Hatred. I’ve never really understood it. There are few tangible things in this world that I actually hate and even fewer people. I say tangible because I hate some ideologies, or notions, if you will–for example, injustice and hatred itself.
I guess you could say that I hate germs–I’m a germaphobe, but that’s about it. In truth, it’s probably more accurate to say that I’m afraid of germs. I don’t know what it is, I just picture some life-threatening virus, seeping through my pores and destroying each individual cell with extreme prejudice. It’s irrational–I know. But there you have it. And maybe bugs. Yes, most bugs. But definitely not people. There is one individual that comes to mind that I strongly dislike–and maybe dislike more than any other human being on this planet (and that reason is for a heinous act he committed, not because of who he is)–and even then I can’t bring myself to say that I hate him. I wouldn’t wish death or injury to befall him, so I don’t think that I hate him.
However, with the recent bout of social injustices that seem to have permeated throughout our society, I’ve developed a healthy (maybe not so healthy?) curiosity as to what fuels such hatred. Today’s Blogging 101 assignment is to personalize today’s “Daily Prompt” (Truth Serum – You’ve come into possession of one vial of truth serum. Who would you give it to (with the person’s consent, of course) — and what questions would you ask?).
So if I could administer truth serum to anybody, I would give it to those who hate anyone simply because they are “other” and I would ask them why? What is it about the perpetual “otherness” that is so troubling? What harm does its presence inflict? What joys does it take away?
Seriously. I’d like to know. In my family, you only judge people based on what they have done, not what they look like.
I suppose that because my family is diverse and I grew up living in several different countries, constantly encountering people who were different from me, I cannot fathom why anyone would hate someone because of his or her skin color, hair type, facial features, or outlook on life. It truly baffles my mind because my encounters with “others” have truly enriched my life. Some of my favorite past times came to be because I let someone completely different from me into my little sphere in the world. To understand how people think and feel or to witness how certain emotions and truths transcend cultures, even when the same language isn’t spoken, is nothing short of amazing.
So I would administer the truth serum to people like this woman at work who can’t seem to help but make a negative comment about my natural hair. I would ask her why does my hair bother you so much? What is it about Black hair that worries you? What is it about its texture that automatically renders it unprofessional or ugly? Is it because it’s not like yours? I’d like to know.
I would administer the truth serum to certain police officers around the U.S. and ask what is it about my brothers and my husband that makes you write them off as a criminal when they haven’t so much as had traffic ticket in their lives? What is it about their face, their skin color, their hair that makes them automatically dangerous? What is it about their very being that is an affront to all your senses? Why is it that they don’t receive the same benefit of the doubt as a similarly situated person that “looks like you”? Why is it that your are more likely to kill them than to hear them out? I’d like to know.
I would administer the truth serum to certain judges and ask why is it that when the defendant looks like you, he’ll receive probation even though, as a result of his crimes, he killed multiple people and paralyzed two, but when the defendant does not resemble you in race or socioeconomic status he’ll receive six consecutive life sentences for a crime that left all participants unharmed? I’d like to know.
I would administer the truth serum to those Hunger Games fans who lack reading comprehension and ask why is it that you can no longer feel for a child murdered in cold blood, just because you found out that she wasn’t blond-haired and blue-eyed? Does her race automatically take away from her innocence–her right to live? I’d like to know.
It seems like a wasted way to live a life, hating someone you don’t know for something as trivial as a physical trait that can’t (and shouldn’t) be changed. I would love to know what could possibly be gained from this outlook. I would love for these individuals to dig deep and come up with a reason for their hate.
Seriously. I would ask these questions because I would like to understand . . . because I’m not so sure that even they do.