Why do we love to hate? If you are like me, each event of great violence prompts feelings of sadness, fear, and powerlessness. Sadness, because people were killed. Fear, because we seemed to be heading to a dark place. Powerlessness, because no matter how much we want this all to stop, nothing seems to help.
In this last decade, the horrific scenes of hate and violence have haunted the nation’s standards. Each breaking news tends to flood the nation with grief.
Not too long ago an armed young man killed 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007 and 26 first-graders and their instructors at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In 2018, a shooter took 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Still, the madness spoke for itself. The violence extends beyond schools to other venues once considered safe. Concertgoers at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas came under fire in 2017 when 58 of them were killed. Houses of worship are no longer havens. Witness the 9 shooting deaths in 2015 at a black church in Charleston, S.C., the 11 deaths at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the 6 at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., and the periodic assaults on mosques.
THERE WAS no shortage of alarming moments of hate in 2019. India and Pakistan almost went to war after a terrorist attack killed lots of Indian paramilitary police in the Indian bit of Kashmir. Bombs targeted church-goers in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and a deranged gunman killed 50 Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. That was last year!
Nonetheless, hundreds of thousands are murdered every year; tens of millions over the past century. From baby killing to genocide, from Susan Smith to Osama bin Laden, people in every culture experience the urge to kill. Some act on it. They do so despite legal injunctions, religious prohibitions, cultural interdictions, the risk of retaliation, and the threat of spending life in a cage.
Death from violence has become so common, that for people fearful of becoming a victim someday, the question is no longer “Why me?” but, rather, “When me?”
High-profile crimes like these make you wonder what drives somebody to take another person’s life. Imagine a World Without Hate. A world in which the hate violence that took the lives of Martin Luther King Jr., Anne Frank, Daniel Pearl, Matthew Shepard, and others did not happen.
There is so much hate in the world because hate is hard-wired in the brain. Like the role of a killer, motivating, and common to all human beings. There is hate in the world because human beings, being human beings, too easily become deregulated and unbalanced, sometimes acting out violently when given a reason. But when will enough be enough?
We are all human beings. We cannot continue to kill our own kind. Why do people feel the need to always judge other groups that are different from themselves and spread hate? This is a question that I honestly might never be able to answer but writing this post has made me realize that something needs to be done to stop it. This nation is becoming too toxic for us all. Let’s start supporting each other more, from a distance of course haha.