Some words that were exchanged on my cousin’s facebook the other day dropped a myriad of emotions and thoughts on me. My immediate reaction was anger. I had to fight with myself to keep from jumping in and slamming this kid’s face with a punch of words. I have a strong sense of loyalty to family and to my friends and when I see a friend or family member being thoughtlessly and cruelly attacked by a complete stranger out of pure bigotry, my outrage bubbles up and I have to fight off an slue of angry words and desire to physically harm the offender. And I certainly would cease any kind of relationship—friendship, acquaintanceship, even something as stupid as a ‘facebook friendship’—with someone who was spreading rumors, hate, bigotry, racism, etc. No friend, fear of persecution, crush, boyfriend, acquaintance is worth more than standing up for what’s right. There should be NO PLACE on this earth for this kind of hate. You don’t have to agree on everything, but that doesn’t mean you get to hate something. My friend Zach decided to have a little amusement and grammatically correct a kid on my cousin’s wall. In response this kid said this to my friend (along with something else I won’t repeat) —to a man whom I consider to be family—a brother to me: “I can’t stand gays” then went on to clarify some more with “I hate gays.” Really? You hate them? Do you realize how strong of a word “hate” is? There’s only one thing stronger than hate and that’s love. You really think it’s ok to hate someone because of who they love? (here’s a clue—It’s NOT). You say you have freedom of speech? Sure you do, but read the whole thing—analyze it in perspective of what came first. Declaration of Independence –All men are created equal and are endowed with certain unalienable rights—Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. So yes, you have the freedom of speech—but only in so that it doesn’t spit hatred in people’s faces.
Like I said, Hate is a strong, strong word—with love being the only thing stronger. Hate is often used as an emotion. It’s not an emotion—it’s a state of being. You hate one thing, that hate will grow to 2 things, then 3, then 4—everything is connected and eventually you will hate most things. That hate will consume you until it’s destroyed you. Hate is like cancer. It will grow and grow and eat away at you little by little until you are nothing and have nothing and no one. The only thing that can stop hate is love.
Another idea—hate is a defense mechanism of sorts. Clint Eastwood said, “The less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice.” An anonymous quote, “Hate is like a veil worn to disguise fear and ingnorance.” Another quote by a man named Dick Gregory is “If a man calls me a ****, he is calling me something I am not. Then **** exists only in his own mind; therefore his mind is the ****. I must feel sorry for such a man.” Color, race, creed, sexual preference, etc. does not define someone. A man is a man. And to hate someone because of the color of their skin, their race, their religion, their sexual preference means that you are afraid—you’re afraid because you’re ignorant.
After thinking about this kid’s words—a kid who is a wannabe whatever who is just a kid—I realized that I’m upset that he could say something so defamatory, but more than that, I feel sorry for the kid. I choose to not hate back. I pity him and others that choose to hate without reason. That hate will consume them, destroy them bit by bit. I’ve heard “well, he’s just a kid” – then I feel even more sorry for him. His hate is young and unless he learns to love rather than hate, it’s going to grow and grow and consume him even faster. I don’t agree with how many don’t think kids can or should be held responsible for their actions and words. Kids themselves think they are invincible—that they are free to do and say anything and they won’t get in trouble because they know they can only be punished so much. I think we should hold kids responsible—almost more than adults. Maybe if we held kids responsible for crap they say and do, there would be less adults in the world who say and do crap because they were never taught a lesson as kids. The world would be a better place if we put a little more effort into enriching the lives of children and teenagers: instilling at home and in schools what is right and how to treat people with respect and honor. Those whose hatred is motivated by bigotry and racism lead to learn that all people deserve love and that we must treat all people with dignity and respect. We, You, Whoever, don’t have to agree on choices, lifestyles, whatnot, but we must still be respectful and loving. If you have to, rely on the good old saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”