Hate: The Ultimate Uniter

This should be a non-issue.

In my possibly idealistic mind, people are simply who they are, and should be accepted as so. If you get along with certain people, then you get along with them.  If one of my friend’s parents had genetically engineered him to be as he is, it wouldn’t be fair or logical for me to dislike him simply for that reason.

But that’s not human nature, and biases quickly arise out of jealousies and logical fallacies.

(We saw this play out with the Sleepless and become exacerbated in the Nancy Kress’ “Beggars in Spain” story from her Beaker’s Dozen novel.)

As I’m typing this, I realize that, inversely enough, hate is the universal element that unites people.  As Americans, we’ve systematically slaughtered Native American Indians, hated against black slaves with previously-sanctioned laws, and dehumanized our Vietnamese, German, Japanese, Iraqi, and other enemies of war. In order for us to unite as a collective whole and rise above our inherent racism once and for all, we may just need a new scapegoat for our hate. And as full human genetic engineering grows increasingly likely, hating against any “non-humans” is the simply the next “logical” (or shall I say “emotional”) step.

As witnessed in the recent film District 9, when aliens come to reside on Earth in Johannesburg, South Africa, the apartheid/genocide that previously plagued the area came to a halt and the people were united against the common, “non-human” enemy.

The creatures are given permission to leave their craft and live on Earth but are housed in a squalorous government camp. The alien race’s true name is never learned; they are primarily referred to as “prawns”, a derogatory term referring to the bottom-feeding sea creature they resemble or, more rarely, “non-humans”. Overcrowding and militarization eventually turn the area into a slum known as District 9. A massive black market is set up between the aliens and a group of Nigerians primarily led by Mumbo, a paralyzed warlord. In addition to inter-species prostitution, the Nigerians exchange canned cat food for alien weapons, of which the cat food has a similar effect to catnip on the aliens.

The present story takes place in 2010. Patience over the alien situation among the human population of Johannesburg has run out and control over them has been contracted to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company that shows little regard for the aliens’ welfare. MNU’s actual agenda is their interest in the aliens’ advanced weaponry, but its integration with alien biology makes it useless for humans.

District 9 Trailer

Sadly, the precedence for biases, and the discrimination that results from it, is already primed in the human mind. A lack of understanding usually results in fear, which usually results in hatred, which usually results in violence, and the reality of an attack on genetically engineered humans who have been dehumanized is all too likely.

“An hour later the broadcast and datanet news had exploded in speculation, drama, outrage, and fear.” But in essence, “they’re all fear, of one kind or another” (“Beggars in Spain,” 68).

Something to think about.

–Justin Barisich


~ by justin.barisich on April 2, 2010.

One Response to “Hate: The Ultimate Uniter”

  1. You’re right: this should be a non-issue. Unfortunately we are all bound by prejudicies. And I don’t see that changing any time soon. However, now we will be biased against genetically enhanced beings. There will always be people more fortunate, smarter, stronger…

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