Nurtured to Hate?

Societal influences can make us act in hateful ways. Violent behavior is nurtured rather than instinctual. In an article published by USA Today, journalists were given an inside look at how North Korean children are being taught to hate America at an astonishingly young age.

As the kindergartner’s school day begins, “Toy pistols, rifles and tanks sit lined up in neat rows on shelves. The school principal pulls out a dummy of an American soldier with a beaked nose and straw-colored hair and explains that the students beat him with batons or pelt him with stones” (Jones). These children were not born with the idea to act violent towards America. North Korean children were not born with a gun in their hands aimed towards America– one of their elders raised them in that mindset.

Even in America, children are being taught to act violently in the Westboro Baptist Church. Member’s children stand beside them boycotting an array of peaceful functions while spitting slurs. Pictured below, two young members of the Westboro Baptist Church exhibit prime example of culture that they received from their parents.

Children Hold Up Signs While Smiling 

Young children rarely grow up preaching hatred out of their own core beliefs, but growing up in a church with such strong hate can influence a child to do almost anything. Others may say that violence and hate is instinctual of humans, yet Nelson Mandela, a South African leader whose contributions to democracy, freedom, and peace revolutionized politics, emphasized  “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate.”

Likewise, in an article published by Psychology Today, psychologists explained how violence by nature cannot be an option in today’s society. The researchers state that “There is no consistent system or pattern in the human body or mind that we can point out as the seat or the main actor in aggressive behavior” (Fuentes).

Therefore, the ability to act violent must be taught. Humans are taught to hate from the society they are surrounded in. From North Korea to here in America, nurtured violence sticks out like a sore thumb. We are born to love each other, yet our backgrounds teach us to hate.