Unidirectional Empathy Is Now the Cornerstone of Modern Society

In the aftermath of 9/11, Americans were given a persistent and unquestioned drumbeat of messages instructing them not to seek retribution, but to show grace and mercy towards those whose people had carried out the attacks. They were told to go shopping with their Islamic neighbors so that they would feel more comfortable. They were told to walk to work with their Arabic or Asian coworkers to avoid any possibility that the members of the society in the same people group as the attackers would feel separate from those against whom the attacks were directed. 

This mantra has been repeated over and over again following attack after attack in America and Europe. However, the response to the attack in El Paso has confirmed that this phenomenon is solely unidirectional in nature. When a person whose ancestry lies outside  America or Europe commits an attack against the native population, the messaging is to show kindness to the remainder of the group as they were not involved in the attack and should not bear a social cost for the individuals that carried it out. However, when a person from Europe or America carries out an identical attack, the messaging is that every person in that group is responsible, that the group is flawed, and that the entire people group should bear both social and legal costs as a result.

On one side, someone from another nation can throw a child off a balcony, throw a mother and child in front of a train, kidnap, rape, and murder a young woman, drive a truck through crowds of children in Sweden or France, set off explosives at a concert full of children, kill more than 100 people in synchronized attacks, or coordinate a ring of men that rapes hundreds of little girls over decades, and never once are the victims allowed to ask what can be done to protect themselves from the aggressors. Never once is it explained why foreign men are allowed to come into their country and carry out such heinous acts.

On the other side, the rare times when men from Europe or America engage in acts of terror, there is no discussion of what drove those acts. There are no calls to understand the motives of the shooter. There is certainly no call to shield the remainder of that population from scorn or attack. Instead, members of all other groups unite in a single voice to call for the punishment of that group. Some of them call to confiscate the weapons of that group and some call for the complete annihilation of the group.

For decades, the flow of people in the globe has been one-directional -- from all other nations into Europe and America. There is no movement of people between other nations or in the opposite direction. It appears that the flow of grace and mercy has been equally disparate. Where grace and mercy is shown by the native populations, only hatred and contempt is given in return.  

This unidirectional empathy manifests in more ways than just responses to attacks. Crimes and attacks against native populations are often underreported or distorted, while crimes committed by Americans and Europeans against others are grossly exaggerated. This means that when a member of one group is beaten to death, instead of sympathy for the victims and anger towards the aggressor, the message put forth is to empathize with the aggressor and be angry at the society created by the group whose member was beaten to death. It means that when a man stands on the street and attempts to slaughter all members of a group he encounters, then the story is buried as an isolated incident. It means that officers refuse to investigate repeated and legitimate accusations of grooming gangs for fear of upsetting the balance of empathy.

The exaggeration of violence against minorities manifests both in the wholesale creation of false crimes as well as false accusations involving actual crimes. An actor can create an absurd tale of being attacked in the middle of the night and the story is given credence despite its impossibility. Whole groups make claims of offenses later shown to be false. A state representative can make provably false claims about an encounter in a grocery store line, and the media treats it as more of a crime than the aforementioned murders. The death of a child is framed as a hate crime despite knowledge that the crime was actually committed by another group. 

Verbal altercations are treated as hate crimes in one direction while murders committed with the express purpose of racial hatred are not given a second glance.

This is not a situation that can stand the test of time. A society cannot function when the outstanding groups universally decide that a single group is undeserving of compassion. A government is not representative of the people when it allows such views to be acted upon in the form of legislation.

A nation cannot survive when it is populated and ruled by those that hate it.