Under Construction

Quite a few people I've come to know who have more prejudice and distrust than most, I've found to have a deep rooted lack of self-esteem.
These are successful seemingly happy people on the surface but when you get to really know them there deep rooted internal misgivings.

People with addictions (substance abuse, compulsive gambling, compulsive spending, Porn, ) for whatever reason also feel bad about themselves.

People have a deep need to be significant.

Rick Warren, "The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?" says, Everyone wants to know what your are here for. Is your life significant?
"Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning.Without meaning, life has no significance or hope."

Christena Cleveland, Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart says,
"Most teenagers will do almost anything to gain significance. This includes banding with others who are similar -- those who agree with them, affirm them and confirm that they are in fact valuable and good"
Noted developmental psychologist Erik Erikson pointed out that "Who am I?" is a question we begin consciously asking around adolescence and continure asking for the rest of our lives.

People raise their own self-esteem by putting down others.

There have also been reports claiming the racism in the south is a result of loosing the civil war.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the power in the US shifted from the agrarian society of the south (Jefferson, Washington) to the industrialized north. This along with the loss of the Civil War left many in the south feeling put down.

This gave rise to much more fundamental religious beliefs in the Bible Belt. Unfortunately other groups like the KKK gained power also.
Some speculate that the Scopes Monkey Trial (to stop teaching of evolution) was a result of this.
See Lost Cause of the Confederacy - Wikipedia
"The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The 'Great Truth' about the 'Lost Cause'" (University Press of Mississippi, 2010).
Scientists vs Salesmen

Many times it comes from problems in childhood.
See 10 Sources of Low Self-Esteem | Psychology Today

Religion is a common way for people to gain self-esteem.
There are verses like Matthew 20:16 "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."
And if God, the creator, sustainer, redeemer, is on your side you are among the chosen.
I'm not putting down religion, I've been a church goer all my life and an active member of my Church for the last 20 years.

This often showes up as a conservative view putting down poor people (lazy), Muslims (Violent. out to get us), Liberals (spendthrifts, government control), Scientists (evolution, climate change)...

Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart , 2013 Christena Cleveland

Religion and the US South | Southern Spaces

last updated 12 Sept 2016