May 29, 2024

What would enable a normally tame human being to commit atrocrious acts against another human being? What would enable mothers to go against their basic instincts and murder their unborn children? What would enable Americans to slaughter the native American Indian population so they could take over their land? What would allow Nazi Germany to kill off races that are “unpure”? What would allow outstanding men to enslave an entire race of people and deny them their rights as human beings? What would enable nations to rage wars against another nation and wipe out whole cities?

The source of all these things is that they have dehumanized another human being. Once we dehumanize another person, then we no longer have to treat them as a human being. We can then treat them as we would any inanimate object. We can step on it, beat on it, then throw it away without any remorse.

According to a 10 year study by the Advanced Anthropological Research on Global Humans, it concluded that 99.9% of mankind are humans (with ±0.1% statistical error). And it’s not just those we hate that we dehumanize. We also dehumanize superstars and make idols out of them. But, they have to pay their electricity bills and figure out their bank statements (well, at least their accountant has to do it). And they have to use toilet tissue after they poop just like the rest of us.

So, how can we de-dehumanize people? We can start by talking with them. We sit down with them face-to-face and listen to their stories. About how they too are struggling with their wayward son, about how they are being mistreated at work, and about their joys in their children’s accomplishments.

We all have joys and fears. We all can laugh and cry. It doesn’t matter if we’re red or black, fat or thin, Democrat or Republican, smart or dumb, Yankee or Redneck, we’re all humans. And when we are tempted to treat another human as less than human, we need to resist dehumanizing them and instead we need to de-dehumanize them.