RTD: When is Hate Taught?

When does the hating start?

As a kid I never hated someone because they were different than me.  I only hated them if they stole my toys or were better than me at sports.  Hating someone based on the color of their skin or their sexual preference was something that never crossed my mind.  Nor should it ever cross the mind of a little kid.

I look at my kids now and there isn’t an ounce of hate in their bodies.  Sure there are times that they hate each other, but that’s a story for another post.  Why is it that they don’t see people as black and white or gay and straight now, but as they get older, surely they will?  I’m not raising my kids to be racists or bigots, but I do know that at some point racist and bigoted thoughts will enter their minds.  Hopefully they don’t go up to someone and call them a nigger or a faggot, but sadly they will know what those two words mean.

I am pretty certain that they are not teaching my kids to hate other people in school.  I don’t remember teachers standing up in front of the class and telling us that we were supposed to look down on other people that weren’t like us.  Perhaps I am wrong, but Bigotry 101 was not a class that was taught in college as well.

Is this the type of thing that is taught in church?  I haven’t been to church in 25 years and my kids have never been, so I can’t really comment on it.  I know there are many people that believe certain lifestyles are a sin, but I just can’t comprehend that they are having Sunday sermons teaching people to hate one another.

Do minorities and people with “alternate lifestyles” bring this upon themselves?  I have never seen one person walking around with a sign asking people to hate them for who they were.  I know that unfortunately stereotypes exist for a reason.  Certain people just seem to do certain things, but I also know that stupid people do stupid things and that has nothing to do with their race or sexual preference.

So when does it all begin, and when will it ever stop?

Is it something that will ever stop?

Take some time this week to reflect on how to teach compassion, empathy, and tolerance to your children.  Then join us this Wednesday as we chat about hate, our kids, and the lessons we want them to learn.  #DadsRT starts at 6Pacific/9Eastern.  


The Beginning
About Daddysincharge

After 15 years as a News Photographer in the fast paced world of television news, I am now knee deep in Legos and laundry as the stay at home dad to to little boys. It was my choice to stay at home, so don't look at me like I am some kid of freak show. We're all parents just trying to raise our kids the right way. Some might be better at it than others, but if our kids love us for who we are, who cares.

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  1. Brad the Dad says:

    This is always a tough one to put a finger on. I have a 6yo and a 3yo and right now my oldest is learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. in school and asking all of the questions you would expect a curious 6yo to ask. I know this is a necessary step in life to get introduced to such things so we can learn from them and give proper respect to the hardships that were faced and the people that fought to overcome them, but a part of me mourns the loss of his innocence. The innocence that my 3yo has right now with his best friend at daycare who is of a very different skin color. For me, what Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of exists right now with my 3yo and his best friend. None of this stuff is in their heads yet, they are simply friends who saw each other out at Friendly’s the other night and it was like the greatest thing ever for them. I know, I know, I know. I know all of what’s said next about learning from and respecting history, about the importance of knowledge, and this is our reality and can’t stick our heads in the ground and ignore, but I’m sorry, I can’t help but look at these two kids and think that us adults are going butt in at some point and mess with the simplicity of their friendship. I know this “ignorance is bliss” thinking isn’t reality, it’s just hard to think about everything we hope to achieve as a society with regards to hate and racism and stereotypes already exists, but then we grow up.

  2. I am fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest. There are more interracial couples (myself included) and little mixed children running around here than anywhere else.

  3. Aaron Yavelberg says:

    I actually think a lot of the teaching happens without us even realizing it. It has to do with the language we use. Anytime we use the word “gypped” or the phrase “Jew him down,” we’re teaching lessons about gypsies and Jews, respectively. In sports, what does it mean when we cheer for the Cleveland Indians (check out their logo), the Washington Redskins or do the Tomahawk Chop at Atlanta Braves games? Few people today, if any, actively think of these teams or actions as racist; I’m sure most people just associate the actions with supporting their team. But our society and our language is filled with similar subliminal messages about our attitudes towards people from different cultures.

This is what I think...