Hating Hate

5 Mar

This topic has been bubbling in me for a LONG time.  There is a toxic force that seems to be getting louder and louder in our society – and it is hate.  Hate comes in many forms – “big” hatred that fuels racism, misogamy, homophobia, etc.  Little hate – where people sort of confuse being passionate about something into something that is somehow bigger – for example how Sox fans “Hate” the Cubs, etc.  And more.  I’m not sure how to write about this, other than I know one thing:  I hate hate.

I’m sure my more conservative friends are getting their ire all up right now saying to themselves, “Oh bullshit – you hate Republicans and Conservatives every day on your Facebook wall.”  Actually, no, I don’t.  I do make a strong effort to call out BS, to disagree with positions, to make sure that I point out things that the Republicans are doing that the rest of us might miss (like the Republican state legislators in Indiana and Wisconsin, where one (IN), voted no on a resolution congratulating the Girl Scouts on 100 years of cookie making (or something like that) over something he read on the internet that somehow the Girl Scouts are a front for Planned Parenthood, and the other (WI) introduced legislation that would designate single and gay parenthood as child abuse.  But I don’t hate – I don’t say “I hate these people, I hate Republicans, etc.”  I disgree with them, but I don’t hate.

To me, the definition of “hate” is “the most intense form of dislike possible”, “to wish the worst on someone, something, etc.”  To wish someone or something dead.  That’s what it means to me – and that’s why I hate hate. I wish it were dead.  Hate is to demonize the thing you dislike, if you buy into the concept of demons and Satan.

Hate is what is fueling so much of our extreme political partisanship and rhetoric these days.  Hate is what caused the Holocaust.  Hate is what causes racism.  Hate is what causes the hatred of America in Muslim countries over our own Islamophobia, fueled of course by hate.

I think back on some of the kindest people I’ve known.  My dad was the kindest of all.  I would venture a guess to say that the word “hate” never passed his lips.  Were there things he disliked?  Yes.  Did he “hate”? Never.  Martin Luther King, I’m sure never hated. Neither did Mother Teresa.  Both were tireless advocates for change, for the little people, for those that the rest of the world was determined to hate.

On Facebook, there’s so many people that spew words of hate – and it’s ridiculous.  There’s a guy from my high school, who for some reason or another seems consumed by hate. He “hates” people from big northern cities, he “hates” opposing baseball and basketball teams, he “hates” liberals of course, and really “hates” our President.  This was a guy that, in high school, was one of the coolest, most positive people I had ever met.  Why so much “hate”?

Look, again, I am passionate for what I believe in.  I am a passionate liberal – I truly do believe that our country needs to take care of everyone and that Democratic policy is the right way for our country.  I do believe all of that.  That’s NOT was this post is about.  It is about trying to see if we can rid our world of hate.  Passion?  Yeah – and in fact a common dictionary definition of the word “hate” is “to feel intense or passionate dislike”.  I honestly though don’t “passionately dislike” anything except perhaps bananas but that’s because my stomach “passionately dislikes” them enough to violently expel them should anything banana land there.  I passionately promote what I believe.  But I don’t hate.

The Rush Limbaugh thing is an interesting exercise in hate.  Rush Limbaugh is the embodiment of the hate in our society.  He spends the 4 hours of his program every day trying to get people to hate what the Democrats and Liberals are doing in our politics, but spends almost no time promoting the positions of the Republicans.  You could argue that the social media effort I participated in this weekend, to pressure advertisers to end their support of him, over the “slut” incident was some form of hate. I disagree – instead it was an effort to stop a flood of hate that comes from him. Not once did I say I hate Rush, nor not once did I say that he doesn’t have a right to say what he says.  That all said, I did call for the world to denouce Limbaugh’s hate by contacting and Facebooking and Tweeting about the issue and posting how folks could participate in the process of applying pressure on his advertisers, to not sponsor his hatred.

Think about your words as you use them – don’t “hate” anything.  It is so ugly.  Feel free to point out when you think things are wrong – but then seek to point out how things could be right in a different way.  Let’s give it a try.

As you were,

Stew

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