Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Hate - Our Most Contagious Disease
Recently Ann Coulter was scheduled to speak at Canadian Universities. I'd like to meet the genius who thought this would be a good idea. For those of you unfamiliar with Ann, she is an American right wing political commentator. That's possibly the nicest way to describe her. She is famous for being offensive. Mind you, she has a lot of support so I suppose she is not offensive to all. She is credited with such gems as, "If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.". Also such brilliant statements as "Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims". This along with the racist and homophobic slang she regularly uses makes her one of my least favourite people. Why would we wish to unleash her on our young minds? I can't answer that. Maybe it was some test to see what happens when you let a... hmmm.... Never mind. I really wanted to go with some sort of animal analogy, but I refuse to compare any animal to her.
If it was a test I feel Ottawa University passed. While her people claim to have pulled out due to threats of violence, the Ottawa police have stated no such threats were made. The students exercised their right to peacefully protest against hate propaganda at their university. While I believe in free speech, I do not support hate speech. Hate spreads, and it spreads fast. In numerous psychological studies it has been concluded that in situations where we feel pressured by authority to do something we know is wrong, or hurt someone, 85% of us will. We will do it for approval. We will do it to belong. We will do it out of fear. World War II did not happen because many german people just happened to be evil. Nor did slavery occur because all whites are supremacists. I realize these are two extreme examples, but it illustrates how serious the effect of hate is. While we can all sit here and pat ourselves on the back confident we would never partake in such evil, we just don't know. We have no idea if given that situation we would be in the 15% who opposes, or the 85% who conforms. It is a very dangerous thing to gamble. Hate is taught, and we do not need to teach it at a higher learning institution. If universities are that starved for guest speakers I volunteer to share my extensive knowledge on tea. I also have a button collection.
Hate is dangerous and I feel it should be treated as such. It leads to violence and catastrophe for everyone involved. The biggest horrors in history are fuelled by hate.The hate within us, destroys us. It drains us. It makes no room for light. It's so important to protect our future health and happiness, and I am so proud of all those students who told her she was not welcome to contaminate their university. Not welcome to spread the most deadly disease of all. Hate and intolerance need to be challenged in ourselves, and in our children. They need to be eradicated in order for our planet to thrive and hopefully one day gain a clean bill of health.