Giving Up on Hate

Indian Voices
December 5, 2022

As over-intelligent primates, the human species needs social interaction, a sense of community, and a
sense of purpose. We need these nearly as much as we do food, water, air, clothing and shelter.
We need a sense of purpose to be sure but what if that sense of purpose is tragically misguided? I say
that at present, that sense of purpose is maximally corrupted and reeks of a hellish odor.
What if, what is making this world such a frightening mess of mass shootings, ideological and racial
division, war, and politically motivated violence, is chiefly the result of one monolithic misguided
As simplistic as this might seem, I posit confidently, with a few exceptions, that the above notion is
Presently, far too many of us think our purpose is to judge, hate and condemn other tribes and
members of other tribes. It’s a phenomenon as old as human society: we are the good ones; they are
the bad ones. And while throughout human history there certainly have been near entire populations
that ended up viewed as the baddies, and on the wrong side of history, if you go back far enough in
any peoples’ history you will see that every culture and society take turns as victim and villain,
oppressor and oppressed. No peoples ever, has held an exclusive on good or evil.
The atrocities of Nazi Germany, Rwanda, the Khmer Rouge, and Colonial America for instance, do not
truly suggest any of these peoples are intrinsically, in anyway, prone to greater evils than any other
peoples. Instead— and I know this is not what many of you want to hear— those atrocities
committed by disparate peoples over great distances of time and geographic location, powerfully
suggests that evil is not the provenance of any distinguishable social group of humans but belongs to
our entire species.
This isn’t a popular idea because to accept it is to surrender all hatreds of the other. “We are better
than them: here’s why, and please don’t ask me to stop hating them. Deep in my heart I know I am
You can tell me all day why white people are the root of many great evils; and your case against them
might not necessarily be wrong. But make that case against white people with caution. Anyone clever
and motivated enough can make a decent case why it is actually you and your tribe, that are the
worst people on the planet. So long as you and your tribe are human, there’s going to be evidence
that your people got things terribly wrong at some point too.
“Nice whataboutism bruh.” Is that your response? Are you, dear reader saying I’m excusing white
people of blame for their injustices against people of color because people of color harm others too?
No, I most emphatically am not. I am not excusing anyone. I am however, asking for mercy,
forbearance for EVERYONE. Hatred has a very hard time thriving where there is abundant mercy and
compassion for all.
Giving up on that satisfying, intoxicating hatred also means giving up on the belief that only you and
the members of your tribe and affiliated tribes are the most virtuous people on the planet. Say that
out loud if you believe it. But you cannot really believe it because it’s not a rational thought.

No new code of ethics, however brilliant, will ever better replace practicing informed compassion in
a case-by-case basis. No tribes. No parties. No Them and Us. Just one big hot mess of an Us: a
wonderful and lovable, horrible and detestable, pitiable and exalted species.
Political differences are not just grounds for hatred. Neither is religion or lack of religion. Nor is skin
color. Any color. Even white.
Yet, we are here at each other’s throats, fighting for crumbs when our so-called representatives in
government engorge themselves and become millionaires, without even coming close to fulfilling
their sworn duties to protect our nation from enemies foreign and domestic. Our lands and waters
are defiled and polluted. Our schools unequally and unjustly funded. Our “criminal justice system” is
the single greatest agent of state sponsored kidnapping, false imprisonment, rape, torture and
murder. All those things are happening to millions of incarcerated people in American prisons every
day. This is what humans will do to each other when there is no transparency or accountability in
There is no escaping being a fallible human. But there is a chance of resisting hatred. I refuse to hate
anyone simply because they belong to the wrong tribe, believe the wrongs things, love the wrong
people, worship the wrong god. Or even because they are white. White people are not my enemy.
Republicans are not my enemy. Hatred, anger, and unjustified violence are my enemies.
And what about the people that hate me because my skin is brown, my heterosexuality questionable,
and my party Democratic? For the most part, they hold this view of me because they were invited to
by nearly everyone in their nuclear families and geographic communities. How many of us could
resist that level of universal indoctrination?
I don’t hate or despise these people. I pity them. And I pity you too if you think you are anymore
entitled to your hatred of them than they are entitled to their hatred of you. I hate greed. I hate
corruption. I hate cruelty. But I don’t hate humanity. I’m not a fan of mass shootings, public stoning
of infidels, permanent ostracization of almost anyone. These are the grim flowers of the collective
hatred of humanity.
When we give in to the hatred of the other we are really giving into the hatred of our own species.
Love and respect for all peoples and the planet we live on is the only viable path forward. But can we
give up the thrilling sense of false purpose and stature that hating-the-other has to offer? That is
entirely up to each one of us right here and right now.