Confronting Aggressive Scapegoating in the Family and Society
Scapegoating is always a group phenomenon. How do you stop it in your family and community?
It’s Happening in the Nation
There is a psychological and sociological phenomenon that is rife in our political, family, and social context today. Scapegoating is the process of social exclusion that begins with the projection of negative attributes and traits onto one person or a class of persons with the intent of rejecting their right of membership in the group. Such projection arouses fears of rejection and annihilation in those who are scapegoated.It must be emphasized that scapegoating is always a group phenomenon.
Racism is an extreme and systemic form of scapegoating that has deep roots in the constitutional foundation of the United States. This means the confrontation of scapegoating must be initiated and pursued by the entire nation not just a select few dedicated activists. All of the people’s representatives in government and leaders in public policy must be engaged. Each member of the society must take a stand. No one must remain silent.
Unchallenged, aggressive scapegoating will inevitably cause the dissolution of the body politic and our nation.
It’s in Your Family
When a member of a family is aggressively scapegoated, each member must recognize their contribution to the process. No member is exempt from this obligation. This takes courage to face the consequences of your own aggression. Each person must acknowledge that one of your own will be cast off by you and your silent complicity with the other family members.
In the highly polarized conflict surrounding the 2020 election, the possibility of doing damage to a family member or to the relationships that bind a family with mutual respect is great. The fabric of the family’s cohesion is threatened.
Each family member must assume a leadership role to confront the aggressive scapegoating of a member by the entire group. Passive behavior in the face of such aggression will only contribute to the exclusion and extirpation of the individual who is attacked.
No one must remain silent.
If your family relationships are stretched to the breaking point or even just less than ideal, consider family therapy. It’s one of our specialties here at the Berkeley Group & Family Therapy Institute.