Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Suspicion, Hate, and Destruction

My last competed manuscript is set in Ireland during the late 1500s. The Renaissance had spread to most of Europe, but alas, Ireland was no longer the land of "saints and scholars," and cities like Dublin and Galway had little chance of rising to the heights of Rome and London. When Henry Tudor and his descendants sat upon the throne of England, Ireland lost what little autonomy it had. Why? Prior to the Tudors, Ireland had been a curiosity of sorts for the Brits. Yes, they had a foothold in the isle, but prior to the Tudor ascendency, the Irish were simply people with strange customs and a garbled language, inhabiting a portion of thew island. When Henry broke from Rome, the Irish became much more problematic. They were loyal to the Church of Rome and would welcome claimants to the throne, such as Philip of Spain and Mary of Scotland. Thus, this race of strange people had to be subdued. Why do I bring this up? I bring it up because I see the effects of hate all around me.

The suppression of Ireland resulted from the same type of suspicion that now threatens to divide people and set them against each other. Our world is in transition because of technology and ability to travel more freely. More and more people encounter each other, but many of them don't like those from other cultures invading their own space. Recent events have caused me to wonder why human beings are suspicious of each other. In centuries past, the Irish had reason to suspect the British. The oppression of Ireland was brutal and cruel, and I wondered why this was. Of course, the superficial reason was that the oppressors wanted the land, and that's true. However, I think the reason for the oppression lies deep within the human psyche. Human beings fear the "Other." Many people don't like those not similar to them in race, religion, or creed, and social networks have provided people the means to vent their frustration and even their hate. Recently, I've noted posts on Facebook and Twitter condemning "foreigners" or persons of different races or religions. Many of the posts express resentment of the supposed privileges those not native born receive, but most simply resent the presence of those who do not look like them or do not practice their customs. Understand that these comments are not restricted to one country or race. An American woman said she felt "like a stranger in {her} own country." A Brit wanted to leave England to escape foreigners.
An Irishmen railed about Muslims.

I'm not saying that people have to love others or that they even have to socialize. That is their right, but what these people don't like is that what is "familiar" no longer exists. I understand this insecurity to an extent. America is no longer a Rockwell portrait. Britain is no longer a scene taken from Dickens. Ireland is no longer identical to the land of Joyce. Some people don't like that change and want to hold onto the landscape of the past. I'm not saying that all immigrants behave well or that all natives of a place behave badly, but we need to find a common ground. We don't need to adopt others' views in order accept them as human beings.

I've found myself writing about hate a great deal. This proclivity hasn't been conscious on my part, but for some reason, I have gravitated to this issue. When I wrote BURIED TRUTHS (, I examined the story of two lovers torn apart because of race. When I wrote LOVE AT WAR (, I examined lovers damaged by a war started when a madman thought he could eliminate a race of people and rule the world. In my latest manuscript, I've looked at a country almost wiped away because of prejudice, fear, and suspicion. Unless we learn to accept each other, this world will explode in a blood-filled paroxysm of fear and hatred.

1 comment:

  1. Hi hopefully I'm in the right place. I've never entered a live blogging. I'm new at this. I'll peek around. Enjoyed reading about you.