It is so, so, so deliciously easy to hate somebody without even knowing them. In fact, not knowing somebody as a person but as part of a group is a great help.
As an example, many Americans feel very comfortable these days communicating their less-than-favorable views on immigrants — economic burdens, dangerous criminals, existential threats. You know, the same basic take Americans had on the 19th century Irish or 20th century Italians.
This got kind of turned around on me when the college admission scandal broke this week. My immediate reaction to those wealthy and famous people bribing their kids' way into marquee universities? "Frickin' rich people! Overly privileged bastards, all of them! Lousy, stinkin'..."
Wait a minute... I know several thoroughly honest, morally sound people who also happen to be fairly affluent. Plus, by most world standards, I myself could be considered rich (And I'm delightful!). So perhaps it's not the healthiest thing in the world to fall in that trap.
I'm still upset with those parents who lied, cheated, and stole. Even more so as details emerge. I look forward to their prosecution and justice being served. But I will try to be more careful with open declarations of loathing for entire groups of people. (I still, however, reserve all rights to loathe individuals.)
John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.