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It seems as if I cannot get away from it

Expressions of hatred

Discussions of hatred

Hate directed towards the LGBT community

Hate directed towards Obama

Hate directed towards those who criticize Obama

I am not a psychologist or a psychiatrist, so what I offer here is only a personal reaction

I want to address Hate

I wand to discuss Hatred

I was not sure which word to use for the title

I am writing from the deepest part of my soul

my feelings will not be hurt if you decide not to continue reading

I will be honored if you are willing to hear me out

I think back to Parris Island, summer of 1965.  I was 19, I had dropped out of Haverford and enlisted in the Marines.  I was going to drop out of college -  a broken relationship had made me realize I needed some time and space to grow up, and once I was not eligible for a 2S deferment I knew I would be drafted, so I enlisted, choosing to be among those who wanted to serve, even as I opposed Vietnam.

Boot camp.  I did't get beaten up by my drill instructors.  Not physically.  But I was directly exposed to hate as a weapon.  We were being prepared as if we were about to go into battle against the Viet Cong -  after all, the Marines had landed at Da Nang in March.  And to prepare us to kill - not always an easy thing to do - we were being taught to hate, to simultaneously see our potential enemy as less than human but simultaneously very scary and potentionally powerful.  Thus we had drilled into us racist terminology -   Slopes, Dinks, Gooks.  

There was no one of East Asian heritage among the 75 who started in our boot camp platoon, nor in the one additional who joined us after a week in the brig.  76 relatively young men having hatred poured into them regularly.

I wonder what those of African-American heritage thought.  This was, after all, the time of Civil Rights.  We had had almost 8 years since the televised imagery of the Little Rock 9 in the Fall of 1957, with the screaming and contorted faces of whites directed at adolescent Negroes who simply wanted to attend Central High School.  Young men and women, to be sure, but adults, including women, their faces contorted, their bodies almost rigid in anger and hatred, and language that was demeaning, threatening, perhaps worse.

I had had some of that directed at me -  I did civil rights stuff in the summer I graduated from high school, 2 years earlier than Parris Island.  I had experienced some of it participating in Civil Rights demonstrations around Philadelphia, most notably a march in the city of Chester PA.  

I began then, back in 1963, to realize that resorting to demeaning others by language and insult was a sign of my own fear and insecurity.  I cannot say I had not used the language of slurs, or that I had not in my mind conjured fantasies of the evil things to which I could subject others who in some way raised my insecurity.  Having it directed at me brought me up short, made me examine myself in ways I had not previously done.

In the years since I have been subject to many slurs, to language of insults, to attempts to demean me, or to yank my chain and force me to respond in kind.  Sometimes I have been weak, and made the mistake of acting in a similar fashion.  Other times I have realized what was happening, and took a deep breath.

In Parris Island, we were working on hand-to-hand combat.  One drill instructor yelled at me to think of my opponent as a Nazi.  I stopped and stepped back, which surprised almost everyone.  I turned to the DI and said "but he's not."  It surprised almost everyone.  Somehow it didn't surprise me.   But I did not understand why.

Consider these terms:   Nigger-lover   homo   fag  kike     Hebe  pansy  egghead  dweeb   pussy  wimp  . . . .   just a few of the terms that have been directed my way by others over the 6 and half decades of my life

I am supposed to be insulted if you say "you throw like a girl"  because females are supposed to be inferior

You think you will get a rise out of me because I treat someone with a skin darker than mine as a fellow human being?

You  believe you can make me feel small or respond in anger because you challenge my sexuality, question my physical strength, belittle the power of my mind?  Good luck, but you are wasting your time.

Yesterday I had a student I had to remove from my class and put in the hall because she twice yelled at a fellow student "Shut up!  Shut up!"   I warned her the first time, and when it happened again, I put her in the hallway to calm down and went out to talk to her.  She was so enraged that she refused to listen to me, so she spent the last 15 minutes of the period out there.   Shouting down someone who makes you uncomfortable can mean that the other person has gotten your goat, made you respond in a way that is out of control.   That does not mean one does not respond -  it is possible to respond in a way that remains in control, which is dismissive of the hatred and weakness and fear being shown by the person who has to resort to such things.

I am neither psychologist nor psychiatrist.  I try to be a teacher.  I try to help my students learn that to respond in kind can mean to lose oneself.  

In a situation where hatred is acceptable, where it may even be encouraged, humanity is diminished.   It becomes too easy to justify, to rationalize, responding not merely in kind to perceived threats or insults, but even more forcefully.

And I think of Sean Connery in his Oscar-winning role -    But note this, that this clip is labeled "How to deal with Chicago politicians, like Obama."

I have been largely absent from this site for several days, but not so absent that I have not seen a continued escalation of language that is demeaning, of anger that is being fed, of words and actions that disturb me.

And of course as a teacher of Government and Politics I am not oblivious to what has been happening in our political arena, with the likes of the man of whom one wit said "We shall overcomb."  

I think there is an emotion that is ultimately more powerful than hatred.  Actually, I can think of several.

One of course is pity, although there is always a danger that it can serve as a mask for fear, for hatred.  It also can serve a a vehicle for demeaning those at whom it is targeted.  But if it is truly from the other more powerful emotion, it can serve to heal, to reach out.

The other simply put is love, in all of its dimensions.  Not merely romantic love, but also the caring for and connectedness with all of humanity, or even better, all of creation.  In that case rather than pity perhaps it would be better to call it sadness, being disappointed at how the person is depriving himself of the joys and beauty of that which he hates, demeans, fears.

I have wondered through enough religious traditions, and studied enough about others, to understand this.  Often the mystics of different religious traditions have more in common with one another than they do with the non-mystics of their own.  Often they see a connectedness which transcends the human understanding that guides the organization of their own human tradition.  It is perhaps why many who are mystics do not seek authority, and accept it and its responsibilities only reluctantly.

But this is not about religion.  Nor is it even about spirituality.

Rather I am wrestling with the incompleteness and weakness of the human condition.  

I still at times find myself wanting to lash out.  It can be as simple as under my breath wanting to call a driver who cuts me off an asshole -  about the strongest epithet to which I am prone to resort - until I can see in the impatience or the arrogance or the lack of attention aspects of my own behavior.  All of the times I have been involved in motor vehicle accidents it was because at least one driver - often me - was too impatient, too arrogant, too inattentive to the task of operating the motor vehicle.  

I consider many of our conflicts with our fellow humans to have the characteristics of those auto accidents.  If we are honest, at least one side and sometimes both are too impatient, too inattentive to the whole picture, too arrogant in being self-justifying.  

Then we are stymied.  Then we are afraid.  Then we lash out, perhaps in anger, perhaps rising to a condition of hatred, in which we shut out any willingness to see things in common with the target of the hatred?

I do not want to live like that.  I do not want my life diminished by such anger, such blindness to others.

It should not matter that someone else treats me, or someone or something about whom I care, in such a fashion.  That does  NOT justify my responding in kind.  

Perhaps I might win that particular conflict, be it social, economic, or political.   Then I think of words from Christianity which although I no longer consider myself an adherent to that religious tradition still speak to me with power, from Mark 8:6 -  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Today is the 30th day of April.  On the 23rd of May, 4 weeks from Monday, I will turn 65.  I have outlived my mother by almost two decades -  she was not yet 47 when she died.  My father lived into his early 80s.  His older brother lived into his 90s, his youngest sister passed recently at 89.  I have perhaps 2 more decades on this earth.   That is too short a time for me to be consumed by anger, by fear, by hatred.

I understand that at times we must speak or act in ways that do not match our highest ideals.  We have responsibilities for the care of others that may leave us no choice.  I again recall the words of a notable Russian Orthodox monk and spiritual father, who spend World War II living on Mount Athos, with only partial knowledge of the great conflict that was raging.  He wrote that he prayed that the less evil side might win.   This finally helped me to recognize that when we seek to choose the lesser evil we should not forget that we are still choosing evil.  it is not grounds to glorify what we are doing, or to ignore our own failings in having to make such a choice.

i cannot say that I will not at times be tempted to hatred.  But I can choose not to let that temptation overcome me, cause me to lose any sense of proportion, lead to my self-justification and rationalization for the words and deeds that can flow from such a choice.

I do not argue that this is an easy topic.  It is not.   It is still for me a challenge, one with which I have wrestled at least since that moment at Parris Island when I realized the implications of fomenting hatred as a means of preparing someone to kill.  That is now almost half a century ago.  I still have not overcome my tendencies towards anger, towards wanting to use words to demean, to seeking to rationalize my belittling and attacking of others to cover my own fear and insecurity.  

But I can and do refuse to accept that as a means of operating, whether it is politically or socially.   I can choose not to acquiesce in it, either in myself, or by others.

I can and must speak out, without screaming or implying that therefore I am a superior being (which I am not) in saying that such expressions and actions are wrong.

I have a choice, which is to be responsible for my own words and actions.  That is a start.

It is also insufficient.  

I also must indicate clearly when I think such expressions and actions from others are wrong,  at least by raising the question of whether the person(s) from whom they come are not acting in a destructive fashion.

It is a Saturday morning.  For all practical purposes, "coverage" of the curricular material for the year is complete.  We have an AP test on Monday May 9, the state exams on Friday May 20.   But the learning continues, always.  It is not just preparing for the tests.  It is reflecting about what we have learned, it is looking at the world around us and seeing where we fit, what can and should be doing.   It is stepping back from yelling "Shut up! Shut up!" and learning how not to escalate the situation.

Putting one of those on the other side in the morgue is not how to resolve conflicts.  Not really.  As Gandhi taught us, insisting on an eye for an eye will eventually leave the whole world blind.  

If we truly believe that our progressive values are a superior way to act politically, should not our words and actions on behalf of those values not descend to the level of demeaning and fear and insult and hate that we so dislike from the other side of the political spectrum?  

Or are we willing to be so Machiavellian as to argue that since our end is so important the means we use to achieve should not matter - anything and everything is justifiable in the name of achieving the goal.

I do not accept that.  I do not accept it for myself.  I will not accept it from my students.  It cannot be a part of how I operate politically.

It is Saturday morning.  It is the day on which I am often reflective.  

Perhaps my words speak only to me.  Writing them is a way of clarifying my own thinking.

I am shy in person.   I am insecure.  I very much want to be connected with others.

That is in part why I share these mental meanderings.

Perhaps they will speak to few if any others.  So be it.

But just as I find I must speak out in the presence of what I think is wrong, so I felt that now, here, I had to share these thoughts, as incomplete and possibly incoherent as they might be.

Thanks for reading.


Originally posted to teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Teachers Lounge, and A Perfect Conversation.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (247+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenbassoon, BFSkinner, rserven, frandor55, Burned, lilypew, sewaneepat, JohnB47, mamamarti, Matt Z, Anne was here, Democrats Ramshield, Wayward Wind, David Kaib, HCKAD, dclawyer06, Emerson, kestrel9000, Chun Yang, SherwoodB, BeninSC, Heart of the Rockies, Susan S, ratcityreprobate, We Won, Leftcandid, cama2008, leftist vegetarian patriot, Philoguy, scory, rudewarrior, rini, blue71340, dance you monster, Pinto Pony, jimstaro, koNko, dotsright, carpunder, US Blues, JanL, coolbreeze, jerseyjo, liz dexic, hopeful human, bookgirl, Cassandra Waites, sarahinwi, ocular sinister, Ginger1, Temmoku, rogereaton, bigrivergal, Nowhere Man, billmosby, doe, billlaurelMD, kck, emal, prodigal, muddy boots, Oh Mary Oh, COwoman, FiddleDeeDee, Jay C, tardis10, Flying Goat, Shockwave, LWelsch, DrSpalding, clarknyc, bronte17, marina, Bridge Master, brae70, neaguy, markdd, matrix, Alice Venturi, triv33, Terranova0, Mike RinRI, herbalina, buddhistfist13, jeannew, Ed in Montana, bluesheep, bythesea, Only Needs a Beat, KelleyRN2, slksfca, zerelda, oldcrow, dougymi, rockhound, klompendanser, Disgusted in St Louis, surfbird007, fixxit, smoothnmellow, DixieDishrag, Lorinda Pike, be the change you seek, Showman, esquimaux, damfino, KJG52, kimoconnor, 3goldens, shaktidurga, BlueDragon, BeadLady, MT Spaces, antirove, AaronBa, zenox, ARS, Gemina13, sow hat, lynneinfla, EdSF, janmtairy, newpioneer, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, ZhenRen, TheMomCat, ruleoflaw, VTCC73, verdeo, Dixiedemocrat, Sun Tzu, Badabing, My Spin, bnasley, Larsstephens, DWG, philipmerrill, produceus, expatjourno, ORDem, byteb, ashowboat, greengemini, GreenSooner, Virago, spooks51, revbludge, aliasalias, Huginn and Muninn, rlharry, PSzymeczek, annieli, dreamghost, jamess, chimene, Pinko Elephant, mofembot, Alumbrados, dle2GA, willibro, JekyllnHyde, WisePiper, MadMs, Observerinvancouver, asterkitty, jolux, Quilldriver, devtob, drmah, thomask, prettygirlxoxoxo, FrankieB, zett, Brecht, Nica24, ER Doc, Chirons apprentice, wolverinethad, NotGeorgeWill, fiddler crabby, nancat357, Lorikeet, Habitat Vic, Yosef 52, pat bunny, Mighty Ike, SoCalJayhawk, kpbuick, Mayfly, blueoasis, Free Jazz at High Noon, aitchdee, out of left field, Its a New Day, xynz, ATFILLINOIS, ProfessorWho, CentralMass, Portlaw, sboucher, Tennessee Dave, Birdman, Randtntx, AnnieJo, zedaker, Chi, CA coastsider, G2geek, dlemex, tommyfocus2003, Ohkwai, mujr, Cali Techie, Inspired By Nature, porchdog1961, 207wickedgood, dsb, Involuntary Exile, ChocolateChris, raincrow, millwood, Justus, Gabriel D, WiseFerret, boofdah, Bluefin, NoisyGong, Garfnobl, joedemocrat, mahakali overdrive, DianeNYS, Ignacio Magaloni, fumie, ogre, kevin k, moldyfolky, Tommymac, copymark, Neon Vincent, Jersey Joe, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, peachcreek, MaryinHammondsport, Larry Bailey, VA02 femocrat, awesumtenor, splashy

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:38:40 AM PDT

    •  teacherken Great diary, thanks for posting class (27+ / 0-)

      Thanks for posting this to our group!!

      sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

      by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 05:33:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  hate is protection for frightened cowards (16+ / 0-)

      For racists, hate is that magical talisman that keeps them superior. Never mind that in the instance of the President, his monumental rise from poverty to Ivy League star, to Senator and President, shows the power of his person. Those who hate him for; being black, being liberal, being something other than a real American, lessen their own souls when they demean others.
      It may be necessary to mold and control the minds of young men preparing for war to be made fitful and angry with the other side, but using the same tactic for public discourse makes progress unavailable and democracy unworkable.
      Have a good weekend teach, get some rest, you've got a lot to teach that's still within.

      •  Hate makes one feel superior (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, DianeNYS, moldyfolky

        Superiority has one basic function- it allows people to justify their exploitation of their fellow human beings.

        "The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering."

        by rlharry on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 12:59:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Dial it back a bit, Obama had an upper-middle (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moldyfolky, Chaoslillith

        class upbringing, nowhere near "poverty":

        in the instance of the President, his monumental rise from poverty to Ivy League star

        "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

        by Bluefin on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:12:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I had wondered about your absence. (7+ / 0-)

      Good to have you back.

      movin' to DK4 soon, gonna be a dental floss tycoon ...

      by alliedoc on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 05:53:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the allusion to "hate" of those who (12+ / 0-)

      criticize Obama sets up a false equivalence with those whom you would characterize as hating Obama, and this is my point: Everyone who criticizes Barack Obama will say that their criticism is valid and not based on "hate".

      Donald Trump who find it hard to believe that Barack Obama could have even entered  Harvard will say that his disbelief has nothing to do with the race of the President. Individuals on the Right who criticize the President as the worst President in history or those on the Left who claim the President is a "sell out" will all say their criticisms are within reason.

      Crticism of Barack Obama runs the gamut and many people who see this President as someone who earned his admittance to Harvard, or who believe that it is outrageously over the top to claim that he is the worst President in history or that he is a "sell out", will feel  great offense, resentment, or even anger, not driven by "hate" but spurred on by the perception of a constant attempt to discredit him.

      So, generally speaking, as far as the defenders of the President are concerned, or those whose defense you might detect to be motivated by the emotion of "hate", I wonder if such a defense is really driven by "hate" or merely driven by an abiding frustration with the incredible day-in and day-out bombardment of criticism levied against this President by not only Republicans who see him as "horrible", but also by some Democrats, who see him as "horrible".

      Unlike George W. Bush, who rarely received criticism from Republicans, rightly or wrongly, Barack Obama gets it from both sides, it is historic, it is frequent, and it is unrelenting.

      •  It's who we are and it is, mostly, a good thing (6+ / 0-)
        Unlike George W. Bush Republicans, who rarely received criticism from Republicans, rightly or wrongly, Barack Obama) Democrats gets it from both sides, it is historic, it is frequent, and it is unrelenting.
        IMHO, the Party goal is not to be in denial or fight with who we are at any one point, but to be continuously, individually introspective and collectively to use it all to our advantage.

        Progress requires the impulse to change. It's a natural coherency.  

        Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

        by kck on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:36:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You said this better than I could (6+ / 0-)

        I decided to read the whole diary before I responded because Ken's statement

        Hate directed towards those who criticize Obama

        threw me a bit off.

        Hate is an absolute for me.  There is no room to grow, to listen or to reason when one hates.  Also, those who hate are the first who commonly have to defend themselves or explain themselves away even before the question is asked.

        Criticizing this President or any President is never the the issue.  However there is clearly bigoted code language going on with this President that the mainstream corporatized media is fully complicit in.  

        When the media gives rise to the language of Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman and the whole Tea Party movement as being acceptable 'opposition' to President Obama, then it greys the line adequately for those who consciously and with full deliberation hate the fact that an African American is President of the United States.  Those who knowingly and willfully believe in their Caucasian sense of superiority can cloak that hatred under the guise of 'criticism'.  

        It is frustrating to me because I know that they all know that I know what is really going on here.

        What is also frustrating to me is those who criticize the President for well stated policy or political reasons sometimes retorting to similiar language or themes and then not understanding why their otherwise legitimate criticisms are not given a fair amount of consideration.

        It's because the line has been crossed and it's clear for all who chooses to see it for what it is.

        "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

        by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:21:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have seen a lot of dislike and criticism... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreenSooner, drmah

          aimed at Obama around here, including my own...

          And I dont see the code.

          And it's not because it is so cryptically genius that I am blind to it. I may have missed some but I see far more in the way of complaints against these gangs of code-serving/slurping anti-Obamaists, than I see of the actual words these gang members allegedly are so keen on.

          Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a lame party, or should it drive a lame party to break out? If it cant, should it break out?

          by NYCee on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 11:41:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But you see... (6+ / 0-)

            that's the difference between you and I.  I do recognize the code and the fact that you don't is exactly the point that I'm trying to make.  

            "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

            by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 12:15:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's non-responsive. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dreamghost, WisePiper, zett, NYCee

              NYCee says (and I agree) that there are lots of non-specific allegations of such coded language among progressives critical of the President, but few actual examples.

              A proper response would be to provide examples.

              Instead, smoothnmellow simply insinuates that those of us who fail to see the unspecified uses of racially coded language are simply naive...or worse, but continues not to provide examples.  

              We're in emperor's new clothes territory here: there's virtually nothing to these accusations and we're now being told that those who don't see their truth must be part of the problem.

              And just to clarify: I completeluyaccept that it's possible for self-described progressives to intentionally or naively engage in racist code-talk.  There were great examples of this on the part of the HRC campaign in 2008 (e.g.  Clinton's campaign was among the first folks to stir the birther pot).  But such accusations require specific examples.  The fact that some criticisms of Obama are racial dogwhistles does not make all criticisms of the President racial dogwhistles.

              •  I was clear the first time (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NedSparks, dmh44, foufou

                and I felt no need to repeat myself.  

                "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

                by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:05:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Oh and for the record (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dmh44, foufou

                no where did I imply such a generalization.  This is also the problem.  This can't ever be discussed without someone saying that a broad brush indictment is being made.

                "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

                by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:10:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe you are misreading what you see as code. (0+ / 0-)

              Hey, could be!

              Should a "progressive" Dem blog dwell in the safe zones of a lame party, or should it drive a lame party to break out? If it cant, should it break out?

              by NYCee on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 03:11:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No. I understand what I (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dmh44, foufou

                understand.  Clearly we will not agree.

                "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

                by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:02:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  my disagreement with Indefinite Detention, (6+ / 0-)

          Predator Drone strikes (at an all time high now), and the expansion of war across the Middle East is not a 'cloak' for anything, I had the same complaints when G W Bush was pursuing those policies and I will continue as long as any President supports these practices.
          In short, I could care less which President does these things, I care that they are being done by this Country.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 01:03:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And then clearly I was not referring to you. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dmh44, foufou

            Again, you guys are missing the point.  I have read posts where the criticism of Obama was specific to policy/political issues.  

            And that's all.

            But I have also read posts where some of the same policy/political criticisms were made with the addition of rhetoric being used by those on the right that has nothing to do with policy or politics at all.

            I have also read posts where individuals who agreed with the sound criticism of the President were rec'd up by individuals who uses coded language in their posts.

            All I'm saying is that folk should be aware that this is going on if we are to progress with fruitful discussions around here.

            "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

            by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:26:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  understood, thnx for the tenor of your answer (0+ / 0-)

              ... a good one is where 'fruitful discussions' begin and it's harder to get the focus on the 'policies' not the person when anyone includes the person of the President in their arguments of criticism or support . Then the discussion gets sidetracked from serious  Executive Orders for 'Indefinite Detention',  or escalation of Predator Drone attacks (to pick a couple) turning it into a discussion of the person, not the Presidency, and what that office is doing in the name of this Country.

              Speaking of forgetting the person and focusing on policy instead, may I ask your feelings about the two things I've mentioned ? If you supported these Executive Orders by our government under GWB ?

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:16:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No problem. (0+ / 0-)

                I'm all for dialogue and my answer to your question is -- it depends.

                If you are referring to the Bradley Manning case wrt indefinite detention without due process, if it is a violation of military codes, then yes.  I would not be in favor of the government's actions.  However the story surrounding case seems to involve two completely different takes on the matter and so I refrain from commenting on it because I honestly don't know who or what to believe.  What I do believe is that his alleged crimes are very serious, even though it exposed some ff-up shyt on our government's part.

                WRT Predator Drone strikes, I prefer that than having our soldiers in harm's way.  I think the real question is whether I'm in favor of the wars in Afghanstan, Iraq and the U.S's participation in the Libyan Civil War.

                My answers would be yes, no and no.

                "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

                by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:17:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  two things ,I'm not talking about Manning (0+ / 0-)

                  or any particular case, including all the people held in Guantanamo or Bagram , or any other Human Rights' Black hole. I'm talking about any President ordering someone held 'indefinitely' without any judicial process and no access to a Defense ,as everything is cloaked under a claim of  being a 'State Secret'. I remember people protesting the Soviet Union and China doing this but now...? It's OK if 'we' do it, it's terrible when others do these things I guess.
                   (BTW it violates International Law under Human Rights, but hey, just like the issue of opposition  from the people we are bombing in Pakistan to the Drone attacks...the answer they got was "it doesn't violate US Law" what else matters right?)

                  On Predator Drone attacks I didn't say anything about 'protecting our troops' (occupying forces will always be attacked), I mean in regards to the hundreds of civilian casualties in Pakistan, and other areas of the Middle East where we are bombing whether that Country likes it or not . That is naked Imperialism ,and it is not protecting troops, on the contrary it is what crowds of people have been screaming about in Pakistan, and something everyone admits terrorists  use as a great recruiting tool.

                  without the ants the rainforest dies

                  by aliasalias on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:39:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You asked me about my opinions on the (0+ / 0-)

                    subject and I think I gave them to you.  I don't think that my answers would change in any case.

                    "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

                    by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 08:56:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  thnx for the response, my concern is for Laws (0+ / 0-)

                      that are enforced on a case by case matter, and that is where we cease to be a Nation of Laws.
                      The famous claim of defending someone's speech even if you disagree with them is based on not making that right conditional. I defend your right to free speech as long as it is on something with which I agree is not the gist of the Constitution. Just like the established 'right' that guarantees all peoplethe right to a trial to see the evidence against them in order to defend themselves, and confront their accusers.

                      So am I mistaken to believe you extend the protection of the right to a trial to someone you agree with, but not to someone with which you disagree ? The problem with giving any President the power to disregard Laws they so choose, is there will not always be a President whose policies regarding our Laws are in themselves legal.
                      It's a sad thing to see people championing a case by case consideration of following our Constitution. If anything , it contradicts your signature statement because the Conservative philosophy is one of selective application of our Laws. A selective application of our Laws helps solidify the Republican's Conservative philosophy.

                      (One other thing, I wasn't able to stick around last nite and where I went I kept thinking about my last comment, thinking maybe my comment was too confrontational, but I didn't intend it to be that way. Nor this one BTW)

                      without the ants the rainforest dies

                      by aliasalias on Sun May 01, 2011 at 11:35:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Wonderful point smoothmellow.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doroma, foufou
        •  I have no hatred for Obama (0+ / 0-)

          I think that in some ways, he's far, far too friendly with corporate interests. I don't think he's been tough enough on Republicans and centrist Democrats. He's got way too many corporate-friendly people in his cabinet. I think these are unwise and possibly immoral moves. But I don't hate him. I like Obama as a person; in fact, hanging out with him would probably be pretty fun and his intelligence is undeniable. He can frustrate me, because at a time when we need bold action and a leader with a great personality, it seems that all he can offer are half-measures, which often get negotiated down to quarter measures. I don't think he's a bad guy or naive, but for whatever reason, he doesn't side with the people who elected him nearly enough.

          •  I don't think you needed to explain (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dmh44, foufou

            that you didn't.  This is exactly what I'm referring to.  

            Once again, let me be very clear now.  I'm not concluding that

            Obama criticism = Obama hatred = racism.

            If that is what you got from my post, then you missed the boat completely on my point.

            "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

            by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:31:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Hate is withheld love (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GDbot, BlueDragon, fiddler crabby, G2geek

      Love is seeing the world as one, hate is rejecting some fact of reality. That is why love is more powerful - hatred is a derivative of it. First there must be love.

      The cure is to look at those facts of reality. In hatred they are shunned. But they are real, and what we don't know can get us killed.

      "Contact is the appreciation of differences" - Fritz Perls. First we must split reality into observed and observer. And then we split it into a million other fragments - sky and earth, friend and foe, edible and not edible. Always with the differences.

      Sin is to forget the unity, the wholeness, the need of every last piece for there to be a whole. No one gets left behind. No one is left out.

      And then there is the unreal. Those are the fantasies we invent out of the incomplete list of parts.

      Anyway - all I know is the cure is to get all the facts. All of them. And to accept they all have to be if we want to be whole.

      I am absolutely atheist - my concept of god is that god is reality - whole, exactly as it is before we split the subject that sees from the objects that are seen - before we start dividing. There are no gods, only reality.

      I love the truth expressed here by Thomas a Kempis from The Imitation of Christ:

      The Wonderful Effect of Divine Love

      Ah, Lord God, thou holy lover of my soul, when thou comest into my heart, all that is within me shall rejoice.

      Thou art my glory and the exultation of my heart: thou art my hope and refuge in the day of my trouble.


      But because I am as yet weak in love, and imperfect in virtue, I have need to be strengthened and comforted by thee; visit me therefore often, and instruct me with all holy discipline.

      Set me free from evil passions, and heal my heart of all inordinate affections; that being inwardly cured and thoroughly cleansed, I may be made fit to love, courageous to suffer, steady to persevere.


      Love is a great thing, yea, a great and thorough good; by itself it makes every thing that is heavy, light; and it bears evenly all that is uneven.

      For it carries a burden which is no burden, and makes every thing that is bitter, sweet and tasteful.

      The noble love of Jesus impels one to do great things,and stirs one up to be always longing for what is more perfect.

      Love desires to be aloft, and will not be kept back by any thing low and mean.

      Love desires to be free, and estranged from all worldly affections, that so its inward sight may not be hindered; that it may not be entangled by any temporal prosperity, or by any adversity subdued.

      Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing more courageous, nothing higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller nor better in heaven and earth; because love is born of God, and cannot rest but in God, above all created things.


      He that loveth, flyeth, runneth, and rejoiceth; he is free, and cannot be held in.

      He giveth all for all, and hath all in all; because he resteth in One highest above all things, from whom all that is good flows and proceeds.

      He respecteth not the gifts, but turneth himself above all goods unto the Giver.

      Love often times knoweth no measure, but is fervent beyond all measure.

      Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself and all things possible.

      It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where he who does not love, would faint and lie down.


      Love is watchful, and sleeping slumbereth not.

      Though weary, it is not tired; though pressed, it is not straitened; though alarmed, it is not confounded; but as a lively flame and burning torch, it forces its way upwards, and securely passes through all.

      If any one love, he knoweth what is the cry of this voice. For it is a loud cry in the ears of God, the mere ardent affection of the soul, when it saith, “My God, my love, thou art all mine, and I am all thine.”


      Enlarge thou me in love, that with the inward palate of my heart I may taste how sweet it is to love, and to be dissolved, and as it were to bathe myself in thy love.

      Let me be possessed by love, mounting above myself, through excessive fervor and admiration.

      Let me sing the song of love, let me follow thee, my Beloved, on high; let my soul spend itself in thy praise, rejoicing through love.

      Let me love thee more than myself, nor love myself but for thee: and in thee all that truly love thee, as the law of love commandeth, shining out from thyself.


      Love is active, sincere, affectionate, pleasant and amiable; courageous, patient, faithful, prudent, long-suffering, resolute, and never seeking itself.

      For in whatever instance one seeketh oneself, there he falleth from love.

      Love is circumspect, humble, and upright: not yielding to softness, or to levity, nor attending to vain things; it is sober, chaste, steady, quiet, and guarded in all the senses.

      Love is subject, and obedient to its superiors, to itself mean and despised, unto God devout and thankful, trusting and hoping always in Him, even then when God imparteth no relish of sweetness unto it: for without sorrow, none liveth in love.


      He that is not prepared to suffer all things, and to stand to the will of his Beloved, is not worthy to be called a lover of God.

      A lover ought to embrace willingly all that is hard and distasteful, for the sake of his Beloved; and not to turn away from him for any contrary accidents.

      Selected from Book 3, Chapter 5, of The Imitation of Christ, a book that has probably been read by and inspired more Christians than any other spiritual work except the Bible. Its traditional author, Thomas à Kempis (ca. 1380–1471), spent most of his life in Holland among the Brethren of the Common Life, a community devoted to a life of simplicity, selfless service, and the “imitation of Christ” in tumultuous times that fostered other notable European mystics, including Saint Catherine of Siena, Henry Suso, and Nicholas of Cusa. This translation, based on that of Anthony Hoskins (ca. 1613), is from Of the Imitation of Christ: Four Books by Thomas à Kempis, The World's Classics, vol. 49 (London: Oxford University Press, 1903).

      It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

      by muddy boots on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:52:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this reminds me of something (5+ / 0-)

        Thomas Merton wrote at one point that when he was exploring Eastern mysticism a Buddhist asked why he was looking East when he could simply turn to Thomas a Kempis.

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 08:09:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it's withheld love. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        muddy boots

        Love and hate are the ultimate extremes of emotions.  Both emotions when fully exercised can be devoid of reason and sensible thought.  Also both emotions are the exact opposite of one another.  You cannot hold any love when you hate.  You cannot hold any hate when you love.

        What comes inbetween is the ability to decide between the two.

        "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

        by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:25:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Love is stronger than hate. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They are not opposites - they are the same. You keep your friends close and your enemies closer. You would die for those you love and kill those you hate. Either way, we all die. One is whole, the other is separate. Divide to conquer, united we win.

          And yes - they are the ultimate take no prisoners emotions.

          But - we love and hate at the same time all the time. That is what all the rationalizing is about. We can never decide which way to go so we gather evidence and argue over it.

          Which is a good thing - it is caring. Enemies care very deeply about each other.

          It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

          by muddy boots on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 03:41:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            muddy boots

            If you are contending that love is stronger than hate, then the two are not the same.

            And I totally disagree that they are the same.  They are extreme emotions at the opposite ends of the spectrum of emotions.  What you are describing is the extreme LOGIC that usually couples with experiencing 'love' or 'hate' -- what we would 'do' as a result of experiencing those feelings.  

            Also, I never said that we couldn't love and hate at the same time.  It is what we concentrate our love and hate on that is different.

            Enemies do not care very deeply for those who they hate.  But they may care and love those who are of like minds to them.

            "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

            by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:42:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What do we do when we hate? (0+ / 0-)

              We try to eliminate something. We refuse to accept something that is fact. And we think that once eliminated we will be at peace with the world. And it is the desire to be at peace that drives it. Same as love.

              It will never work, however as it is at odds with reality. Life is a bitch that way.

              Caring is neither good nor bad - it is just intense attention to your wellbeing. Love would like to maintain or improve it, hate would like to eliminate it. Either way it is still caring.

              Love on the other hand has the potential to accept reality  - though who ever gets it right? There is just so much we don't know.

              It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

              by muddy boots on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:21:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Love does not require belief in a deity. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        muddy boots, G2geek

        Just sayin'.

        •  I explained that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You need to redefine the word god so it doesn't mean deity. It means reality. But not just objective reality. That is the tree that falls in silence - ain't no such thing. Or are you just a p-zombie...

          Meanwhile used in this way it covers all the ground the deity god does - omniscient, omnipotent, infallible, etc. Ever won an argument against reality? Didn't think so...

          It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

          by muddy boots on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 03:30:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  you lost me at (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hate directed towards those who criticize Obama

      there have been some angry words volleyed back and forth during the pie fights over Obama on daily kos, but NOT hate

      hate is wishing a person wasn't alive.  nobody hates anyone on daily kos, teacher ken.  

      if you are trying to tell me who Obama really is... i've already stopped listening

      by Anton Bursch on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 12:07:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  two things wrong about your comment (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenSooner, drmah, zenox, Larry Bailey

        hate does not necessarily mean wanting someone dead

        and even by that standard there have been more than a few comments directed at critics of Obama that would qualify

        and yes, the back and forth has descended beyond personal invective into hatred.

        You may not have seen it.

        I have.

        "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

        by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 12:09:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Methinks you are looking with rose colored (0+ / 0-)

        glasses; or perhaps unable to look at all.

        If you want to get a helmet, a seat belt - and a bucket - I can show you some that most definitely rides right along that line.

        "wishing a person wasn't alive"

        ...overtly stating that someone is worthless, not wanted, wrong,

        I'm honestly a little surprised that you would say you haven't seen hate here on DK.

        You must either have an extremely high threshold for what constitutes hate, or you've got some astonishingly well-honed skill at looking past it.

        Yeah, people hate people here. I'll be right here to give you links if you really want to know.

        And I can also tell you how visceral, how personal, how dark, cold and ugly it feels when you're the one it's directed at. There should never be any judgment to tell another person what does or does not hurt.

        The one in pain always reserves the right to decide how much it hurts, and it's dehumanizing to tell anyone that the pain they feel really doesn't.

        People hate people on Daily Kos, Anton. I've been one of the hated, and a direct quote from one who does was

        "I stand by every fucking word"

        link forthcoming if you have doubts.

        George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

        by snafubar on Mon May 02, 2011 at 08:33:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Powerful. Seductive. (20+ / 0-)

    It's so easy to descend, and not quite so easy to rise above.  

    But we must.  

    If we deal with them with Love and not Hate, eventually Love will win.

    And they know it.

    And they are scared.

    As I used to sing in Church during the Post Vatican II Hippie Catholic Church days of the 70s:

    "Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with ME."

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:48:24 AM PDT

    •  True, it is easy to descend. (0+ / 0-)

      With the Texas wildfires and now the tornados down south I am torn.  Perry has advocated leaving the union but now he begs for financial assistance.  The southern states, as red as you will find, critize everything Obama but now clamor for his help.  The better angel in me say help them, for they are fellow citizens, fellow humans.  The other side of me says no, don't help them they promote racism, won't accept Obama as their President and some refuse he was legitimately elected.

      The other day I heard someone say Obama doesn't understand America.  Is that because he, as black man, doesn't understand his place is as a servant or some other such nonsense.  They want small government and scream states' rights.  My lessor half says let them have small government. let them figure it out on their own.  Then the angel inside reminds me the government governs us all, we are union of 50 states and as a result they must be helped, but none-the-less the conflict remains.

      I remember during a very cold winter around the time of oil embargos during the seventies my folks struggling to pay for heating oil and I heard on the news, from someone in Texas, let them freeze.  The conflict is not mine alone.

  •  I'm not sure it is, but I do think it is... (17+ / 0-)

    ...worse to encounter people "rationally" declaring you to be a substandard human being, complete with an "argument", generally devoid of facts, as to why that is so.  

    •  I would argue that is a form of hatred (27+ / 0-)

      it may be phrased in the language of rational argument, but that is a mask for the fear and anger and hatred.

      And I would say I have seen far too much of that here at Daily Kos lately.  

      Which is part of the reason for this diary.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:54:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In my own life, I find that it is often (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GDbot, doe, mamamarti, BlueDragon

        difficult to distinguish between "hatred" and "fear."  While there were bullies that I certainly hated in Jr High and High School, I'm not sure that wasn't just part of the whole "fight/flight" biochemical brain stew.

        I think that hatred might have had survival value at one time and probably has biological roots.  That's why it might be so easy for governments and religions, etc., to trigger that response with words and scary images -- why we can be manipulated so easily and why disagreement or alienation can so quickly turn to violence and hatred.

        Not excusing hatred of course, but simply saying that it's not exclusively cultural, all insidious propoganda and bad guys --

        it does suggest (if there is anything at all to what I think) that the problem is not hatred itself, but the targets that are chosen for hatred.  Is education enough to end hatred?  Probably not.  But I think we can learn to recognize when we are being used and are being manipulated . . . when someone has an agenda that is trying to trigger what may be entirely natural (and even beneficial in an evolutionary sense.)

        If this is entirely wacky . . . well, I'm not a well educated man.  So don't hate on me for my ignorance.  :-)

        That's understandable when I realize that I can't feel my body.

        by prodigal on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:35:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  For myself, (21+ / 0-)

    I know that when I am hurt or feel attacked, I immediately get defensive. Then I want to build as big of barrier as possible, usually by verbal attack. It is a method of "survival" I learned at a very young age and has been very destructive for me. It is a very difficult pattern to break, although I have been working on breaking it for years, with some professional help. I know that my reaction is based on deep-seeded fear. I have learned, very slowly, I have to recognize my destructive patterns, recognize my inappropriate reactions, inventory what makes me fearful, and instruct myself to respond in a manner different than my first reaction calls for. I have gotten better, faster, more consistant over the years, as I strive to be the better person I was born to be. I am eternally grateful there are those around me who have loved my enough to stick with me through this journey.

    "There must be more to life than having everything" -Maurice Sendak

    by lilypew on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 05:09:28 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for writing what might be the most (17+ / 0-)

    important diary ever written on dKos.

    I know that I respond with anger more than I should and it is a constant struggle first to be aware of it and secondly to control it.

    Your students are very lucky if your classroom teaching is as excellent as the teaching you do in your diaries. (And I am sure that it is!)

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 05:12:01 AM PDT

  •  The hatred of others unlike ourselves has always (15+ / 0-)

    been with us, but I believe the real danger is that the acceptance and embrace of that hatred that has spread throughout our culture, unchecked by our current political or spiritual leaders. Our youngest members of society are reflecting that by tormenting those in their classrooms and playgrounds that are unlike them, in race, choice of clothing, academic ability (high or low), even what's in their lunch box. Children live what they learn.

    I appreciate you sharing this reflection with us. Our family has been on a journey of recovery this year, from the abuse hatred causes, and for me, it is a constant struggle not to submit to the fog of hatred that sometimes surrounds me, when I think of those that did nothing to prevent that abuse.

    Peace to you.

    [-5.38,-6.77]"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."-Plato

    by mamamarti on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 05:24:46 AM PDT

    •  By and large that cultural spread has been (8+ / 0-)

      Unchecked, manamarti, I agree! But I do think the inclination to exploit hatreds and other-ness distinctions for political gain is more characteristic of conservatives than it is of progressives.

      The British social psychologist, Henri Tajfel, wrote at great length about in-group, out-group dynamics and of how in-group loyalty is often expressed through out-group hostility, perhaps even hatred. Have you heard of him? I think his writings carry enormous importance for our political dialogue.

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT

      by BeninSC on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:12:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The hate extends in every direx... (12+ / 0-)

    And the hate is growing every day.
    People are following each other around diaries fighting ancient battles, trying to vanquish their enemies and win the blog.
    Now people are threatening each other?

    I whip my hair back and forth...

    by dclawyer06 on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 05:44:20 AM PDT

  •  I do appreciate your diary, but (13+ / 0-)

    I'm not seeing as much of this

    Hate directed towards those who criticize Obama

    as I'm seeing a black-or-white, "winner take all" kind of diary, that says: "If things aren't perfect, stay home and don't vote." Frankly, I can't think of a better way for the Conservatives to win an election than to troll in a community like this and discourage honest, tolerant dissent by implying that it is legitimate to marginalize some views or paths to progress. Their psychology doesn't rest easy with the sort of discussion that occurs here.

    I'd love to see a concerted effort by those who care to infuse legitimate methods to promote a more progressive administration without suggesting that we should simply abandon the country to the crazies and the haters.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 05:46:31 AM PDT

  •  Your words do NOT speak only to you. (15+ / 0-)

    But it's natural that our words speak to us first.

    Of all of your diaries I've read (and I've read, and recommended, hundreds), this one, for me, is the best.

    You articulate so clearly how we go astray from our deepest progressive values when we allow ourselves to be made reactive, as, indeed, just about all those who vote conservatively are. We become our own worst enemies, and we betray ourselves, along with our values and our causes. And we should never embrace the act of provoking unreasoning reactivity in others as a political tool, either.

    You also explain why hatred is not "strong," indeed, it is capitulation. It shows how 'unleashing the dogs of war' (or violence) shows weakness, not strength, for it takes far more strength to hold them in check, and give love the time it needs.

    Thank you, teacherken.

    "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT

    by BeninSC on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 05:53:52 AM PDT

    •  you are welcome (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BeninSC, mamamarti, bookgirl, JanL, rlharry, drmah

      as often happens with some of my diaries, I have been pondering something and totally without planning something clicks in my mind.l

      I was reading some email about some stuff that had happened here yesterday when I was not around.  The specifics are not that important.  But as I was making a cup of coffee the word "hate" just flashed into my mind.

      I stopped and pondered why, starting realizing that there were a number of pieces coming together in my mind and that I wanted to write them down.

      So I brought my cup of coffee over to my computer, and it was cool before I tasted it because I just began writing.  And kept writing.  And posted.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 05:57:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes the strongest argument one can make (6+ / 0-)

        Against hate is to post a diary or a comment of love, a powerful and intended counterbalancing. I confess I read comparatively little of the hatred posted in dialogue on this site. I am aware of it, but I'd rather post something which HELPS in some way, as you have, with your fine example. Too, I do choose to not take that toxicity into myself. There's enough already in there, and no useful purpose is served by making mine contagious to others, or in expecting others to take responsibility for or accept consequences for my 'shit.'

        I know you understand, teacherken. ;)

        "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT

        by BeninSC on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:05:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes the best writing (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Philoguy, mamamarti, teacherken, bookgirl

        captures those thoughts that we normally would not share.  This diary reads like a true, personal diary.  

        You've expressed how the personal, public and professional deeply influence our behavior.  This diary is a moving testament to how an accepted behavior - hate - is corrosive to the core of the human experience.

        There's a deep part of every creature that is inimical and oppositional to the other.  One of the triumphs of the human experience is learning how to overcome that opposition and antipathy through knowledge, empathy, and sometime, when called for, with force.  Hate is the embrace of that opposition, and when it is accepted and expands, it becomes the rust that destroys human society and relations.  Your work towards preventing hate is incredibly important.  Thank you.

        •  don't think we can prevent hate (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bookgirl, JanL, mamamarti, EdSF

          but we can oppose acting upon it.  We can fight it within ourselves.

          I have not overcome my own tendencies towards hatred.

          I try to not give in to them.

          It is a start.

          "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

          by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:05:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (8+ / 0-)

    Those who are comfortable with their inner selves and are happy do not project hate on to others.

  •  We've had lots of discussions (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man, JanL, BlueDragon, rlharry

    in our family about military training to objectify people, hate and revile them, PTSD, etc.  Our consensus is that most people called to war will suffer some form of PTSD.  How could a basically good person not?  I guess the only good thing to ponder is that most people have to be taught to hate sufficiently to kill other humans.  And that deep down they know it is wrong.

    But there is a percentage of people who seem to have this kind of hate deep within them, first manifesting itself very early on in pre-school children.  We were appalled when our children were young to see very young children who enjoyed hurting other children, mistreated helpless animals, etc.  I don't agree that children must be taught to hate and hurt.  I think some are born that way.  They grow up to be sociopaths.

    If you don't value it, you shouldn't be trusted with it. Rachel Maddow Show on government, April 6. 2011

    by Heart of the Rockies on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:07:56 AM PDT

    •  allow Mandy Patinkin to respond (7+ / 0-)

      with the words of Oscar Hammerstein and the music of Richard Rogers

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:25:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but most of us have seen a family with children, all presumably subjected to the upbringing, have one that is mean, aggressive and hurtful from the get go.  For children like that, there's more involved than being taught.

        BTW, thank you for the reminder of a wonderful song and musical.  There was a lot of gentle wisdom in most of them, as well as humor and lovely music.

        If you don't value it, you shouldn't be trusted with it. Rachel Maddow Show on government, April 6. 2011

        by Heart of the Rockies on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 08:02:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Y'know, I often feel hatred toward the cons. (9+ / 0-)

    And I know as soon as I feel it that it is wrong for me to hate them.  It's wrong to feel the urge of violence, to think in destructive metaphors. to dehumanize, etc.  I should clarify that I am speaking of cons in power, not the average person who self-describes as conservative.  I mean Senator McConnell, whose voice now sets me off in the way Bush & Cheney do.  I mean the Koch brothers, & the panel of GOP Presidential hopefuls I heard spouting their evil BS at a panel reported by NPR this morning.

    And I'll go out on a limb & say that others here feel the same.   Hate of our enemy: the rich & their minions.

    As to why this is...  one major driver of hatred toward a group is a feeling of powerlessness &/or helplessness.   I am sure that my feeling of hate is among other things reminding me that I am not taking enough action.  I've wanted to get on a streetcorner with a sign for a long time, yet I never do it, even though I often have time on a weekend.  I make a few calls a week to the White House; I email & sometimes call my Senators; I may even get around contacting my state officials.  But I'm not doing enough, so that unused energy expresses itself in an emotionally negative way.

    The one good thing about it is that I am aware of my hatred when it manifests & understand that it is not something to act upon.   Unfortunately, those who have not learned a measure of self-awareness are more prone to equating anything they feel or think as what is true or good.  

  •  I see some parallels in my life. (15+ / 0-)

    I joined the Army in 1990 after dropping out of college, too.  Interestingly enough, I always found my "liberal awakening" to have happened in the military.  Among several events that occurred, there are two that really stand out in my mind that this diary really reminds me of.

    1.  During basic training we had a session where our whole training battalion was in a hall, and there was a man on stage who was dressed in a "soviet style" uniform.  He was supposedly a defector, but he stood up and railed about how awesome Russia and Cuba were.  In the process the Drill Instructors encouraged us to get angry at the guy.  We all started getting mad and shouting and the actor onstage got more and more insolent.  I thought it was kind of dumb, but I didn't really realize the impact until I read in 1984 about the "Two Minutes Hate."  I read it at the end of my enlistment, and it was one of many things that made me realize that I was making the right decision by leaving the Army.

    2.  I was stationed in DC and my squad leader came back from a parade.  He was complaining about taking his kids to a parade and having to deal with the fact that there was some guy out there who was gay, who happened to be particularly flaming.  Now at the parade, this guy that was irritating him so much by being gay in front of his children, was across the street.  He then commented that he spent the entire parade wanting to go over there and "kick his ass."  We were all infantry, so the attitude is unsurprising, but I just couldn't get over the desire of him to go beat the person for something that had absolutely nothing to do with him or his children.  Absolutely nothing.  Also, it seemed more that the parade was ruined for him by being angry rather than the gay dude.

    Since then, I have become even more liberal, thanx to my own education (4 degrees including a PhD in Physics, and an MBA, but no job, way to go Republicans), and my wife.  My wife is from India, and has just finished her PhD in higher ed admin, and she did her dissertation on diversity issues all the while informing me even more.  I practice Aikido to help minimize my anger and hate, and I still have to work on deprogramming myself from the indoctrination of the Army (which I left in 1994).

    I think it is really sad that we put these soldiers in the position they are in in Afghanistan/Iraq.  We train these people to hate their enemy enough so that it makes killing them easier.  Then we put them in a situation where they are suddenly in a position of needing to protect them, with no training for that.  These people must either experience intense moral conflict, which they have to deal with every day and must take a huge emotional toll, or they avoid it all together and just repress it by turning to hate, because hating is easy.  That way you don't have to see them as human.

    Thanks for the diary.  Wasn't planning on a morning of introspection, but I got one anyway.

  •  Thank you for writing this (9+ / 0-)

    It made me wonder about something, and I always like a diary that makes me think. I sometimes find myself responding with hatred toward people, whether it's someone who cuts me off in traffic of someone playing music too loudly, or some other thing I don't like. And occasionally, in the back of my mind, I go back to those old hateful terms. When that happens, I am disappointed in and ashamed of myself, and I promise I will try harder next time. I wonder if the people who spew this kind of hate out loud on a regular basis have any of the same feelings. Are they capable of feeling shame, or is all of this so ingrained that they don't know that they should?

  •  Your diary reminds me that I once wrote a diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mamamarti, rudewarrior, bookgirl

    on the same subject. Here. I'm honored to say you were one of the recommenders. :) And thank you for that, too.

    It originally linked to. YouTube video I found showing the humanity Josh and Toby and Sam and CJ showed to a very down Ainsley Hays after a most trying (and even a hate-filled day). The video has apparently been removed (copyright issues, I imagine), but it plays on in my heart, and remains one of my favorites.

    "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT

    by BeninSC on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:28:47 AM PDT

  •  It's a paradox (5+ / 0-)

    SometimesI think people just need to let it out, the hate and the fear, and if we let them, something is learned and we can move on.

    But in a community, because people are conneted, hate can inspire hate.

    So where to draw the line can be a difficult call, but I draw that line at abuse, physical or verbal.

    We need more than love, we need respect, to show it and to get it.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:48:26 AM PDT

  •  Your diary is timely TeacherKen (18+ / 0-)

    Right speech.  Recently my on-again-off-again 5 year relationship with conservative Republican boyfriend ended & it ended on an ugly note.  He finally understood that my world view is VERY different than his and that nothing was going to change me.  For my part, I didn't try to change him.  I just loved the loveable parts of him & asked that if he couldn't respect our political differences, that he honor my request to not talk about it.  LSS, he gave me a very public vitriolic tongue lashing at Outback Steak House 3 wks ago.  The relationship ended right there in the moment for me.  I did not, however, enrage or explode in return as I felt he had done a banner job of making an ass out of himself and didn't need my help.  1 1/2 wks later - there it was - hot, burning, anger.  I called him up and spewed all manner of verbal ugliness ALL over him not even giving him the opportunity to respond.  It felt really good to lay him out for about a week I felt righteously justified in everything I said.  Upon reflection the past few days I had the solid soul conviction that regardless of HIS behavior, that my behavior was out of line.  2 wrongs don't make a right.  I called him and offered a sincere apology and accepted his while making clear that we as a couple are over and that I wish him well. I woke up this morning feeling clean, free and at peace.  It is "easy" to be right, defensive, smug, self-righteous & leave it there.  Problem is "leaving it there" rots your soul from the inside-out.  Namaste TeacherKen.  Thank you.  

    "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

    by Dixiedemocrat on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 06:51:35 AM PDT

    •  That's very nice of you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But in my mind, you weren't hating on him by giving him a piece of your mind.  He probably had that coming anyway.  Also you did better by privately speaking your mind instead of the public display of assholedom that he bestrowed on you.

      But if it made you feel better, than it's all good.

      "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

      by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:29:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Forgiveness. (0+ / 0-)

        Good points all smoothnmellow.  My apology served 2 purposes.  1 -It allowed me to forgive myself for MY actions and 2 - it allowed me to let him go and the relationship go with love, thus freeing me.  It had to be heartfelt in order for those 2 things to happen and if there is anything I've learned about forgiveness over the years is that it is an organic process that can't be forced. You can't begin to forgive the wrong until you acknowledge your common humanity with "the other" knowing that you yourself are as imperfect as anybody else.

        "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it." - Flannery O'Conner

        by Dixiedemocrat on Sun May 01, 2011 at 03:32:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Taking time away (10+ / 0-)

    I too have felt a need to spend less time here than usual. There comes a point where you have to consider if this place is beneficial to your life, and lately the answer for me, would be no.

    I'm not sure that the vitriolic language is anything new Ken have been here much longer than I - is it getting worse? A few weeks back, I saw mention of the word UGOG. I've been here a year and was not familiar with the term - so I googled it. It led me back to a time two years ago, and the diaries that I read from that era were also filled with hate. There were some differences, the sides were different, some Obama critics were Obama supporters back then. But still, there were members of the community looking to game the system, outing people, folks leaving, conspiracy theories...

    Looking at the bigger picture, life outside of Daily Kos, I agree that there is an escalation of hate. These are precarious times, people are under economic stress and with the uncertainty, all of our imperfections are magnified. Everyone is looking for someone to blame for their misery.  

    I'm not sure we can make much of a difference by participating at Daily Kos. DK seems to be broken...very few action diaries, very many meta diaries. Real life is where we can make a huge difference and you Ken have made a huge difference in the lives of many, many
    children.  It is really disturbing to me when I read about children bullying other children...they are learning that from us - we need to set the example that bullying is not okay, that name calling is not okay, that hate is not okay. It starts with us.

    •  the level of vitriol waxes and wanes (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bookgirl, JanL, kimoconnor, mamamarti, EdSF, drmah

      but that does not mean we should simply wait when it is on the uprise for it again to fade away.  In the interim people can get badly hurt.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:07:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The more I read from you, Ginger1... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      teacherken, Ginger1

      ...the more I like.  Especially what you have to say above about the difference one can make in real life and the seeming lack of difference one can make here at Daily Kos. Lately, DKos feels more like an opportunity for some to grandstand their Progressivity, rather than to actually try to make a Progressive difference. I too miss the action diaries. Maybe I'm just not here at the right time to find them, but I don't see many of them any more -- and those are the diaries that can actually move large numbers of us to call, email, and actually do something.

      Down w/DOMA & Theft Of SSI Savings Of Gay Americans

      by Larry Bailey on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:20:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This televised Hate is something that is not (8+ / 0-)

    comparable to the violence and hate we all saw in the 60s.

    This Hate seems to be "sanctioned". It is spoken by many of our congressmen and women. It is on whole channels 24/7. It demonizes certain groups day after day and it is unrelenting. It is NOT the same as Father Couglin. It is NOT the same as MacCarthy. It is not the same as Wallace and the 60s...although those were bad. This is "acceptable". This is worse than the Eugenics of the early part of the last century because it is trying to be like the early part of the last century. It is really depressing to hear all the hate going on and on, day after day with no one really standing up and saying we are better than all this!

    It needs to stop. It needs to stop before it become a "way of life" for our society.

    Thanks for your essay.

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:14:35 AM PDT

  •  Sounds just like my experience. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But in a much more physically comfortable setting: Air Force ROTC field training, the "pretend like we're escaping prisoners" portion.

    Later on I learned that many people are not particularly sensitive to the concepts of which you write, at least in the context of the military and its job. So many, in fact, that we seem to be able to find plenty of people to fill out about as much of a volunteer military that we care to pay for.

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:17:42 AM PDT

  •  Once again a reflection that (5+ / 0-)

    I want to apply to my own teaching and living; thank you, TeacherKen.

    We're in a high-poverty community where gang violence has once again broken out. It's so important for me to get the idea across to our middle school students that this casual, accepted, that-is-just-the-way-it-is hatred is killing them.

    That instead we need to build up our community and build each other up.

    Although, sadly, with education being attacked as heavily as anything, it is hard for my students to believe that learning is a way to make things better.

  •  I am glad you wrote this (7+ / 0-)

    I need to reflect.
    I need to figure things out. I have found myself more and more frustrated as of late.
    Like you will be in a few weeks, I am 65, having turned a few months back.  Like you my mother died young (55).  But all of my closest maternal female relatives, grandmother (forties), sister (60) did.  I never expected to live this long. I am happy that I have.  But perhaps I was not prepared.

    I come here to talk to like minded people about politics.  I find myself getting frustrated with so many I know, who either have buried their heads in the sand over the present state of politics, over the economy, over the overt hatred that is heard and seen in the media.  Or, sadly, some have become a part of it.  

    I am struggling how to deal with them.

    As a retired teacher, I no longer, on a regular basis, spend time with students trying to get them to think.
    Now I find myself trying to get peers to think, to read, to be informed.  Some are getting their info from the pulpit, from right wing evangelicals.  A few fear offending friends and neighbors who have joined the tea party mentality.  A few feel it is hopeless.

    Then I feel angry when they are silent.

    I feel isolated in my activism.  I go to demonstrations alone. I miss the sense of unity I had when as a teacher, I marched with other teachers to protect our rights; when I marched with thousands for civil rights, for women's rights.

    I wonder now how to deal.  My answer is to come here and to other blogs, to listen, to speak, to learn.

    Thanks for sharing. Thanks for allowing me to share.

  •  Hard to hit a button titled...Hatred. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, bookgirl, mamamarti, zenox

    but I am so glad I did.

    Thank you very much for this diary. You eloquently put into words thoughts I have been having when reading DailyKos lately.

    The spirtuality of forgiveness and tolerance of our fellow human beings is aptly and beautifully written. This could be a sermon at my Unitarian Universalist Church.

    Bless you.

    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. -Mae West

    by COwoman on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:35:38 AM PDT

  •  What's the alternative? Death or being a hermit. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rather I am wrestling with the incompleteness and weakness of the human condition.  
    What's the alternative besides death or living life as a veritable hermit. Being ignorant of who we are or in denial is not loving ourselves.

    It's the tautology.  

    Either we love ourselves with "the incompleteness and weakness of the human condition." or we dwell in the absence of love.

    It's unavoidable to abide by the Golden Rule so the measure is how we love ourselves, not the other.

    Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

    by kck on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:50:57 AM PDT

  •  Hatred is an effective and cheap way to motivate.. (5+ / 0-)

    ...people to fight.

    But it has side effects and unintended consequences.

    A movement or a country or a society that relies on hatred to function, is doomed in the long run.; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:52:31 AM PDT

  •  You should include on you list, hate directed at (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes, mamamarti, drmah

    those whon actually like Obama and support Obama. Those who are often reffered to here as "Obamabots" and
    other names. I agree with the rest of your diary though.

  •  Great diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm glad you wrote this diary.

     Too many people seem to be consumed with anger most of the time at the slightest  excuse to do so, not realizing that  there are health issues associated with being angry often and that quality of life is affected.


    I love me peektures and that is that! Cheerleaders till 2016

    by matrix on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 08:20:59 AM PDT

  •  Hatred is a value (6+ / 0-)

    that is ferociously embraced by too many. And I thank you for surfacing how and why that is so and that we need to rise to the occasion to better contend with it, in ourselves, among our friends and colleagues, and in our communities, including this one.

    Many of us don't realize that hate is a value that we sometimes embrace, all too easily, and often unknowingly. It is often called other things, like being politically "tough"; and justified by saying that the other side (whatever that other side may be) does it, and so therefore we are acting in kind.  In other words, its ok to do it, because someone else does it. The spiral is almost impossible to stop.

    We know that when we hear rationales of this sort, that we are in the presence of the politics of hate. It happens on this site, and we experience the revulsion.

    But there are ways for us to be politically effective, and even forceful, without being hateful.  Learning to know the difference can be challenging, but it is rooted in knowing the difference between the politics of love and the politics of hate.  We are all imperfect when it comes to these things, but we have to begin somewhere, and we have to stay grounded in that somewhere, and work at it with as much moral clarity as we can muster.  It makes all the difference.

  •  This is why I love the common core standards (0+ / 0-)

    --the new education standards adopted by most of the states. What I love about them is that the standards emphasize "argument" and I'm hopeful that if they're implemented properly, beyond their aim to make students "college and career ready," students will be provided with a way of thinking and looking at the world in which there's less room for hate and hate-based discourse. Students might learn the lessons they need to step back and say "but he's not." It's only one tool, but I think it has a place and I'm kind of excited about it...

    From Appendix A (pdf) of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts:

    The Special Place of Argument in the Standards
    While all three text types [narrative, informative, argument] are important, the Standards put particular emphasis on students' ability to write sound arguments on substantive topics and issues, as this ability is critical to college and career readiness. English and education professor Gerald Graff (2003) writes that "argument literacy" is fundamental to being educated. The university is largely an "argument culture," Graff contends; therefore, K-12 schools should "teach the conflicts" so that students are adept at understanding and engaging in argument (both oral and written) when they enter college....

    Theorist and critic Neil Postman (1997) calls argument the soul of an education because argument forces a writer to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of multiple perspectives. When teachers ask students to consider two or more perspectives on a topic or issue, something far beyond surface knowledge is required: students must think critically and deeply, assess the validity of their own thinking, and anticipate counterclaims in opposition to their own assertions.


    "Argument" and "Persuasion"
    When writing to persuade, writers employ a variety of persuasive strategies. One common strategy is an appeal to the credibility, character, or authority of the writer (or speaker). When writers establish that they are knowledgeable and trustworthy, audiences are more likely to believe what they say. Another is an appeal to the audience's self-interest, sense of identity, or emotions, any of which can sway an audience.

    A logical argument, on the other hand, convinces the audience because of the perceived merit and reasonableness of the claims and proofs offered rather than either the emotions the writing evokes in the audience or the character or credentials of the writer....

  •  Hatred comes from pain (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes, mamamarti, zett, aitchdee

    that isn't resolving.  And acts of hatred are efforts to disperse that pain or, surprisingly often, efforts to get someone else to puncture and drain the festering inner wound that is being carried around.

    We live in an age where there is a hope of healing, where many surficial and middling social wounds are treated fairly  effectively.  But this relative efficacy leads people to bring their ever older and deeper and more difficult social wounds into the public square and wish for them to be dealt with.

    Which leads to this strange paradoxical present condition where almost everyone is better off than they used to be in many ways, and yet the public square is filled with people in pain and full of demands and miseries.

  •  I'm afraid that I do hate (4+ / 0-)

    I was raised in a house where there was no tolerance for hate.  I grew up in the 50's and 60's when segregation was still the order of the day, when people who were "different" were openly mocked and treated as second class citizens.  My father would not tolerate any such behavior and I completely embraced his example.  I don't hate anyone or any group because of cultural, ethnic, sexual orientation or any other characteristic of, I guess, birth.
    Having said that, I have a deep hatred of the people who do hate minorities, the poor, the disabled, women or any other group that is the current target of the Republican way.
    When I see Boehner, McConnell, Scott Walker, the Kochs, Karl Rove, Paul Ryan or any of that bunch come on my TV and spew their relentless attacks on everyone who is not "like them" my hatred is palpable.  Worse yet, I don't feel bad about it.  These people are evil, plain and simple.  Whatever in their background made them this way is something completely alien to the principles and values that I have held all my life.
    I would like to think that these people have pushed their hatred to the point that the average American will rebel against their philosophy of hate.  But then I realize that in almost every case these people have been elevated to their positions by my fellow Americans, in many cases repeatedly.  And I feel  a deep despair because I have to wonder if maybe my views are the exception.  
    For this reason, Ken's diary reminds me that hatred is a terrible thing and that I am right to hold to my values.  Unfortunately it's unlikely that my hatred for purveyors of hate will ebb anytime soon.

  •  Close to the best diary and comments ever! (4+ / 0-)

    Thank you. To deal with the anger we see in others we realized we must confront the frustration and anger it stirs up in ourselves. I am not a perfect person but I do still want to become a better person. How to defuse the hatred and anger in an other and myself, and learn how to redirect that energy towards a positive constructive purpose?

  •  I hope you tell us more about the student (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    who had to leave, and the other party involved. Because, even though inappropriate, her response may have been a valid one because of what was directed at HER

    •  it was not - (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamarti, EdSF, slouchsock, Larry Bailey

      because it is something she and the other students have had explained to them I will deal with to avoid confrontations.

      And without going into any detail, while her immediate response was to something inappropriate, that statement was in response to something she had said to that student that was equally as objectionable.  She wants to be able to say what she wants but blows up when she gets it back.

      She has been spoken to by 5 of her 7 teachers, including her ROTC instructor, her counselor, her administrator, and her mother.  This is an ongoing problem, one of a lack of emotional control and a tendency to become a real drama queen.  She has been told she will in my class be given one warning and then removed so that she does not disrupt the rest of the class.

      And before you ask, the other student was also dealt with by being told his remark was inappropriate.  He acknowledged it and did nothing further in that direction.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:01:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ken, thank you for this diary. (8+ / 0-)

    The hatred and venom I have seen here of late breaks my heart.  I have seen far too much justification of hate here, especially in the comments to the tornado diaries this week.  Over 300 people are dead, many hundreds are injured, thousands are homeless, without power, without basic services, and too many Kossacks snort that these people don't deserve government aid because a majority of them vote differently than we would like, or worship differently than many of us would like.  

    We're as guilty of hatred of The Other (TM) as anyone.  I hope your diary motivates many Kossacks to a season of self-introspection.

    •  they'd have to read it first (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamarti, EdSF, kishik, zenox

      and while it is getting decent traffic, I suspect some of the people prone to the behavior that upset you are unlikely to read what I have posted.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:03:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow. That's definitely not the DKos I found (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drmah, zenox

      solace and companionship in almost 7 years ago. I have not spent any time in those diaries, and didn't know such ideas were being shared there. Sad.

      [-5.38,-6.77]"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."-Plato

      by mamamarti on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:08:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, STOP IT. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hatred? Look, we're a multicultural, pluralistic society. We disagree on shit. It's called opposition. You want hatred, check out Shiite vs. Sunni, Muslim vs. Sikh, Hutu vs. Tutsi, Alawite vs. everyone else. Oh, and try Egyptian males vs. Lara Logan on 60 Minutes tomorrow night.

    I honestly think you love hatred. You're obsessed with it. You search for it. You perceive it where it doesn't exist. You thrive on it. It feeds your essential notion that America is a racist hellhole.

  •  Don't know why...or may be I do know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mamamarti, zett

    ...your diary pondering the "human condition" reminded me of Robert Frost's "Mending Wall." Have a great Saturday.

    Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
    That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
    And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
    And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
    The work of hunters is another thing:
    I have come after them and made repair
    Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
    But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
    To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
    No one has seen them made or heard them made,
    But at spring mending-time we find them there.
    I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
    And on a day we meet to walk the line
    And set the wall between us once again.
    We keep the wall between us as we go.
    To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
    And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
    We have to use a spell to make them balance:
    'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
    We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
    Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
    One on a side. It comes to little more:
    There where it is we do not need the wall:
    He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
    My apple trees will never get across
    And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
    He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors'.
    Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
    If I could put a notion in his head:
    'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
    Where there are cows?
    But here there are no cows.
    Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
    What I was walling in or walling out,
    And to whom I was like to give offence.
    Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
    That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
    But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
    He said it for himself. I see him there
    Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
    In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
    He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
    Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
    He will not go behind his father's saying,
    And he likes having thought of it so well
    He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

    "Corruptio Optima Pessimi" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:36:27 AM PDT

  •  Hatred as a tool (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    like fear, is effective, but only in the short term, and it takes increasingly larger doses to maintain its effectiveness.

    The advantage of using hatred towards your political (or social) opponents is that hatred allows you to completely disregard any validity of your opponents arguments.

    The disadvantage, of course, is that you have forced yourself into a position of absolute fealty to your most extreme arguments. You allow yourself no room for compromise on, or even modification of, your stated views.

    The other disadvantage is you lesson your ability to look upon others with respect, an attitude which is usually fully reciprocated.


    "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

    by ARS on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 10:40:09 AM PDT

  •  Your comment about killing because you hate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    naus, zett, Larry Bailey

    or being taught to hate in order to be able to kill, makes me think about how to train people to go into war.  How could you train someone to kill and to win in a war without teaching them to hate?  Wouldn't a normal person need to have some way to separate themselves from the humanity of the other in order to be able to kill them?  I know it sounds horrible, but I am going to hide this at the bottom of the diary comments and maybe you will see it.  I am very uncomfortable with the idea of killing, but if you separate out each and every enemy soldier as an individual (knowing that they are all human) and know it is someone who has a mother and father, perhaps a wife nad child), then it makes you hesitate to sanction killing someone and in a battle situation, don't you have to be able to do that?  Thank the gods, I have never been in such a setting and I doubt I could kill, but in a way I rely on having an army that can do so.  Just a philosophical question, and as a quaker I thought you might be able to offer me some framework for how to deal with it.  Thanks.

    Oh, and nice and interesting diary.

    •  there is no easy answer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annetteboardman, Larry Bailey

      one of the things the military discovered after WW II is how reluctant many were to actually fire at another human being.  When the practice shooting was only at stationary targets it was hard.  One could fire in the direction of enemy fire, but there was a hesitation to actually aim at and fire when one could actually see another human being.

      In a sense one has to  be willing to be somewhat dehumanized to act proactively, that is, to fire before one is themself at imminent risk.

      I do not doubt that I can kill.  I do not know whether I would be willing to do so, except that I have no doubt that were someone threatening the students in my care I would not hesitate.  

      Perhaps having worked as a bouncer in bars in both NY and Philadelphia made me realize some of what I am capable, although knowing that I can do something does not mean I will do something.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 11:52:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beautiful. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Bailey

    Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... --RFK

    by expatjourno on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 11:58:58 AM PDT

  •  "It's a thin line between love and hate" (0+ / 0-)

    The Persuaders version is still the best.

    I don't "hate" Obama though I might use the term in the sense "I hate to listen to him anymore, it's worse than listening to Bush" but it really means I'm angry at him for betraying the nation, betraying his own potential for good and for, frankly and selfishly, betraying me.

  •  Thank You! (0+ / 0-)

    What a wonderful diary!  You did a great job of putting this difficult subject to words.  I will be thinking about your message all weekend.

    I knew you were a great teacher as I got to know you through reading your diaries, I just never thought I would be your student.

    Thank You once more for a great diary...

    Peace to you

  •  In Unity (0+ / 0-)

    there is a saying:  Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

    "The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering."

    by rlharry on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 12:58:14 PM PDT

  •  This deserves... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... to be pinned to the top of the rec list and remain there for  very, very long time.

    Perhaps others will start thinking twice (or three times, or more) before hitting the "publish" button on their own diaries which traffic in hate, finger-pointing, and vitriol.

    Dehumanizing anyone (and here I include Republicans and conservatives, not just leftward administration critics) makes it easier to dismiss them and their opinion. They are all human beings with their own fears, opinions, and foibles and we must acknowledge and accept them as such.

    As progressives, we're meant to be openminded. Hate is the skeleton key that locks minds and keeps them away from empathy and understanding.

    Thanks so much for this diary, Ken.

    "We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it." -- Willy Wonka

    by Huginn and Muninn on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 01:15:34 PM PDT

  •  tribal hate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the bible is a good record of how long this has been going on. love your group, project hate on the other group.

    a lot of the teaparty is just tribalism. their views are not consistent, that is not important, what is important is the feeling of belonging to a group. for instance, they favor small government, but they generally also favor worldwide military domination. slight contradiction. they want to cut costs, but not generally military cost.

    i could say some of the same thing applies to the other side.

  •  I'm going to admit a shameful moment here, Ken (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, goinsouth, zenox

    In high school, a fellow student was irritating me extremely one day in class because he was dragging on about something, and was ruining one of my favorite hours of the day (in my mind).  I yelled out at him, in front of everyone, with a semi-racial slur. Like your student, I was put in the hallway for the rest of the period.

    This was almost 15 years ago. I still sometimes bolt up having thought of that moment while resting, or reading, or something.  It was one of the most shameful moments I've ever been a part of.  I apologized to him that day, but I'll forever be ashamed of that moment.

    I appreciate this diary a lot. It's a reminder to me of my own need to throttle the anger I Feel sometimes. I work hard at it. I don't always succeed. But I do keep trying.

    Thank you, Ken.

    I will respect the Republican Party the day they decide to start respecting all Americans....therefore, I will never respect the Republican Party.

    by wolverinethad on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 02:25:43 PM PDT

  •  I've been concerned about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the intemperate language here for a while, too, especially about people on the other side of the political spectrum. If we ever want to bring them to our side, demonizing and dehumanizing isn't going to do it.

    And this, even when it's difficult:

    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

    Beware the man of one book.

    by fiddler crabby on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 02:44:32 PM PDT

  •  In regards to political tactics... (0+ / 0-)

    ....I'm not sure exactly where to draw the line. If we try to be too honorable, we'll just lose every election, and what will that do to progressive causes? People like Dukakis and Kerry were good men, smart men, with decent, progressive ideas. And they lost elections they should have won, against opponents who were willing to be ruthless when they were "staying above the fray." Now, I'm not suggesting that we lie constantly, like Republicans do. But, I am suggesting that we have to get tough, state our views clearly, and not be afraid to put the views of the Republicans in a harshly negative light. We don't have to call them pigfuckers unless they actually fuck pigs. Republicans can only win by lying; their issues aren't strong. We can win by loudly and boldly telling the truth. So, I think I answered my own question.

  •  "Freedom" and "Love" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tennessee Dave

    I recently discovered that the words "Love" (Prija, Prem) and "Freedom" come from the same Indo European (Sanskrit) root. In other words, according to the the root word, to be free means to love or love and freedom are the same things.

    In that oder then, there must be a connection between "hate" and "enslavement." The person who hates is the one who is not free?

    Just thoughts...

    "Corruptio Optima Pessimi" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 03:34:07 PM PDT

  •  My hatred is under control. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tennessee Dave

    While there are times when I'd like to see the torturers subjected to their own torture. Those transient flashes of childishness do not last.

    I just remind myself that a civilized society only permits itself to act on the emotions of empathy, compassion and mercy. Dick Cheney and all the crims should be tried for their crimes; the guilty should be humanely punished. Humane punishment is not wasting away in confinement: it's restorative justice with rehabilitative isolation from the rest of society...until the criminal is fit for re-integration into that society.

    Now, my sense of outrage, that's another matter.....I have deep reservoirs of outrage.

    I also have plenty of revulsion for aggressive self-righteousness that is grounded on willful and obstreperous ignorance.

    Additionally, I have vast amounts of contempt for the intellectually dishonest.

    And disdain....don't get me started....

    But hate..... I do not hate. The people I would hate are not really hateful. Because people aren't the problem; the corrupt institutions and malignant value systems that enslave people's hearts are the problem. I don't hate these social constructs, but I do fear them and I want to destroy them.

    People aren't the enemy. The ideas that make them dangerous: those are the enemy.

    This space had been for rent. But it's now the subject of an illegal foreclosure.

    by xynz on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 03:59:27 PM PDT

  •  Strange Hate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tennessee Dave

    I am appalled by the anti-vaccination crowd -- Im sure ive made that clear in previous posts. And because we cant all fight every good fight, that (and lgbt rights) are my banner.

    I get called a lot of things. A sellout, a doctor who wants to rake it in (I wish.) a shill for the insurance companies, etc etc.

    But every once and a while, I am called a "jew." This is nonsensicle, and 100% intended to infer something negative. What, exactly, I do not know. They use it as an insult.

    And it makes no sense, and astounds me. I didnt realise "giving people autism with vaccines for some resaon" was a facet of jewish stereotype.

    "May whatever power they believe in show the rightwingers mercy. They have been led astray by devils with chalkboards."

    by kamrom on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 04:09:28 PM PDT

  •  I can only half agree at what you said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because I don't agree with blurring the line between hatred and anger.

    Anger is just a basic human reaction to an external stimulus.  Sometimes, the anger is unjustified and controllable, sometimes they're not.  Each person has a different threshold as to level of anger they can keep under control but it's alway there.  People exhibits anger when they can no longer follow the societal protocol and just fall back to the basic human survival instinct which is really not much different from animal instinct.  It's just a short burst of emotion most of the time.  There was a story a few months ago about an old woman in India (aroud 70 yo, IIRC) who charged a tiger (which was mauling her husband) and hit it so fiercely with a stick, the tiger got frightened and ran away.  That's anger.  It can give us a sort of temporary insanity and make us forget what the right thing is: like you can't beat a tiger with just a stick at 70 yo.

    Hatred, on the other hand, is a deliberate thought which is harbored for a long time, sometimes with no reason to justify it other than pure prejudice.

    Why is the distinction important ?  If we simply accept that anger can be a normal part of human nature, just like being happy or sad, or being gay and lesbian then we won't into the trap of denying the existence of anger or just wish that it just go away in the manner of sweeping all problems under the carpet.
    [BTW, on the first day of having FOK news on line, Keith recalled a personal story of getting fired in his first job after a shouting match with his boss.  He was not fired by his  boss who understood the value of passionate disagreement but by the boss of his boss. His job and journalism career was saved by the union's intervention though.]
    With that in mind, let's go into your story:

    Yesterday I had a student I had to remove from my class and put in the hall because she twice yelled at a fellow student "Shut up!  Shut up!"   I warned her the first time, and when it happened again, I put her in the hallway to calm down and went out to talk to her.  She was so enraged that she refused to listen to me, so she spent the last 15 minutes of the period out there.

    So, the justification for your action is that anger should not happen (or at least should not happen while you're teaching) and showing anger is either a sign of hatred or a sign of weakness.
    What if the girl is lesbian and is being taunted ?  What if she can't bottle up all the shame and anger any more and decides to kill herself ?  What if she treats your punishment as a sign that the world is against her and nobody cares to hear her out even when she screams ?

    While I understand that it's not possible for teachers to be judges for personal arguments among your students and the only thing to do is to tell them to take the vocal outburst somewhere else but something expediently correct is not necessarily philosophically correct.

    Many parents deal with kids' problems the same way, BTW, by punishing one or both of the kids with the "bad behavior" without hearing them out.  My kids always come to me when they're crying or angry and I figure out how to make them walk away happy.  

    So, I respectfully disagree with the criticism on anger.  Unjustified anger can be resolved.  Justified anger should be respected.   And some people need anger management but a criticism of anger can never achieve that.

    •  you miss the point on the student (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but perhaps that is because I did not provide a full enough context

      this particular student has real issues of emotional control.  Anything she perceives as a slight she blows up and attempts to wreak havoc on the person perceived as having slighted or criticized her.

      I don't let kids say "shut up" because it is disrespectful and in my class one of the very few rules as it were is to show respect to oneself and others.

      Her anger, to use your terminology, was not at all justified, since the particular exchange started with her demeaning another student who made a remark back and then she yelled for the first time.  I told her we don't do that, and as I was moving to also correct the other student she went off again, so I put her out to calm down, then went out to talk with her and she went off on me, so I let her stay out there for the rest of class.

      I find what she did relevant to the diary about hatred because there is a similar pattern of being unwilling to be challenged in any way.  That you do not see the connection may be my lack of providing a full enough context, but also may be your unwillingness to see how easily anger can in some people translate into hatred.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 05:42:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see (0+ / 0-)

        I didn't see the connection between her example and your post on hatred without the context.   I guess what she has is more like an anti-social behavior since she normally mistreats others and become destructive, to others and to herself.  Too bad schools probably don't have psychological counselor these days.  They might help.

        •  we have a school psychologist (0+ / 0-)

          but we cannot get her involved without the parent's permission in direct dealing with the student.

          The major function of the school counselors is different - scheduling the students, parent conferences, college applications.  Most are really not prepared to handle seriously anti-social students.  This young lady borders on being a sociopath.  Borders on, but not quite, which is why I keep trying, but only to a point.  And that is more because of the impact upon the other students.  If I don't first give her a chance, then they will band together to come to her aid in an us against the teacher mentality.  She is not the only problem child in that class, although she is by far the most destructive.

          It's a balancing act.  I'm not certain that our school is the proper setting for her, but unless she does something that raises it to the level of either criminal charges or potential expulsion, we do not have much leverage.  She has been suspended, both within school and out of school.  The first time I had to talk with her administrator and her counselor, I was given an earful of her behavior as a 9th grader.  The woman in the room next door had to deal with her last year, and has told me some real stories.  But none of that matters.  All that matters is what happens in my class.  We can go several weeks without this student going off.  Then there will be several days in a row of confrontations.  Fortunately we have two days of the weekend before i next have to deal with her.

          "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

          by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:23:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      For my part, I would say that because anger is a response to stimuli, it needs to be handled like any other response: I need to learn why I responded with anger, I need to learn to analyze whether my anger is appropriate in the situation, I need to learn how to constructively express it, and when a just and measured environment exists, I have to learn how to carry it until I can constructively discharge it where it will not harm me or other people. I think of it as the equivalent of potty training.

      Anger is one of the most potent agents for change -- for good or ill -- on the planet. It is our responsibility to teach children to use it consciously and wisely. Where we fail in our responsibility, hatred breeds.

    •  Justified anger should be respected? (0+ / 0-)

      I think it depends greatly on how such 'justified anger' is being channelled.  If it comes off as just venting for venting sake, then it isn't really justified.  Especially when such 'justified anger' gets out of control.

      "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

      by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:35:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beauty in your words (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So much touched me.  I was at Lackland AFB in basic training in May of 1966.  My life in the USAF was not as rough and crude.  Even then, it seemed to me, there was a kinder gentler side to that branch of the US military.  I have this memory.  Only once, after basic training, was I chosen to march in a parade for some patriotic holiday.  I was a young Airman living on base.  

    The USAF had a contingent marching just behind those from the other services.  It had rained and there were great puddles left on the concrete parade grounds in front of the reviewing stand.

    The Marines marched solidly through the large and deep rain puddles.  The Army and the Sailors did the same.  We were the last.  When we came to the puddles, we literally jumped over them as best we could to avoid getting wet.  I am sure It was hilarious to see all the hats of the Airmen bobbing up and down in rows as we marched.  It was all good.  No one ever said a word.

    Yes, in my four weeks of expedited basic training, there was ugliness and hatred from some of the Drill Instructors.  And, when I went  on Temporary Duty Assignment (TDY) to Vietnam I was shocked by some of the racism shown by  Americans toward Asians (Vietnamese) and even toward Blacks in our own military.

    I stayed far away from the hatred though.  I chose gentle friends.  That was my way of coping with life.   All of my years on this earth.  I have sought gentle friends.  Sometimes others sneaked in.

    Maya Angelou says that the second a person in her life says something demeaning or insulting or hateful directed at her, they are shown the door.  No more.  She says those people really want to kill you - your spirit.  Wise woman.

  •  one of your finest... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Thanks for writing and sharing.

  •  You are heard... (0+ / 0-)

    "Corruptio Optima Pessimi" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:08:50 PM PDT

  •  can we stop calling tea party (0+ / 0-)

    tea bagger? I got to thinking about your examples. Religion, ethnicity, creed... Why do we call our political opponents such a repulsive name? It automatically says "we have no need to even recognize your status". That would be a step towards civility in our debate with them.

    •  actually, to a degree they brought it on (0+ / 0-)

      by wearing tea bags, which have absolutely nothing to do with the Boston Tea Party.

      It's interesting that my adolescent students picked up on the imagery immediately, whereas the trad media lagged a bit behind.

      I do not think we are required to be civil to those screaming in our faces.  I think we can appropriately simply tell them that so long as they are screaming they are not worth the time for a civil conversation.   Lower the volume, reduce the rhetoric, stop demonizing those who disagree with them, well that's a different kettle of pisces.

      I don't scream back.

      Somehow I got on the email lists of a couple of major players of that movement -  it was interesting to see how over the top their rhetoric was, even when trying to persuade people to support them.

      "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

      by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:31:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but, it is OK to call them vulgar names? (0+ / 0-)

        I do  not think that they brought this on. They may be wrong and I disagree with them, but I do not think it is OK to call them vulgar names because of our disagreement and that really vexes me about the tone here at KOS. This wouldn't jibe with your diary...

        And whatever your interaction with then was, it still doesn't make it right does it?

        •  do I call them that name? (0+ / 0-)

          I note that when the movement first arose, some of them readily accepted the term, until they realized its other meaning.  

          And had I save the obscene and offensive emails I received, I might point out that the language contained therein directed at their opponents was at least as offensive and vile.  

          That is an example of hate speech, imho.

          Again, I do not use that language towards them.  I do think their use of offensive language brings some of that on them.

          Having said that does not mean I am condoning the use of such language against them -  I think I made that clear in my diary.  I am merely noting certain things that help contribute to a demeaning of public discourse that then may ricochet against them.

          "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

          by teacherken on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 07:46:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Have you ever (0+ / 0-)

            condemned that slur? Maybe I missed it.

            They did not accept a term meant as a vulgar homosexual slur that is repeated here constantly.

            "their use of offensive language brings some of that on them.

            really? I've never heard that myself.

            " am merely noting certain things that help contribute to a demeaning of public discourse that then may ricochet against them."

            No, that wasn't in your diary at all  ...

            •  Maybe we should back this up. (0+ / 0-)

              Are they a legitimate party first and foremost?

              Not in my eyes they are not.

              Secondly, they don't do themselves any favors when they wear tea bags on their heads.  They are the ones who identified themselves in that way.

              Who says it's really a slur if that is how they see themselves?

              And what is up with this Tea Party litmus test to reputiate what people say around here?

              Maybe people should be more self reflected first.

              "The bottom line is, we've got to wake up. We can't allow our disappointment in Obama to lull us into allowing a truly dangerous strain of conservative philosophy to gain any more traction than it already has." --ObamOcala 4/5/11

              by smoothnmellow on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 09:03:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK it is fine to call them vulgar names (0+ / 0-)

                So if one is not of a legitimate party in your eyes that can be called names?

                because as you say

                "wear tea bags on their heads"

                ummm.. "towel heads" would be OK by that standard...



                they are the ones who identified themselves in that way."

                no they didn't.

                "Who says it's really a slur if that is how they see themselves?"

                They do...

                and they don't ID themselves as someone who is performing a sexual act...

                "And what is up with this Tea Party litmus test to reputiate what people say around here?"

                not sure what you mean by this?

    •  You can't do "civil" with extremists who... (0+ / 0-) the President and those of us who support his general POV every name in the book. But you can deride them and their views and actions and derision does not = hate. It's a bit dismissive, yes, but not hateful.

      Down w/DOMA & Theft Of SSI Savings Of Gay Americans

      by Larry Bailey on Sun May 01, 2011 at 04:28:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Depends on the context. (0+ / 0-)

    Sometimes hatred is very normal and even good - just what the doctor ordered.

    With each moment of worry we give up a moment of living.

    by dov12348 on Sun May 01, 2011 at 02:22:29 AM PDT

  •  Teachable moments... (0+ / 0-)

    Our sympathies and antipathies are our only indications of the state of our own will (ego) toward a particular situation in life.  We can inspect our own thinking directly and we dream our feeling life, but, we are asleep to our will and can only infer its state by the messages it sends to us.

    By studying these messages, we gain great insight into ourselves, and by recognizing that the source of all anger is fear, we can work to name and then address the fears that hold us in bondage.

    Thanks for a great Diary!

  •  I don't know if I dare even try (0+ / 0-)

    but what I say is from what I call my inner truth, so here goes.

    I write a lot of meta diaries; this place was once a refuge for me because I live in a community that is almost all Republican, all Catholic, and all "normal". I'm a Democrat, an atheist, and I run in kinky circles (and that's all I'll say on that, but LGBT are NOT the only people who have to watch what they say to who or risk the world coming down on them with vigor).

    I wondered if you were not speaking directly about me in one of the recent RKBA diaries; I launched into a diary about Reagan with some pretty choice words. On the other hand, what was said to me was directly personal, and it wasn't about Reagan, it wasn't about guns, it wasn't even about politics - it was aimed directly at who I was as a person. My character - somehow able to be summed up entirely without further consideration after reading a few comments on a blog.

    We - in our 30 second world that has been pared down to 7 second sound bites, 140 character tweets, and at the longest - a blog post - we're all willing to judge the worth (or unequivocal lack thereof) of a person in an instant.

    I've posted - well I've tried - to say in response to the TEA party madness that these fools think "freedom of speech" only means they can shout whatever they feel and ignore the echo; their speech has no limits - everybody else, watch yourself, boy.

    It's as if they want the freedom to shout as loud as they can in a canyon full of snow, then blame the snowflakes for the avalanche that comes down upon them.

    At Street Prophets i was told there was a rule about being a jerk and a hater; I called out someone who made what I felt was a real jerk move to me. He did it again. And again.

    And I got pissed, because a jerk is the kind of guy who ignores someone who says, "stop, that hurt".

    And I was the new posterboy for what constituted a "hater". My reaction to being ignored, belittled, mocked and dismissed was rage - but it was pasted on me as "hate".

    And it built inside me, fueled not only because they ignored my hurt and pain, but called me a monster for being candid about how injured I was.

    And it just went from there.

    Happens here all the time.

    I saw a car a few months ago, stopped at a red light. Traffic in the opposite direction was turning left in front of this car with an "arrow" light; obvioiusly that light turned yellow and a car turning left ran the light - probably well into the red.

    But the car next to me just gunned it when the light turned green - with another vehicle right in front of him.

    It's as if he was willing to have the accident, push it on purpose, simply because he knew he had the green light and the wreck would be the other guys fault.

    When I was in my worst moments of the Street Prophets madness, i spoke of suicide; I have spoken of it here.

    And it chills my blood how people can feel they have absolution just by saying "get out, and get help", but they will not stop shouting the thoughts into my hears that fuel the dispair and pain.

    It's not our fault the guy is dead, he was fucked up and broken when we found him; he should have

    "gotten help"

    I don't believe in "G"od; that's not meant to be provocative, insulting, or belittling - I just cannot lie and see no point in doing so. I can't find any reason to believe, and after 43 years it's not for lack of people trying or the variations in the reasons they give me. None of them make sense to me.

    In my world-view, it's atoms, void, and humans. We're all we've got. We are our own worst enemies. The Golden Rule is so simple, so basic - so human - and yet it is forsake as easily as it is spoken.

    I love whatever loves me back.

    I bite back whatever bites me.

    That's the best I've got.

    Now where I feel dispair is when I'm acting wounded; I'm hurt, I'm angry - I'm threatened and vulnerable - and people with smiles and a gleam in their eye pile on -

    it's nothing short of goading the one on the ledge to jump.

    I find it fascinating that there is no direct english-language translation for

    schadenfreude - the joy found in the suffering of others

    for it seems to be an American staple in our day; from blog flamewars to reality TV. Realize that in any given reality show, the producers and advertizers make 15 times more money making fun of and mocking the poor bastards who are losers, and only one show lauding the winners.

    That's a sign of our times - joy through relative misery:

    "Sure, my life sucks - but at least I'm not as bad as that sad sack of shit over there...."

    There's no bottom to that race.

    I'm glad you wrote this, Ken. I've tried; and I get a few human souls who will hear it, but most only take the cheap shot to pile on and further heap scorn on anyone who shows vulnerability.

    Im ashamed of this society; we have so much, and it seems the more people have the more angst they have towards everyone who they see as some threat to their keeping it (and getting more).

    I'm glad you wrote this.

    I have no answers, but ask that we keep talking.

    And if you see soemone who looks wounded, who's throwing verbal hammers and just acting hysterical -

    ask what might be driving your need to pile on.

    I know my reactions are - well, reactive - push, I'll push back.

    I'm not one to throw a first punch because I know what that feels like. And I know that somewhere, on those unfortunate occasions, someone pushes, someone pushes back and then before it's over there's a headline with a tragic consequence.

    I have said this country is eating itself alive from the inside, I have suggested

    well I have stated outright

    we should not be this hungry.

    To whatever end a community might move foreward from conversations like this, to find peace where it exists, to make it where possible, I'll say it again.

    Thank you for using your stature here to start this conversation.

    May it lead somewhere that moves us all toward a place with fewer teeth sunk in each other's asses.

    I have often joked that if there were some kind of Intergalactic Council of What Is Right that an emmissary would have been sent here in the last ten years to scold us for still having the hubris to use the word "United" right there in the title of our country. Or perhaps they might make us wear some kind of "tag of shame" as a probationary warning at least -

    "The United States of - You're Kidding, Right?"

    George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

    by snafubar on Mon May 02, 2011 at 08:21:58 PM PDT

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