To say that the United States of America is a divided nation would be an understatement. There used to be the left, the right and a whole bunch of people in the middle.
Today it seems as if there is the far left, the far right and few people in the middle. People are passionate about what they believe which is somewhat surprising considering that the majority of Americans don’t seem to be able to state clearly exactly what their beliefs are.
And then there’s the media. The President says immigrant crime is up in Sweden and CNN has a headline that says “Trump Continues Attack on Sweden.” I don’t have a clue whether or not crime is up in Sweden but it didn’t seem like much of an “attack.”
If The President were to shoot someone I would not be a bit surprised if FOX reported that someone got in the way of one of his bullets. No matter what he says or does it seems most of the FOX people think he can do no wrong. They have mostly lost their objectivity.
I don’t think it’s actually an overstatement to say that the majority, perhaps the vast majority, of the media truly hates Donald Trump. As with anyone the hate has clouded their judgment. They have mostly lost their objectivity.
What the media shares these days is their hate for the “other side.” They don’t report news, they ALL, yes all, report their view of the news. I actually heard with my own ears one of the news commentators on a major network say that it was the job of the media to tell people what to think. The same commentator was upset because she said the President was trying to take that job away from the media and take it for himself.
Really? REALLY? The media as a group is behaving as a destructive force right now, both the right and the left leaning media. Watch an hour of FOX and an hour of almost any other news outlet and you would swear you were living in two completely different universes. This much is certain, at least some, if not all, the media are delivering the “news” in such a fashion that if it is not outright lying it’s about a close as you can get.
Hate makes otherwise good people do some crazy things.
There have been violent, destructive demonstrations with vulgar hateful signs. The amazing thing is that the people with the hateful signs and language are protesting what they claim is a hateful President. So…it’s okay to hate if you think the person you hate is hateful?
It seems as if the majority of Americans now hate someone or something.
Even more amazing will be how badly I’m going to be ripped on Twitter for writing this post. People on both sides will complain that the other side “makes” them hate. They will say that yes they may hate but it’s not their fault.
Sorry folks but no one but you can make you hate. No one but you can get you to stop hating. Until everyone, EVERYONE, accepts responsibility for their own emotions the hate will not only continue, it will grow.
If it’s wrong to hate, and it is, then it’s always wrong to hate. Hating a hater is still hate.
Hate accomplishes nothing. The hater almost always loses more than the hated.
Americans need to rediscover civil discourse. We need to find a middle ground, we need to understand that just because someone has what we think is a bad idea it doesn’t mean they are a bad person.
Is any of that even possible? Will anyone join me in declaring all hate wrong? Will you stop hating?
Can we all just give someone else’s opinions a little breathing room? Can we reject a person’s ideas without rejecting the person? Don’t say you will if “they” will, do it whether they will or not…it’s called leading.
12 thoughts on “Eliminating Hate”
Steve – Thank you! You are totally preaching to the choir.
I just returned to the U.S. after living in a country that allows only one religion, controls the media, watches social media and jails or beheads those that disagree, and those who speak out against the government. Long story short – the people in that country have been trained not to think critically.
Although we have freedom of religion and freedom of speech, a friend told me that she is expected to take a particular side in issues based on her race. That’s not practicing our freedom or thinking critically.
This is what I’m encouraging friends to do instead of venting at those that agree with them, and shouting at those that don’t. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT_W2uUKd7g
That’s a great video. Conversation is the key to eliminating hate and it’s vital to understand that yelling is not conversation.
Excellent points, Chery. I left the US in December 1999 and returned in October 2011, and I swear it wasn’t like this when I left.
I’ll bet it would be shocking to see if you’ve been away for some time. It has kind of crept up on us. It’s hard to say exactly when the turning point was but the level of hate seems to now grow by the day. It’s sad and dangerous for the U.S. – I don’t know what will make it stop.
At first I hesitated to comment on your post, but then it seemed appropriate to make a few points. First and foremost we should all repudiate hate. This is easier said than done when another party uses foul, misleading, contemptuous, and insightful language or activity. It’s why we as Americans have so much difficulty with the First Amendment. Free speech is a value and finding the sweet spot between open, honest, and direct dialogue against hateful speech is not easy.
The rest of my comments follow from two strong beliefs. First, general society is far more complex than it is ever been – with more and more information, not data, available in more formats and at Internet speed. And second, the hatred you describe is not a matter of the right or the left, but of changing societal demographics, where ethnicity, race, and economics are fundamentally changing long-held institutional bias or norms, if you prefer, within our society.
For me, on the plane of right or wrong and good or bad it is far grayer and we like to admit. In the name of ending political correctness we have succumbed to language that lacks common decency and respect for each other’s point of view.
As to the media, I point to the changing economics. Years ago news outlets were not expected to be profit centers, but today they are. Reporting has been replaced with too much commentary and a mentality which rewards who releases the story first. In marketing we know and understand the concept of “first in mind.” This has poisoned news reporting and it will take some time before a new level of equilibrium is found between being first and being fair and authoritative.
I wish you are right that no one can make you hate, but consider how some parents and adults propagandize their own children before those children have an opportunity to explore and learn on their own. Unfortunately, hate does accomplish some ends for some people.
Until we wrestle with our history, recognize the fundamental societal changes we are undergoing, and take a deep breath before we spouting off; hatred will find its way into the consciousness of too many people. As citizens we need to reject oversimplification and emotional displays which hinder our ability to understand the other before asking them to understand us.
We each share in this responsibility and I hope I am person enough in helping it become a reality.
You should like one of those “few in the middle” I was speaking about. I think you are absolutely correct with the “news as a profit center” concept. That cannot be overlooked when it comes to the media.
Unfortunately you are also correct about hating adults “teaching” their kids to hate. It is absolutely horrible parenting but it seems to be everywhere today.
I can only hope you’re correct that some “balance” will be found at some point. It would be a shame to lose our free press in the endless hunt for ratings.
Thanks for taking time to respond. You’re doing your part.
I despair of the rise of bigotry and bullying we’re experiencing at the moment – we have more than our fair share over here in the UK too.
We desperately need to start teaching emotional intelligence to our children and we need to re-educate our politicians and journalists to think like next-generation leaders and coaches.
Let’s stop looking for blame and start looking at values
Thank You! It truly starts with each of us rejecting hate. If we wait for “somebody to do something” then hate will win.
This is a brave and accurate description of what’s going on in our society today. Thank you for stepping up and leading the way to a renewed civil society.
Thanks Jon, it’s important to point out that I’m not leading if no one is following. I hope others, many many others feel the same way you do.