I don't understand hatred. Not really.
Haters gonna hate. But why? Why do haters hate, and why are they gonna hate no matter what we do?
And hate itself is a word we bandy around too glibly. In truth, I only really strongly dislike people, and only a few people at that. I dislike the ideas, beliefs, or actions of a great many people, and maybe that means that I dislike them. But do I hate them? No, likely not. Certainly not enough to wish them ill or wish them dead. I don't have fantasies about hurting people I dislike, although I sometimes consider how I might fend off attacks from people whose views might indicate they might do harm to me. And even my dislike is generally individual. Even when I paint with a fairly broad brush, there are always members of a group which I do not dislike, although such a group may include mostly individuals with ideas, beliefs, or views I find objectionable, unless that group is itself founded on hatred. I doubt highly that I would enjoy the company, or even remain indifferent to the actions of a member of the KKK, as an example.
I find it not just hard but impossible to understand people who honestly believe in killing all members of a race, or an ethnic group, or a religion. But they exist. I do not understand those who would kill all LGBT people, but those people exist too. And then it gets weirder, for there are are those who are in the subaltern position in our societies who propose the same horrendous behavior. LGBT people who hate and even want to kill heterosexual, cisgender people. Women who want to kill all men and set up a world of female clones. Oh, yes, these whack-a-doodles exist as well. And not all of them are trolls, or sock puppets, or performance artists. Plenty of those on the internet, but there really are people who believe these things are morally justified. There are those who would terrorise and kill all whites. And we all know that Muslims and Christians and Jews have been at each other for tens of centuries. No matter the intersection of power and oppression, historical or current, you can find unadulterated hatred.
And the internet makes this stuff easier to find, easier to spread, harder to defend against, and impossible to control, if you would even want to control it, for the free speech implications in attempting to do so are very clear. But it leads me to wonder... why so much hate, and why so many people who hate? Individually, many of these haters would be powerless. However, together, even recognising that they hate each other
, the amount of aggregate hate they generate and the damage it does through both physical and mental violence is staggering. And I simply do not understand how they get to this point.
I have a lot of reasons to hate people, or so the narrative of hate would suggest. Whether my reasons are better or worse than others is important to consider, but it's not relevant directly to my questions here. Despite my reasons to hate people, I still think people are fundamentally good, and fundamentally deserve to be judged as individuals. The idea of holding the actions of an individual or group of individuals as some proof of actions or behavioural predisposition on the part of the entire group is absolutely ludicrous to me. And even further, the idea of holding current actions as proof of the impossibility of an individual to change in the future without sufficient evidence of a pattern of repeated actions is equally as ludicrous. Everyone tends to get second, third, even fourth chances with me, assuming a sufficient enough time has passed for me to believe that the individual has been able to change. Yet these people do not find these concepts ludicrous. They find them to be true.
How could I ever get to the point where I believed this idea of justified hate to be true? I didn't believe it when I was five. I didn't believe it when I was ten, even if I understood that some people were "bad" and might try to hurt me, or there were kids who were "bad" and might try to hurt me. I didn't believe it when I was fifteen, because by then I started to understand that discrimination of all sorts was institutionalised, and that many of the purveyors of the "bad" were victims of the system themselves or unaware that their actions were "bad" to begin with. And in my adult years, so far, I still find these ideas ludicrous. Where did I go "right" and the haters went "wrong?" Where is the fork in the road and the road less traveled on the way to hatred? Because no matter how badly I was bullied, no matter how many times I was beaten up, no matter the issues I've had with sexuality or gender discrimination... I have never seen that fork. Never even looked for it. What kind of rational basis would I have to find it?
I like to believe that the haters, especially those that are violent, are a tiny minority. I like to believe that, and then I see just what kind of damage they are capable of doing. How many people they are capable of hurting or killing before they are stopped, usually by being killed themselves. And then I'm not sure I really care how many of them that there may be in relative terms compared to the general population. Clearly, no matter what absolute number of haters exists, that number is really covered by "too damn many." And why do some people end up haters (and killers), and others end up as doers and fixers? Why can you take two individuals from similar oppressive situations and get one who becomes an advocate for love and tolerance, while the other becomes an advocate of hate and destruction as the only means to whatever their version is of peace and prosperity?
I don't understand hatred. Not really.