I Claim the Right to Hate

In America, under our laws it is my right to hate.

It is my right to hold whatever beliefs I want, even if they are unpopular.

The law cannot make me stop hating if I wish to do so. I may be stupid, boorish, ignorant, intolerant, and bigoted for hating. But as long as they do not percolate into violence, actions that violate the law, or verbal assault, my beliefs, however misanthropic, are sacrosanct, and are nobody’s business but my own.

 

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Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

4 thoughts on “I Claim the Right to Hate”

  1. “…are nobody’s business but my own.”

    Except, of course, if you express them in public. Then anyone has every right to call you on them, to criticize them, to “hate” them, and to do so loudly and often.

    Including, of course, the right to call for you to be boycotted, shunned, and shamed.

    Free speech. Not consequence-free speech.

  2. I guess I can understand why someone who has been purposely injured in some way could hate the one who did it, but aside from that, hatred injures the hater more than the hated.

    The most injurious hatred is hatred of a category of people, most of whom have done nothing to the hater. Take a look at President Obama chatting with smiling Muslim children, and tell me again why these kids must be hated. Muslims are the most recent, but Jews have been our favorite hate people for thousands of years.

    Hatred can be ended, but I fear it’s an individual effort. As Shannon says (above), free speech, not consequence-free speech is what we should support. The best we can do as a society is to punish acts of hatred.

    1. John, just as you point out that there are some hatreds that are worse than others, may I suggest that not all hatred is necessarily bad?

      For example, I hate evil, hypocrisy, injustice, cruelty, and all manifestations of those things. I am deeply prejudiced against (but do not “hate”) the individuals who perpetuate those things. I saw one testifying before Congress yesterday.

      I do not hate those who wish me harm – I understand that they are human beings with complex motivations. That will not stop me from taking appropriate measures to keep them from doing me harm, but I do not hate them.

      I don’t think hatred should ever be ended. I simply thing we need to stop directing it against individuals or groups and start directing it against those things that have no place in our world.

  3. I agree that we must suffer the social consequences of our expressed opinions. My point is that we must recognize that it is impossible for the law to expunge bigotry, and that the effort to do so takes government into places it does not belong.

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