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.
Study How? (Continued)
Take a look around. Now that we’ve cleared our heads and have a general idea as to what we’re looking for, we must inspect the landscape.
How best to do this in today’s instant information era? Ask a search engine.
On the day after the vernal equinox of 2014, I enter “news” and “hate” into the search box and receive – no filtering here! – these top hits.
The first several listings are about sports teams. A basketball tournament is going on, and the sports writers have no hesitation using “hate” to describe popular opinion. One article is entitled “Why does everyone hate Duke basketball?” Another single listing is about a famous, or perhaps infamous couple, Kim Kardashian and Kayne West; “Kim and Kayne cover Vogue and twitteratti hate it.”
The last three items are more to the point of this survey. First, a father dies shielding his daughter from an attacker. The alleged perpetrator is charged with a hate crime, ostensibly for calling him a “nigger.”
Second, a San Jose college student has filed a $5 million suit against his school for failing to shield him from hate directed towards him by his fellow students.
Third, a man named Fred Phelps is dead. Phelps has attained notoriety by preaching to his congregation about hating certain groups of people. This article notes his passing, and that his children intend to continue promoting his hatred.
In our landscape we see “hate” describing popular opinion. We see it applying to the entertainment genres of sports and personality. In this way “hate” is used so that it could also be applied to stewed spinach or watching a four-hour foreign movie without subtitles.
This form of hate has nothing to do with people or behavior, it’s simply being used as a strong form of the sentiment, “dislike.”
Then there are the other three stories. And it appears within these stories we will begin to tease apart the essence of true hate.
In the first story, a father dies shortly after protecting his daughter from an epithet spewing psychopath. The father did not die at the scene of the altercation, but shortly thereafter.
In the second, a young man is tormented by roommates with epithets, hateful symbols, and finally physical violence.
He was dark skinned, while the others were light. Luckily no great physical or mental damage seems to have been inflicted. And, as the story relates, the student remains at the school and aims to improve the system through legal means.
Third and finally we have a man who apparently never physically harmed another, yet was infamous for preaching to his congregation about intolerance towards others. The ‘others’ he chose were homosexuals in general, but as I understand it, he also managed to preach and instigate public protests against other groups as well.
Could this have been an elaborate scheme to attract a larger congregation? Perhaps. But since he’s dead now, we can only evaluate Phelps based on his actions.
To be continued …