cannot learn to accept all of the people that live here, we can’t ever really begin to unite the country in the way that is necessary for its current survival. With today’s polarization, the only consistent source of information will be the school building. Therefore, it needs to be as broad and involved as humanly possible. Educating everyone to accept everyone. It’s the only hope we have.