‘I Hate You.’ This expression implies an intense feeling of contempt, not just an expression of dislike to a particular object. For this reason, it is rarely heard from others. However, it becomes usual to encounter these expressions recently. The word ‘Hatred’ is being used in many parts of the world, regardless of the country. What makes people feel ‘hate’ and why has usage of the word ‘hatred’ gradually increased? Let's figure out the answers to the questions above.
What Is Hatred?
The Beginning of Hatred
'Hate' is a word derived from the ancient English, ‘Hete’ that usually means strong and extreme hostility toward a certain person, derived from feelings of fear, anger, or injury. These feelings are usually accompanied by other feelings, such as fear or anger, but they are completely different. ‘Hatred’, which many media describe as psychotic, is not pathological. The feeling of hate was created to secure as many resources as possible during human development and to protect the community to which one belongs. To survive in the face of disastrous nature, human beings have come to distinguish between 'us' and 'them,' and it has become the ‘hatred’ we use today.
How Does Hatred Spread in Modern Society?
Modern society has used the feeling of hatred as a means for depreciating a particular group. D.W.Griffith’s Birth of Nation (1915), which vilified African-Americans as lazy and stupid people, and the Nazi propaganda film Jud Suss (Jud Süß, 1940), which portrayed Jews as greedy and deceptive, are the most prominent examples for creating a feeling of hatred towards certain groups in society. In particular, the film Jud Suss played a major role in instilling a negative perception of Jews, resulting in one of the most terrible events in German history. Unlike in the past, the rapid development of information and communication technologies has led to the spreading of hateful expressions on social media. According to Persuasive Storytelling by Hate Groups Online (2002)by Elissa Lee and Laura Leets of Stanford University, indirect expressions of hate, rather than direct expression, are easier to persuade people with. This result became a huge social problem. In fact, numerous posts of hate speech were spread rapidly around social media, from social networking to social funding for support of hate groups. To prevent these situations, Facebook said they have regulated hate speech with their internal guidelines. The Twitter CEO also demanded more detailed and aggressive policies toward the hateful posts, via an internal e-mail.
Hatred, Poisoning the World
There is a person who strategically used the power of ‘hatred’ to distinguish ‘us’ from ‘them’. He is the President of the United States, Donald Trump. In mid-term elections held last year, Trump labeled a group of immigrants in the U.S. as ‘an invasion of our country’, expressing his outright hostility toward them. Trump, who was troubled by the abolition of Obama Care and the Russia scandal, succeeded in rallying traditional supporters of the Republican Party by taking advantage of the antipathy toward immigrants. At that time, many journals including The Guardian and The New York Timesrespectively, criticized Trump for using ‘a hate strategy’ via their article, <The Guardian View on Trump: Using Hatred as A Bait> and <How Trump-Fed Conspiracy Theory About Migrant Caravan Intersect with Deadly Hatred>.
A hatred for class could be easily found in France. ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (which means yellow vest protest), which shook France in protest of increases in oil and automobile taxes and austerity measures, is the best example of spreading hatred. The protests, which erupted last December, have also spurred the spread of anti-Semitism, anti-black, and anti-elite feelings across France. The result was disastrous. The radicalization of hatred damaged private property and cultural assets in Paris. This is not the only hatred in France. In fact, many Jewish politicians have received death threats due to anti-Semitism, rooted deeply in France, according to the Economist. The remark from Francis Ruffin of the opposition party to President Macron, and Marin La Pen’s blaming of them, showed ‘a pervasive hate’ in French politics. "You are hated, massively hated.", “Agitator, revolutionaries, anarchists.”
Recently, a controversy over male and female abhorrence has been ignited in South Korea. The issue of gender abhorrence in South Korea stems largely from the conflicts of women’s antagonism toward masculine culture and men’s military service. The gender equality index of South Korea ranked 115th among 149 countries at The Global Gender Gap Report 2018, released by the World Economic Forum. The figure indicates that many improvements are still needed in Korean society. Meanwhile, Korean men without disabilities must serve in the military for at least 1 and a half years with a low wage. They even participate in regular military training after they are discharged until the age of 40, which takes a lot of time. For this reason, each gender had been antagonistic toward each other, which intensified further with the 2016 Gang-nam Station incident. This has led to the creation of an extreme community, which shows the gender conflict online. In fact, many gender-slandered comments are easily found at many portal sites and various communities in South Korea.
Hatred towards a particular race has also led to mass shootings. In fact, there was an incident in New Zealand in March when a white supremacist was arrested after he went to two mosques and shot many people. The suspect, in particular, shook the world by often posting hostility on his social media accounts, planning the brutal crime, and broadcasting all the scenes of shooting in a live stream.
Especially in the case of France, South Korea and the New Zealand mass shooting, hatred turned into violence against others, resulting in more conflict between groups, physical damage, and even more human casualties. According to these cases, is it possible to solve the societal problem by just dividing and pointing arrows at each other? At this point, it is important to figure out that hatred towards each other only makes things worse with nothing improved. Then, what should the world society do to prevent spreading hatred?
Hatred Should Disappear
Many international organizations and countries have attempted to solve these problems by legal methods. The most representative example is the Laws of Anti-discrimination Act (or law). In fact, in the United States, many laws under the Laws of Anti-discrimination Act have regulated discrimination in society. Nevertheless, there are limits to solving the problem of spreading hatred only with legal solutions. It seems most urgent to change one's attitude toward hatred. On this issue, Sally Kohn talks about what individuals can strive for in a culture of hatred at Ted Women 2017. According to her, people first have to recognize the hatred in themselves. Based on this, she strongly argued that solidarity among members of society should change the institutions and policies which inherent hatred are in. Finally, in the process of changing in association with members of society, there is a need to have an open mind, kindness and compassion, not hatred toward the members of society.
This problem in modern society cannot be solved by drawing a line and fiercely confronting each other, based on hatred. Disagreements caused by hatred will only lead to bloodshed in society, rather than resolution. Meanwhile, people should not turn a blind eye to these issues. A blind eye towards the hatred only brings out greater tragedy. As Kurt Eissler, a psychiatrist and a writer said, we have to move the hatred forward to create constructive alternatives for this societal problem. < 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >