Expert talks to students about hate, violence

By BY TYLER WOLFE

The Parthenon

Published: Monday, March 14, 2011

Updated: Monday, March 14, 2011

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Tyler Wolfe | The Parthenon

Jack Levin, professor of sociology at Northeastern University in Boston, spoke at Marshall University on Monday about hate and violence. The speaker was sponsored by Marshall’s sociology department.

A decorated hate expert informed Marshall University students about the origin and harmful nature of hate Monday.

In a Marshall University sociology department-sponsored address to students and faculty, Jack Levin, a Northeastern University professor in sociology in Boston, said there are two kinds of hate.

"Hate often comes from our culture," hate and violence expert Jack Levin said. "It's as normal as apple pie and motherhood and Gatorade, you name it. But there is also a pathological form of hate. Fortunately that's pretty rare."

According to Levin, the more dangerous and destructive form of hate comes from a pathological disorder or from an irrational building of hate. Levin said this form of hate is what brings tragedy.

"The ‘normal' kind of hate doesn't lead to murders," Levin said. "It's what we learn around dinner tables from our parents and friends. It's as common place as breathing."

According to Levin, violence is a man's game.

"Violence is a masculine pursuit," Levin said. "There are women and girls who commit violence, but men commit 91 percent of murders. Most of the individuals involved with school shootings are men. It should not surprise you most of our hate-mongers are men."

 Levin broke hate crimes and violence into four categories of attacks. He claims thrill, defensive and retaliatory attacks are committed by ‘part-time' offenders while a more dedicated ‘career' hate-monger typically commits offenses that have a mission.

 "Most of these hate crimes are committed by what I call ‘dabblers,'" Levin said. "They don't do this as a career but as a part-time hobby."

  According to Levin, it only takes one person to be the leader and start the act of a hate crime. He said a leader would find followers who will commit the hate crimes alongside them.

  "It only takes one hate-filled leader," Levin said. "Usually if there is a leader, they will find those to follow them."

 Levin, confessed Jewish-American, shared stories of growing up in the southern U.S. in a time where the ‘Jim Crowe doctrine' flourished.

 "I remember growing up and using the white water fountains and waiting rooms while the African-Americans had to use the ‘colored' water fountains," Levin said. "I remember seeing signs on buses for ‘coloreds' to sit in the rear. And what did I do about this? Nothing. Why? Because I didn't want to lose my friends. And I feel like that's why I have dedicated my life to stopping hate crimes and violence.

 According to Levin, there's a new movement of anti-Semitism coming from the left — a rise in violent ‘skinhead' groups and a large number of attacks against minority groups all over the world.

 Levin also stated after Sept. 11, 2001 there was a 1600 percent rise in hate crimes against Muslim-Americans, and an even larger percentage against innocent American citizens was only because they were seen as foreigners.

 According to Levin, immigrants have the lowest crime rate in the country.

 "El Paso, Texas, is about 70 percent immigrants," Levin said. "And it's right across the border from Juarez, Mexico, where about 1,800 people are murdered every year. But in El Paso, they have almost no murders. If you don't want to go there check out Laredo, Texas; Mesa, Arizona or San Diego, Ca. And their murder rates are so low because of the high number of immigrants."

"It's interesting to see another perspective and what someone else thinks about hate and violence," said Mitchell McNamara, 18, from Scotch Place, N.J. "You don't see a lot of hate here on campus, but I saw a lot of it where I'm from and was a victim of it because of my religion."

Jack Levin has co-authored 30 books and has published over 150 articles in journalism and newspapers involving hate across America and worldwide. He has appeared on television programs including Dateline NBC, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Oprah, The O'Reilly Factor, and Larry King Live.

Tyler Wolfe can be contacted at wolfe109@marshall.edu.

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