Gold hits record high as investors flock to safety– the headline from Reuters this morning. Were I a dedicated historian and had more time, I’d pursue a correlation between the price of gold and an up-tick in ethnic hate. The two sound unrelated, yet I’m wondering if they may be connected.
As citizens watch their assets fade and their dreams deferred, hate for ‘the other’ seems to rise during an economic downturn. Here in The States hard-line conservatives are pulling the citizens further right with their incessant babble about ‘illegals’ and ‘terrorists among us.’ Public opinion polls show a steady tilt right among the citizens these days which sadly mirrors a same trend which occurred in Europe [Germany] after WWI.
There must be something innate in the human psyche that makes us recoil from ‘the other’ in times of stress- a meme that apparently is virulent even in the 21st century. White folks in America are beginning to show signs of feeling threatened by people of color. The Tea Party has tapped into that fear perfectly.
Of course, the historical results of such a shift in tolerance in a society are always ghastly and lethal. The recent stories of the Bosnian War or the genocide in Rwanda ought to be a cautionary reminder to the citizens of a nation of the consequences of intolerance of ‘the other’ in a society.
Yet, we never learn.