I don’t like making political posts here, it’s not what I intend for this forum. But there was something I felt I had to say, and it required a bigger stage than Facebook. I wanted to talk about hate.
We all know that that is, we use the word every day, probably. “I hate that music.” “I hate spiders.” “I hate cilantro.” We say “hate” a lot, when what we mean is “That music does nothing for me.” or “Spiders scare me.” or “Cilantro tastes awful to me.” We use the word because humans are essentially lazy. Just look at the evolution of language and how we drop sounds and change words to make them easier and faster to speak. So hate? A convenient shorthand for the most part.
I’m not going to fuss about using language more carefully, though we might all find we have more in common than we think if we paid more attention to how we express ourselves. Rather I wanted to talk about the phrase “hate is hate” which is something a friend said a number of times recently. And in the most basic sense of the word, he is quite correct. Hate is hate. But I hope he would agree that hating Nazis and hating cilantro are two entirely different things. (I don’t think he’d agree about spiders, but I’m not going to involve myself in some nonsensical argument over Nazis and spiders. You all can do that on your own time; I’m at the point where I am hard pressed to find such things amusing.)
What I would point out though is that there is justifiable hate of the sort we feel for those who consciously and with malice, cause harm or incite to cause harm. In this group I put Nazis, white supremacists, members of the KKK, or anyone who engages in malicious speech or behavior against a person or group, because of race, religion, or country of origin; because of what they look like, who they love, how they gender-identify, or their physical or cognitive abilities. You start mouthing off about how any of those things are a problem for you, about how people who are different from you are bad, or how those same people need to have something bad done to them, and buddy I can guaran-damn-tee you that I will have a serious problem with you, and that you deserve it.
Why? Because Nazis, white supremacists, the KKK and their ilk all indulge in the non-justifiable sort of hate. Sorry, no, you’ve got no business hating me because I’m a fat old woman, or my friends because they’re black, or Jewish, or gay.
To put it more succinctly, if you hate someone because of the color of his skin, you’re a dick. If that person hates you because you call him the N word, you’ve got it coming. And that makes it pretty much a lose-lose situation for Nazi scum. Nobody really likes them except other Nazi scum.
Which leads me to the question which is being bandied about lately: Is it okay to punch a Nazi? Well… yes and no. The rules are pretty much the same as for everyone else.
- Is the Nazi attacking you? Defend yourself! Punch him as hard as you can and as often as you can to get him off you.
- Is the Nazi attacking a loved one or your home? Yes. Punch. If someone comes after me or someone I love or my home, I will hurt them if I can.
- Is the Nazi attacking a total stranger? Wade in there punching if you are able, to stop the attack, because you can be pretty sure that if a Nazi is punching someone, that person is part of a group that’s been punched repeatedly and often legally in the past, and they deserve your support and aid. Be a fucking ally.
- Is the Nazi standing around yelling racist, or anti-semitic shit? By all means, yell back, tell him he’s a douche and a dumbfuck. You can even tell him that all Nazis are scum and morons and deserve to burn in Hell. But punching? No, that’s not quite enough to warrant violence.On the other hand it is hate speech and the government (local or above) can and should step in because hate speech can be seen as incitement to violence, and is not protected under the First Amendment.
And lest anyone think it’s clever to say “Well aren’t you indulging in hate speech against Nazis?” I would tell you not to be such a dumbass. If you don’t get that your comment is a false equivalence, then please go back and reread my explanation of justified hate vs unjustified hate. And then STFU, because you’re not making any sort of cogent argument, you’re just making yourself look like a moron.
- Is the Nazi standing around minding his own business? If yes, walk away. I don’t care if his very existence offends you, don’t be a jerk who picks fights just because you don’t like who someone is. Jesus Christ, that’s what Nazis do. If you want to make sure he and his kind never get any traction, donate to and/or work with anti-hate groups. Make the world a better place, not a worse one.
- Violence never makes the world a better place. It just makes you feel better. And honestly, if you’re at an age where you can even consider punching people, you’re old enough to know that the world and the people in it aren’t all about you.
So… yeah, hate is hate. But it’s never that simple, and it absolutely isn’t a justification for violence.
P.S. Yes, I cuss a lot. I’m an old woman and I’ve ceased to care what most people think of me.