Hate and Today’s Society

hate

Many of us recognize that HATE is the in-play factor of much that is happening in today’s society. 

Hate towards blacks. Hate towards gays. Hate towards immigrants. Hate towards atheists. Hate towards Muslims. Hate towards “liberals.” Hate towards the poor. Hate towards …. you-name-it. 

In fact, when push comes to shove, no one and/or no group is excluded from being the target of Hate.

It’s difficult to accept, but ALL of us hold Hate in our hearts towards someone or something. Sometimes this “Hate” can be beneficial in that it serves as a protective device. However, in most cases, it is actually harmful — not only to others, but to our own psyche as well.

Of course it’s natural for us to claim: “I don’t Hate! I just intensely dislike (something or someone).” However, note the following definitions of Hate:

  • (Verb) Dislike intensely; feel antipathy or aversion towards
  • (Noun) The emotion of intense dislike; a feeling of dislike so strong that it demands action

What prompted this post is an article I recently came across on the Psychology Today website. It’s entitled (surprise!) The Psychology of Hate. One of the opening statements referenced a study that said there are at least 917 organized hate groups in the United States!

It then asks the question: Why do we hate?

While the reasons are complex, the article expands on some of the factors that play a role:

  • Fear of “The Other”
  • Fear of Ourselves
  • Lack of Self-Compassion
  • It Fills a Void
  • Societal and Cultural Factors

Then the articles asks … What Can We Do?

After listing a couple of ideas, it closes by stating that “compassion towards others is the true context that heals.” Unfortunately, compassion rarely comes naturally and, in fact, is seen by many as a weakness. Because of this, there is little doubt we will continue to experience demonstrations of Hate and its accompanying actions in today’s society.

26 thoughts on “Hate and Today’s Society

  1. Hatred by individuals (and by groups) is bad enough, but hatred becomes even more pervasive when employed openly by a political party which unifies in fealty to a despot (like Trump) as a means to attain absolute power. Lest we think political party unity for such purposes is a relatively recent phenomenon, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote this almost 200 years ago: “In politics, a community of hatred is almost always the foundation of friendship.”

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Perhaps, then lack of self-compassion is the root problem to be addressed. It seems to me that would tie into the insecurity and the feeling that compassion for others – even the people you KNOW are wrong and that you KNOW are mostly driven by selfishness, if it’s even possible for them to have good intentions (except, you don’t really know this do you? at least the second part) – is weakness. If we develop self-compassion, that may also help to protect ourselves without hate and without excluding others from all possible compassion. To know ourselves, our feelings, our needs, our desires, our joys, to understand them, feel them, and address them as we can, may be the greatest step towards at least not hating others.

    I think there does need to be more nuance than defining hate as “an intense dislike” however. There might be a person who I see as a really good person, who I think has really good motives and goals, but whose personality I find that I “intensely dislike” and whom I therefore wish to be around and collaborate with only rarely, if I ever have to. I would not call this hate, but I think it is a possible experience – interaction between people. It may even coincide with mutual admiration and loyalty. And perhaps finding that self-compassion, and establishing that compassion is not weakness and that the weakness-strength paradigm that possesses a lot of life and is driven (in my opinion) by fear is unnecessary and not even a truthful or healthy understanding of our human reality.

    Compassion is weakness when you do not know who you are. When you are excluded from your compassions. But that latter does not have to be the case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think there does need to be more nuance than defining hate as “an intense dislike” however

      I agree. To me, true hate exists when a person goes beyond intense dislike and actually wishes harm upon the other (even if one is not threatening to inflict harm oneself). For example, if you believe homosexuality is immoral, that’s just an opinion. If you relish the thought of gay people burning in Hell, or go out of your way to tell them they’re going to Hell, that’s hate.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. I hate when the following things happen. 1.) You get a new jar of peanut butter and are extremely eager to open and eat it but the lid is on so tight you rub your hand raw trying to open it and STILL can’t open it!!! 2.) You’re a man and, after tinkling in a public bathroom, pull your zipper up too fast and WHAMMY!! your privy part gets a nasty, painful pinch! 3.) You FINALLY get the woman/man you’ve been chasing to sleep with you only to find out they snore all friggin’ night long! And lastly, your hero/leader loses the race to become President again so you have to make up all kinds of crap saying the election was rigged by long dead communist political leaders of another country. I HATE when that happens!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Ooo, #2 has happened to me and yeah, damn that hurts! I actually have a scar down there from where the skin got caught in the zipper. Yeah, I hate that too.

      Cure for #3 is separate bedrooms. MrsGF and I had to do that. We’d both been suffering from poor sleep, especially me. I was having horrible insomnia that was causing me serious problems. She had to have knee surgery and started sleeping in a different room to avoid me bumping her knee during the night and guess what? We both started sleeping through the night.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I think that what’s really happening in a lot of cases isn’t actual hatred, it’s fear. I know, alas, several racists and what is really going on with them isn’t hatred, it’s fear. They’re afraid, literally afraid, of Black persons, Jewish persons, etc. Look at the language they use. Their rationalizations for their feelings are almost always based on the fact that they are afraid that the person in question is going to do something bad to them. One neighbor, now long dead, was frankly a racist. When I hired a black teenager to babysit the boys when they were little he just about freaked out. “Those people”, because that was what he called them, were going to rob him, steal his stuff, start fires… you name it.

    Look at the extremists out there who are now so prominently displayed by the media turning up at school board meetings, town hall meetings, etc. who rant and rave and rage about often the silliest things. It sound like they are full of hatred. But if you stop and listen to them you’ll realize it isn’t hatred that is motivating them, it is fear.

    But they express that fear as hatred because they believe that if they let others see that they are really afraid it will be interpreted as weakness on their part. Their hatred, their arrogance, their aggression, all of it is really an attempt to try to cover up the fact that they are terrified, that they feel powerless.

    I suppose that in the long run it doesn’t matter because the effects of their fear are as bad, sometimes even worse, than if they were experiencing genuine hatred.

    I think the “cure”, so to speak, to what we see going on out there in society right now is ultimately, not to strike back and condemn these people, but to try to figure out what they are so afraid of and why, and try to change the conditions that are making them so terrified. And, of course, to get the politicians and others who pander to that fear in order to manipulate people, out of positions where they are able to feed those fears.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I think that’s an interesting examination of hate on the surface, or perhaps how humans apply hate in our lives; but there’s often something much deeper and more basic at play, which is a misguided interpretation of survival instincts. As animals we have an instinctive obsession with moving our genetic material forward. So the obsession with female virginity for example, is justified in a million ideological ways, but in reality it’s simply a guarantee that “prized” males will move their genetic material into the next generation. I believe hate is a mechanism that appears in circumstances where it’s useful to create advantage for particular sectors. Ad hoc narratives are then created to justify the impulses to rise and eliminate competition.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Nan, hate and fear. They go together. Fear of the other has long been used by leaders to control people and get them to do what they want. The guard against it is civil discourse. Talk to people. Listen to people. When people tell you to fear someone. Stop and ask why? If they use a label or name call, stop and ask why? A label is a shortcut to make you fear something without debate or research. Why are they saying such?

    Why am I being told to hate someone? The key line from the “South Pacific” song is “you have to be carefully taught by the time you are seven or eight, you have to be carefully taught to hate who your parents hate.” But, we should never forget, the converse can be taught. And, if you are taught to hate, when you get old enough, as why?

    Here is a quick reminder. Alan Turing saved over 750,000 people and helped shorten WWII per none other than Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower. Yet, he had to hide the fact that he was gay or he would have gone to prison. Dr. Vivian Thomas helped devise a surgery on babies whose heart was not pumping enough blood (the blue babies’ disease). He was not allowed to operate initially because he was a black man. Such hateful people – a gay man and black man who saved lives. Think about that.

    Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yet, he had to hide the fact that he was gay or he would have gone to prison

      In fact, Turing was arrested and charged with “gross indecency” for his homosexual contacts. He was sentenced to chemical treatments which would have killed his sex drive; he committed suicide. He was only 41. We’ll never know what further advances in computer science he might have produced if he had not become a victim of the religious (the religious roots of the taboo must be emphasized) hate which was endemic at the time.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Very true and sad indeed. But, at least from the movie “The Imitation Game,” it implied he was arrested after the war. While he was breaking the Enigma Code, it was my impression, he went to great lengths to hide the fact he was gay. Now, I must confess this may have been Hollywood theatrics. Yet, the fact he was arrested and treated so horribly is a damn shame no matter when it happened. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I hate people who openly hate. I don’t appreciate that they feel they have to hate, but if they would keep it to themselves I could live with it. Life is bad enough these days (though even so I am still a happy person) that there is no need to express hatred outwardly. I guess they just want to be hated in turn.
    When I was younger I hated my abusive rapist father. He has been dead 40 plus years now, and I still intensely dislike the person he was.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Bring back the Soviet Union! We were better off when we had the Filthy Commies to despise!

    In the absence of a clear external bad guy, we turn on each other.

    Maybe we can convince those Ancient Aliens guys to come up with a real alien threat. That would be even better than a resuscitated Soviet Union!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. From infancy we receive the message that “difference is bad” and something we should fear. Growing up with a disability, I saw this happen in my own life—resulting in isolation and feeling bad about who I was. As to hate, I think many of us feel the need to have individuals or groups in our lives we feel superior too. Unfortunately, this need breeds hate. Thanks for a well-written and provocative blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, some humans are simply unable to get past the fact that there are others in the world who aren’t just like them. Whether it’s color, sexual preferences, heritage, religion, or even physical and/or mental limitations — just the fact that the person is “different” is enough to shun them. And yes, even hate them.

      The need to feel “superior” is a sad quality to possess but, as you said, it seems to be a common trait in many of us.

      Thank you so much for adding your thoughts … and for the compliment. 😊

      Like

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