Terror Management theory
The Terror management theory attempts to explore a type of defensive human thinking and behavior that stems from our awareness and fear of death. According to Terror Management theory, death anxiety drives us to develop global perspectives that protect our sense of self-esteem, worthiness and sustainability and allow us to believe that we carry out an influential role in a meaningful world. Our survival instincts, and the need to emphasize our cultural significance in the face of death, often result in displays of prejudice, or the belief that the group with which we identify is superior to other groups. In this way, we verify our self-importance and separate ourselves from our deep fear of permanently living a trivial life that is exterminated by death.
Incidents that took place in Charlottesville shed a light upon the grotesque influence of prejudice, and racism. Earlier in 2017, the Charlottesville City Council had voted to remove the Lee statue (a confederate statue) and rename the park where it is located. A group of white nationalists protested the decision in May and that protest paled in comparison to what unfolded in August.The "Unite the Right" rally was scheduled for Sat. Aug. 12 and participants started to gather in Charlottesville the night before. The group of white supremacists holding lit tiki torches marched through the campus of the University of Virginia, chanting "white lives matter," "you will not replace us," and the Nazi-associated phrase "blood and soil." The following morning Counter-Protestors were demonstrating against the white supremacist gathering and brutal violence shattered the streets of Virginia.
The violence that took place was a reflection of the white supremacist groups’ belief that white people are superior to those of all other races, especially the black race, and should therefore dominate society. Due to that toxic belief of superiority that stemmed from excessive and noxious self-esteem thus hate, violence, narcissism, and terror became a nationwide epidemic and sadly the common language of our nation. Terror Management theory proposes that we are motivated to develop close relationships within our own cultural group in order to feel powerful and significant by imposing our superiority on groups that may seem inferior to us which sometimes results in hate, prejudice, greed, injustice, brutality, racism, and discrimination within our society.
Terror Management theory