That is from Webster online dictionary. We often think of hate as really disliking someone and in that sense the word is greatly overused and usually used hyperbolically. I have used it countless times myself in my lifetime. Here though, I am talking about the definition above and how I don’t really understand it. I understand the words and what it is saying. What I don’t understand is how people get there.
Let’s start with anger. Anger is a common form of hate and while I don’t like it, I can understand it. To a point. IT isn’t that I don’t get angry. Far from it actually, but I very rarely if ever let that anger develop into hate. If someone murders someone close to you, you might have enough anger to hate them. I am not sure I could forgive someone that murdered my wife or child. I think we could all agree that not harboring that hate would make life easier, but not having been in that situation, I can’t say for sure. I can’t even begin to fathom the pain that victim’s families have. So again, I say I can understand the hate. To a point. Where I begin to lose my understanding is when the hate spreads beyond the person responsible for your pain or when your anger is based on someone else’s pain that you might have very little to do with. The Dallas shootings are a good example of this. I don’t know for sure what motivated Micah Johnson, and I doubt anyone knows for sure. All we know is what he said and can infer what he meant by the time and place he chose.
I should add that I was in Dallas at the time of the shooting with my family. We were 3.3 miles away during the shooting. In downtown Dallas, this is not exactly close and we had no idea what was going on. We saw lots of police and closed intersections on the interstate a couple of hours later on the way home, but I figured they were doing DUI road blocks. We were never in any danger.
So a man that was upset at things that were happening to other people in other parts of the country decides that the best course of action is to kill lots of people that had nothing to do with what he was angry about. He let his anger turn into hate. This is the type of hate that makes no sense to me. He was upset about some police officers shooting unarmed minorities. He was rightfully upset. Hell everyone was rightfully upset. I know I was. The problem is how he let his hate manifest and this is where I can’t understand. He is not even remotely the only one to do this, but I will get to those type of pople in a moment. He let it boil into hate and then let his hate twist into hate of certain people in general. There are bad people that do bad things, but we all know, or at least should know, that doesn’t mean that all of that type of person has or will do bad things. Hating all people of a certain race because you don’t like what some of them do or have done is absolutely ridiculous.
Let’s move on to fear which is where I think people start to lose all rational reasoning. To hate people because of fear makes no sense. I know that many people fear change, but why they fear the different so much is beyond me. I know that I might not be the norm, but people’s differences is what makes them interesting. Sure I like to be in the comfort of people I have things in common with, but isn’t learning about other people and cultures more interesting and fulfilling in the long run?
There is an abundant amount of hate for all races, religions and sexual choices and it is growing concerning. Years ago it was considered normal to be racist and it was openly accepted. As time grew on, it became less acceptable to be open about it. I allowed myself to believe that things were getting better. I knew that things weren’t good though. I lived in the south and saw things that proved that we had a long way to go, but I thought it was getting better.
Recently I have come to the conclusion that things are far worse than I had thought. I’m sure they are better than the ‘60s, but is that really saying much? I was blinded by my desire for a better world and it clouded my vision. The recent political events seem to have made it acceptable to be openly racist and prejudice in general. Couple those politics with everyone having a camera in their pocket and the rise of social media and prejudice in the open is exploding.
Camera phones have documented horrendous acts by law enforcement that we have been told for decades was happening, but it was always brushed aside. This has led to an outcry against the police. Again people are hating an entire group of people because of the acts of some.
Social media has made is so much easier for people to spew prejudicial hatred behind the anonymity of the internet. It appalls me that so many woman and minorities can’t even use twitter, Instagram or Facebook without being bombarded with terrible threats and insults. Why would people go through all of the trouble of spewing hatred? How full of hate and ignorance must they be to make that their pastime?
Several things have happened in recent politics that have made it openly accepted to be hatefully prejudice. I’ll leave the presidential election alone, but the so called “bathroom bills” are just too much. LGBTQ is near and dear to me, and this law blows my mind. At first I was shocked but I thought that it was just some extremist politicians and it would be fixed soon. Again I was being naive. Instead of it being fixed, many people took it as an open invitation to show their fearful hatred openly and loudly. Their hatred shocked me. How could be people so fearful of those different that they were that they had no other option than to hate?
Has anything really good ever come from hate? I know writing this will change nothing in this world and I can personally change very little. I can try though. We all can. We can try to change people’s minds one at a time. It isn’t easy and in some cases it might seem impossible, but we should at least try.
I won’t end this with some cliché coeixist or can’t we all just get along, but I will say that this world will be better for us all if we do our best to be more accepting and harbor less hatred in our heart.