This is a very intriguing question and also the title of a well-written and insightful editorial in this Sunday's Boston Globe, co-authored by Jack Levin, Director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict and Arnold Arluke, Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University.
To quote Levin and Arluke, though we have been saying this at KnowThyNeighbor all along, " Most hate is cultural. Normal people learn to hate from an early age from parents, teachers, friends, co-workers and the media. They might never translate their bigotry into behavior beyond using stereotypical epithets and telling bigoted jokes. But some hate is pathological. It becomes so severe that it takes control of a person's life, causing him to become isolated, fearful, self-destructive, and dangerous to others. Haq and Robida seem to have suffered from pathological hate."
The concept of hate, its surge and increase in modern society and the lack of personal ownership of the hate in our own actions is an interesting and important topic of dialogue. This "must read" editorial sheds light on the medical and psychological components of prejudice and makes us aware that "pathological hate" and "racial paranoia" are now offical psychiatric diagnoses and potentially treatable with antipsychotic medication and other forms of therapy. My question is, "How prevalent in our American culture are these 'illnesses?'"
"Their stereotyped views of blacks, Muslims, Jews, or gays would be viewed as delusional, entirely lacking in any reality, rather than as a normal case of prejudiced thinking." Take a stroll to the anti-gay websites of MassResistance, VoteOnMarriage, or the Massachusetts Family Institute and do your own layperson's diagnosis of these groups and their Directors/Spokespeople. Notice I left out Reverend Fred Phelps and the Westborough Baptist Church known for his "God Hates Fags" protests ? As long as Phelps is getting press, the others can maintain a perceived level of acceptance in society.
If "hate" is now considered a treatable mental illness much like alcoholism, I guess that would make Reverend Phelps the out of control drunk with multiple DUI's and Brian Camenker, Kris Mineau, Roberto Miranda, Rob Willington et al, just "Social Drinkers..."
Tom Lang, Director