Can't We All Just Get Along?

Can someone tell me why people choose to hate each other? I developed a recent hobby of using IMDB as an online companion to watching movies. During tonight's presentation of "Hannibal", I went online and found the movie details and also found out that production has begun on two separate movies on the historical Hannibal - the African general from Carthage.

I was aware that there is an ongoing war of words on just how black Hannibal was in real life, but I had no idea people many thousands of years later could use this military leader as a reason to hate one another. I guess, if people can war daily over religious leaders - why could they not do the same over battles long since won and lost?

Long introduction to a post I saw by one disgruntled internet user, who was offended that Denzel Washington would even presume to play an African. He included a great deal of content on how much of North Africa was really Caucasian but the only tidbit worth responding to was the link to this 1911 Encyclopedia. My reply to the inanities of this post and the website is included below for your enjoyment.

Black Hannibal?
Not sure if Denzel stole your lunch money back in the third grade or what any actor (correct me if I am wrong, but have white men not portrayed Othello? Why does the actual race of Hannibal have any impact on which actors can play him) could ever do to anyone that would evince such hatred, but your post did inspire a few thoughts worthy of a response.

This post should be used as an example whenever anyone claims that there is no racism left in the world and that we can now live together as brothers. For some reason, people choose to hate other people and I guess we just need to live with that.

Fascinating encyclopedia that you linked us to; the internet is a vast collection and one never truly knows the veracity of the material found across its many pages. I would say that what I found most interesting about the article was its correlation to known practices of racist European colonizers. All across the globe, wherever the colonial spirit urged them to wander, Europeans examined all of the cultures they found and rated them as to how closely they resembled Europeans. The closer a culture was to the practices of Europeans, the more civilized they were perceived and the more respect they were given. Hence, the praise this article heaped upon the Berbers (farmers) and the disdain shown to the Arabs (nomads). Of course, we all know who lived at the top of this pyramid - and still does - but it goes a long way to explaining the reference point once (and apparently still) used to view the world.

If you are truly interested in learning more about this viewpoint and how it continues to cascade throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, you should read up on the roots of the massacres a decade ago in Rwanda. You might find it interesting how their European colonizers (Dutch, in this case) divided the Hutu's and the Tutsi's into that same "closest to European" dynamic and planted a seed that turned two cultures which had lived side-by-side for millennia into a massive genocidal war in just 100 years.

Ah, the power of hate.

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