There is such talk about friends and enemies
So many people fighting
Naming others as Evil
The rich are evil, for they exploit the poor
The poor are evil, for they are lazy
The Republicans are evil, for they are heartless
The Democrats are evil, for they are robbers
Christians Muslims and Jews are evil, for they disturb the peace
Atheists are evil, for they are godless infidels
Is everyone pointing to others as evil?
Is anyone truly good?
One group points another and names them as the problem
If a people is the problem, what is the solution?
Recently, I have been hearing rhetoric that suggests that the problems of society are tied to a certain group that can be identified as different. Among recently vilified groups have been the “Mexicans” (legal, or illegal), the Muslims, the Republicans, the Rich, the workers, the poor, and religious people in general. The thing is, that with the exception of criminals, malicious behavior is not the defining factor of the group. Because some (insert group name here) are hateful does not make the whole group hateful. It would be fair to say the super-majority of Christians, Muslims, and Jews desire peace with one another. Demonizing the majority, or even a minority of the world-population is likely not a route to peace.
I am deeply concerned that the practice of naming a group of people as the “problem” (whether it is a single religious group or ethnic group — or all other religious or ethnic groups) leads to the “solution” of attempting to eliminate the people. Such a solution is not a path to peace or reconciliation. A better path would be to put aside fear of those differences, recognize and strengthen the good and humanity within ourselves, and to have enough respect for others to recognize that just because they disagree does not make them malicious or bigoted.
We can work for peace and social justice, but as long as we name a demographic or a people as the problem, the solution we find for that problem cannot be just. A bigger issue is that when the applied solution fails, we are left seeking another problem to solve.