"Devaluing of the outsider is part and parcel of everyday life. Depending on which group we designate as the outsider, our scorn may be directed at “liberals,” “Republicans,” “blacks,” “Jews,” “yuppies,” or “welfare bums”: however the outsider is designated. Such disidentification can authorize unethical, mean, and destructive behavior against the outsider, behavior that otherwise would cause guilt for violating ethical norms. Devaluation of the outsider is tribal behavior and so universal as to suggest a “basic law of groups”: Be one of us and we will love you; leave us and we will kill you.
Devaluing the outsider reassures the insider that he or she is good, special, and deserving, unlike the outsider. Such a belief is a distortion of reality; if one considers the different circumstances of each person’s development and life context, one is hard put to judge another person to be intrinsically inferior to oneself. Certainly, actions can be judged, but human beings are one species, at eye level with each other."
The Fellas (Friends of Alcoholics Anonymous)
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