Friends, foes, and folly
0 comment Thursday, August 14, 2014 |
We hear a great deal about ''hate'' in the news and in our discussions on the Internet. I've blogged a number of times about how ''hate'' is nearly criminalized now, as if our feelings, whether they are bad or good, are subject to censure by law.
The ''hate'' is always assumed to come from our side, from the White majority, and never from the various others who live among us. It is a given, under political correctness, that they are always the targets of the ''hate'' which is peculiar to White people alone, and it is a given that they are never the perpetrators. However anybody who reads the news, or who lives in a ''diversity-enriched'' area, knows that we are more often the targets, not the perpetrators. Although there is a growing amount of resentment and ill-feeling on our side these days, it is in some part simply a reaction, a defensive kind of resentment and dislike, if not ''hatred''. It is hard not to dislike someone who hates you, and who makes no secret of it.
This is true on a personal level as well as on a group level. Some years ago, I had a co-worker who, in a passive-aggressive way, made my life miserable at work. She developed a dislike for me, and although I made attempts to befriend her, or at least to have a civil relationship with her, she remained resentful until she eventually quit her job a few years later.
I have a liberal Christian friend who is also a counselor; her advice to me for dealing with this hateful woman was for me to ''kill her with kindness,'' to disarm her and neutralize her dislike for me by being sweet and solicitous towards her. I thanked my friend for her advice, but told her I am not an actress; it isn't in me to feign friendliness or affection. I would be civil as I try to be to everyone, and I would be courteous and fair in my dealings with her. By this time, I was this woman's superior, so this increased her resentment of me.
I did not succeed in winning this bitter woman over; I lack the ability to act sweet towards an enemy.
Even now, as a Christian, I find it hard. I find the commandment to love my enemy, and bless those that curse me, to be hard. It does not come naturally to me, though I know there are many Christians who seem incapable of even conceiving of anyone as an enemy, and I wonder if my Christian walk is deficient because I find loving my enemies to be difficult.
This does not mean I feel raging, seething resentment or hatred towards anyone, nor does it mean that I wish harm on anyone, or that I would do anything vengeful or malicious. There is a difference, for me, between having a dislike and a healthy suspicion of people who have shown themselves to be hostile to me and mine, and truly hating them. To me, hate implies a kind of festering obsession, an excessive focus on someone. Some say hate is the counterpart of love, with both emotions fixed obsessively on a certain person or persons.
My feeling toward those who are hostile to me and mine is to want to avoid and shun them as much as possible. I generally think that real enemies are not likely to be appeased, or won over by saccharine-sweet overtures to them.
I believe this in the group sense, as well as in individual situations.
Would I do good to those who persecute me? I would do a kindness to a personal enemy if I were in a position to. I would do it because I am commanded to, because it is the right thing, not because I think it will make them love or respect me.
However, personal enemies are different from enemies in a national/tribal sense.
Just recently I had a conversation with a friend, who is somewhat politically incorrect but naive, in which she railed about ''racists'' who harass blacks. Where this came from, I don't know; blacks are rare in our town. I suspect she saw something on the news that provoked her remarks. But I tried to bring her to reality by saying ''most of the hatred is directed our way. We are hated more than we are guilty of hating.''
She seemed to understand, but I am not sure I got through to her.
There are many Whites like this woman, usually people who live in non-diverse places, people who have little to no real-life experience of ''diversity'' in its natural setting. They know only the sugarcoated diversity they see on TV and in movies.
There seem to be many Whites like her who do not really perceive anyone as an enemy, and do not want to see any of the hatred that is being directed towards them. They live in a fairytale world where people are all potential friends and brothers. They generally believe if we treat everyone nicely, they will like us, and will reciprocate our kindness.
Reality is a different matter.
I think many White Americans, even those who are not far-left liberals, delude themselves that racial conflict and other group conflicts can be eliminated by ''understanding'' and ''reaching out'', or to use an older term, appeasement.
At the Throne and Altar blog, Bonald writes a very good piece on ''When People Hate You." (I recommend reading the whole thing, of course.)
''What do you do when some group hates your group?
Traditionally, there have been two responses: defense or appeasement. Sometimes, when the enemies goals are modest, appeasement is actually the logical strategy.''
There are some cases, he notes, where our enemy is implacable, and cannot be won over or appeased. Bonald mentions the third possibility -- which is the one most popular among liberals of various stripes: ''understanding'' the hatred. This is the approach that is the ''official'' one in our society. We, the majority group (Christians, Whites, heterosexuals, etc.) must understand and see things from the other's point of view, even to the extent of delegitimizing our own right to self-defense or survival itself. After all, we deserve the hatred that is directed at us; we brought it on ourselves, or at least our ancestors did.
This is a very demoralizing attitude, needless to say.
Many people are stuck in that mode, unable or unwilling to see their own group's interests or their individual interests. They perversely empathize with those who are trying to do them harm physically, or to subvert and supplant us.
How do we become un-stuck as a people?
I think for some of us, the turning point was some specific event, something that brought home to us the fact that we are hated just for what we are and what we represent. For some of us, the process was gradual, and the things that woke us up were cumulative, over time.
In my own case, I remember one turning-point, after decades of bad experiences, when I read a newspaper article by someone on the right -- it may have been Joe Sobran, I can't recall -- who pointed out that every MLK Day, we hear nothing but ''how far we still have to go''. We never hear an acknowledgement of the decades of concessions and special privileges, or of the billions of dollars spent to make amends. No, it's all about how bad we still are, and about how much more must be done, how much more we must do to show our good faith. That struck a nerve with me.
Most people have to have real-life experiences in order to lose the rosy view of ''diversity'' but even then, some refuse to acknowledge that we have enemies, that we are hated more than we hate. Without that recognition, it is hard to change attitudes.

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