Just To Protect Distinctions

September 19, 2010

Not having read a book on the subject of the origin of anti-Semitism, I still want to record some of my hypothesis, based my own observation and knowledge.

In my class, there’s student very different from others. He always lifts his hand and likes to answer questions in the class loudly. He often makes strange gestures to himself when he’s listening to the teacher on full focus. I think it’s his habit that can help him figure out things. And he makes little delightful voices if he suddenly understands something. He even cries when he didn’t do as good as he expected in his theoretical dynamics exam. All of these, as I see it, are nothing bad. Some are his merits that the rest of us rarely have. Some are his habits. Some, however, can indeed be viewed as his psychological weakness. But that’s his own business. Personally, I don’t hide my appreciation for him. I want to be brave like him to answer questions in such a big hall of class. But I didn’t. And when he cried like a little boy wouldn’t it be nice that people come up to him and tell him to be strong?

But the fact is, as far as I know, people dislike him. I asked my friends several times why they didn’t like him. Some said he was strange. Some said his high-profile behavior just makes people feel uncomfortable. And some even said:” Look, he cried simply because he failed to get a good score. How can he live in a society later on?” I told them he didn’t do any harm to anyone of you. He does have his shortcomings but we should help him but not alienate him. People eventually would agree with what I say but just shrug it off and simply “don’t like him”. So for two years, he is an alien among a bunch of terrains. And I’m not feeling good about it.

This makes me wonder, why do a human disgusts another “very different” human even though the different human is kind and never do bad things to the former? I ask myself if I am ruled by the same law. I’m not sure but I hope not. Though on the other hand I’m pretty sure I like people that share similar interests and thoughts with me more. Then if this is true, I want to make a hypothesis as below:

In the ancient times when human being was just begun, it was nature instinct to protect one’s own species. To ensure that this race’s victory over another, natural selection might well happened to solidify the tendency of “loathsome” to another race. Darwin’s theory can be used here. At first this was certainly a positive element for every race. And it was inherited by all the human offspring.

So is it appropriate to assume that the origin of antisemitism came into being this way? I know when Jewish people first arrived in Europe, they still tried to reserve their traditions and believed in their religion. This was strange and alien. And there came the loathsome, later on added to that by malicious intentions, so there were hatred and oppression and, antisemitism. Even if today the new civilization teaches tolerance, diversity and peace, even if today more than half of the Jewish people are secular and behave just “normal”, bad habits and inertia of views toward Jews are hard to invert.

The dilemma here I face is, how different is very different? That alien student in my class is very different and he attracts loathsome. While according to some sources in my friends eyes I myself am also very distinguishable. But I don’t detect the same level of loathsome exerted on that student. Today people are preaching diversity. Yet to what level of diversity won’t it cause conflict? Have human beings really prepared to get rid of the genes their ancestors left behind for them?

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