Wednesday, January 14, 2009
"You hate me!"
As I walk across the street, I see two people on the other side, one angry and pointing a shaky finger, while the other shakes his head left and right. The pointer stares accusingly into the eyes of the clearly guilty individual to whom he is speaking. I say "clearly guilty" because all the pointee can do is stand there and respond, "No, I don't hate you."
Isn't it just like guilty people not to even be able to have a good come-back? Instantly my need to defend the weak kicks in. Jerk, I think! Now, I have no idea what's going on, but all I see is this poor soul who has clearly been the target of another's hatred, the object of his ridicule, the subject of his need to feel superior. I reach the sidewalk, my eyes locked onto the hater, venom threatening to spew forth from my mouth. How dare you treat someone like that? I don't even know what "like that" is, but whatever it is...I don't like that!
Before I can say anything, I hear, "Yes, you do. You hate me. You hate what I stand for. You know what? You disgust me. Who are you to judge me?"
Yeah, tell him! I say inside my mind.
I'm now standing several feet away from these two, listening intently, waiting for my chance to chime in on behalf of the one so obviously oppressed by the other. After all, something horrific must have been perpetrated on him to make him respond so vehemently.
"I don't hate you," is the lame, pathetic response. I disagree with you, but I don't hate you."
Likely story, I seethe. You bum!
The accuser continues. "How do you think"--he pauses to look around and then finds me standing there, so he points to me and continues--"he would feel if I hated him just because he's Black?"
There's a collective stir in the crowd and a closing-in not lost on the accused who almost pleads, "I don't hate you. I disagree with you, yes. But please don't think I hate you."
"People like you ought to be locked up, you filthy piece of self-righteous trash--you and everybody who thinks like you. Why don't you admit it? You stinkin' hate me!"
De'ja' vu, right? For those of you who don't know, de'ja' vu is a French term which basically means, I know I've experienced this before. You're feeling that right now, aren't you? Tell the truth. This scenario is not new. We see it all the time in our society.
Okay, enough messing around. Let's get down to business.
Who are these people on the street? I bet you're one of them. The finger pointer--the one with whom we often sympathize--could be anybody who uses the new wave of hate-speech to advance his agenda. Now, I say "new wave of hate-speech" because the old kind is passe'. The old hate-talk was where one person or group would vomit words of racism, sexism, classism, or other insults. This new stuff would put the old to shame. This new stuff is where someone points a finger at someone else and declares before all the world, "You hate me. You want to oppress me. I'm different, and you can't stand me because of it." So instead of saying, "I hate you" (the old stuff), the new wave goes on the offensive and says, "You hate me," even when this accusation is completely erroneous and unfounded.