Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Second Image

In the last few weeks, more Shiite killed more Sunni, more Palestinians were killed by Jews, Hamas and Fatah killed each other some more, some Whites hated some Blacks, some Blacks hated some Whites, and fundamentalists killed many seculars and non-seculars alike.

It's really all so . . . tragic. Not just because of lives lost, but also because all of this is based largely on differentiating themselves from the "Other." You're different . . . BANG!

Nevermind that biologically we're all alike. We all have the same ancestor. I heard a blurb about the Human Genome Project on today's Writer's Almanac: that everyone on Earth - all 6 billion of us - can trace our ancestor back 7,000 generations.

Here's a USA Today article from last year:

" "Had you entered any village on Earth in around 3,000 B.C., the first person you would have met would probably be your ancestor," statistician Jotun Hein of England's Oxford University marveled.

It also means that all of us have ancestors of every color and creed. Every Palestinian suicide bomber has Jews in his past. Every Sunni Muslim in Iraq is descended from at least one Shiite. And every Klansman's family has African roots."

Many cultures pride themselves in honoring their ancestors. Let's practice what we preach.

1 comment:

Allum Barstansangur said...

I think it's an issue of brute, animal, instinctual territorialism that leads to a lot of this hatred and violence.

We are geared for self-protection as a species. In ancient times, anyone from outside our "tribe" was a clear and present danger and so somewhere, hardcoded in our brains, exists a distrust and fear of anyone our immediate society labels as "different".

Sometimes this leads to racism, other times to violence or turf war etc.

It's sad that as a species we can't outgrow these unnecessary traits that protected our most ancient ancestors from attack, or live in an age of reason where people were educated enough to make their own informed choices on such societal constructs as race and nationality.

I'm too cynical to believe it will ever go away in my lifetime, but I personally won't stand by and see any of my friends or family behave this way...and I think that's the best anyone can truly do about it.