Hello Curious Friend. Welcome to my book about Hate. The number tells you where you are in the sequence. I look forward to your comments.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the last chapter we discussed the many different methods there are for addressing hate, both traditional and modern. Now, forget about them. Forget that we are a world of opposing views, entrenched passions, passing grudges and prone to emotional choices. Forgot even that you and I are different people.
Imagine, dream if you will, that you and I are united in thought. Not only you and I, but everyone. Let’s say we all agree that there is an optimal way to help someone, anyone, resist the forces of hate.
The problem we would now face is that we would have to choose whom to help. For typically there are two sides in every hateful conflict.
In simplest terms, there is the side doing the hating, and expressing their hate in such a way that causes harm to the other side. Our initial reaction is to help the side that has been victimized by hate. Yet when we look closer at the situation, we see that the lines separating the two sides becomes blurred.
Upon this inspection, determining which side is perpetrator or victim becomes difficult.
Let’s consider several examples of hateful situations that illustrate my point. I think you’ll see that, upon closer inspection, there’s more here than initially meets the eye.
Let’s start with an example that appears to be of small consequence for most of us here in the West – the civil wars in Uganda and other West African nations.
Are these life-and-death struggles between power-mad dictators and their own people? At first glance it seems likely, and accepting that likelihood appears to be the easiest way to understand the horrors of these conflicts, like for example, why 10-year-old boys are being molded into killing machines, why young girls are routinely raped and sent off into sexual slavery, and why entire villages are being burnt out of existence.
However, there is another possibility. Maybe these villagers and their children instigated the conflict. Maybe they were working clandestinely to overthrow their governments. Who can know?
Unless you lived there, you don’t know. But what we do know is that in parts of Africa horrible crimes are being committed on an incredible scale.
Our immediate reaction to this reality is to aid the apparently innocent victims.
But they may not be as innocent as the world perceives them. Now let’s turn our attention to the Taliban massacre of 130 innocent children in their elementary school. The first thing that strikes you is that these men are murderous, barbaric monsters.
But consider their motives for a moment. To them, those children and that school represented an ungodly, blasphemous way of life. And as radical Muslims, they believe god demands vengeance and violence against such transgressions.
To be continued …