The other day I was having a discussion with a man who believed that this ‘mentality’ to not fight hate with hate was from a place of privilege. He believed that people who had this mentality stayed in a place of inaction and did not stand up for themselves. A person who had this mentality would hate others and respond to them with “Well don’t respond to my hate with yours” or something of that nature, and then continue to belittle the person. He believed that punching a person for shouting out hate was the right way to go.
I understand that this could be considered the right way to go because it shows that you are strong, tough, and not allowing people to run over you. But it also ‘justifies the haters’ in a sense. The people who are having this irrational feeling of hate towards a person because of their differences is going to consider a punch in the face to be proof that they are right. They are going to believe that being belittled for their beliefs is going to prove that they are being victimized, and that their opinion is more important than it actually is.
The response to a bully is to stand up for yourself, but when you start belittling,threatening, and attacking them then you are becoming the bully. You are becoming the person that you don’t want to be in order to make them stop. I know that they deserve to be treated the way that they are treating others, but it creates this idea that what they are doing in the first place is “ok” as long as it has a reason. That reason is different from everyone’s perspective. It also doesn’t help you understand why the person is bullying you. Is it because they just want to? Or is there something wrong in their mind? Do they have anxiety over their home life? Do they need to prove that they are worthy to their friends?
Why is it that with diseases we have to figure out the source of why it’s there before we can cure it, but with hate we just hit it’s exterior face? I consider hate to be a disease and the only way to ‘cure hate’ is to recognize why it’s there and respond to that reason. To teach people how their anger can be shown assertively and not aggressively. We need to teach everyone the difference between aggression and assertion, so they realize that you don’t really need aggression in order to get what you want because assertion can do it to.
But that’s never going to happen….people don’t like change.