Trained to Hate

By December 9, 2018 Blogs

Emotional correctness is about communicating compassion and mutual respect, not only with your words but with your intent and tone. I’m still an ardent fan, but I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to practise, catching myself slipping into anger and swimming in hate.

Especially in the last few years.

I was sort of trained to hate. Before I became a television commentator, I worked for fifteen years as a community organiser, fighting for policy reform on issues like lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, health care, criminal justice and immigration.

Right-wingers were my enemies, and I hated them.

… Donald Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States of America made my blood boil. I couldn’t believe the level of hate he so readily and proudly spewed against Muslims, women, immigrants and African-Americans.

I remember feeling dumbfounded when George W Bush was re-elected in 2004 … I may not have consciously categorised Bush voters as less than human, but I certainly thought they were less than American and certainly less than me – less smart, less understanding and, ironically enough, less compassionate.

I didn’t think any of that was particularly hateful.

I just thought I was correct.

  • From The Opposite of Hate: a field guide to repairing our humanity by Sally Kohn, Algonquin Books 2018, pp 1-2.