By Mike Hembury — SOAPBOX
We live in an era of rage, sure enough.
But I have to say, I’m not one for the politics of hate.
Seems everywhere you look these days there are hate-mongers popping up left right and center — but mainly right — and venting their grievances, real or imagined.
And when they start to talk, their voices are simmering anger, ready to boil over, their minds are seething cesspits of prejudice and violence.
I ask myself what that must do to your mind, all that hate.
I ask myself and I know the answer, because I’m no stranger to it.
I’ve hated the bosses and the fash, the spycops and the homophobes and the Thatcherites. I’ve hated the racists and the rapists and the oil companies and the politicians and polluters with different degrees of intensity and it’s never a good feeling.
Hate is a symptom of powerlessness, at least for the oppressed. Hate and despair are two sides of the same coin.
But hate is not something you can really control.
It’s something that controls you. Once you let it off the leash, it warps you out of shape. It can ruin your life, damage your spirit and harm your loved ones.
I’m not a believer in any god, but I’ll lay this down on you: You have to let go of hate.
I’ll take it even further.
You have to understand hate if you want to beat it.
Of course, sometimes the only way to confront hate is to put your body on the line.
The fascists came to march in Berlin last month, 5,000 strong, and were met by a surge of bodies more than ten times that number.
That’s a great and powerful thing, and something we need to build on.
But for every hardcore Nazi, I’m betting there’s a bunch of hangers-on whose hate is founded on fear.
Fear of the world changing around them.
Fear of losing their place in the world.
Fear of being ignored, and cast aside, and dispossessed.
Those are all things that we can address. Those are fears that we can relate to.