This is what hate is: And sometimes you share it too

This is hate.

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It looks like a good clean joke. It feels harmless too. And it doesn’t even prick the conscience when we post “share”. But it’s hate all the same.

So is this:

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And even things like this:

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Chances are, as you’re reading this you’re thinking one of two things: “Wow, Kayla, you’re super uptight” OR “Sure, Kayla, I guess you’re right.”

Because there is no middle ground.

The reason I’m writing this isn’t to point a finger at you or make you feel bad. Well, maybe a little bad *But for a good reason, I promise*.

I’m writing this because I caught myself a couple days ago, laughing at something that suddenly sunk my heart like a rock when I realized that I was laughing at another human being’s expense. And then I cried under the weight of my realization and read every single comment under that particular picture.

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After all, that person was a human being who literally got dragged through the mud of cyberspace, got stamped with some ridiculous text , and got shared over a million times. And at what price? A few laughs. A few comments…a few sighs of “Oh that’s terrible…but hilarious, right?”.

The thing is–humor is needed in life. A good laugh that turns your stomach to rock and has tears trailing down your face is literally the best healer for anything. But humor can often be packaged in hate. And here’s the thing about hate–it disguises itself fantastically.

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It disguises itself as the excuse that the person in the picture can’t hear me laughing, so it’s not THAT mean to laugh.

It disguises itself as racism or sexism or religious discrimination wrapped in a package of a highly-trafficked youtube video, vine, viral blog post, or photo-shopped picture that’s too funny NOT to share.

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It disguises itself as jokes thrown around an office, cliches that should’ve gone out of style a long time ago *like when the civil war ended* and popular catchy songs that win a handful of Grammys for lyrics about a “black KKK” taking over the world.

It disguises itself well–obviously–because it tricks the best of people. That’s why it tricked you before.

And that’s exactly how hate grows: unnoticed.

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I’m writing this because I’m tired of seeing hate shared and re-shared and told and re-told and pointed at and laughed at and embraced as “good, harmless fun”. I’m tired of also being the victim of being suckered in by witty punchlines or catchy beats on the radio that preach intolerance, ignorance, sexism…and allowing it to make it’s way into my heart. How can I be a disciple of Christ while pointing to the person beaten on the side of the road with a million shares tattooed to his forehead–with a sneer on my face?

Hate is never okay. Plain and simple. Even if it’s funny. Even if it’s clever. Even if the person being torn at never sees it or feels the repercussions of it. Even if it whispers to you that you should “lighten up”. 

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Hate is never okay. Whether it targets a talented writer who lived a life of strength through disability–or an African American man who preached love and change–or an overweight teenager who simply made the mistake of changing her profile picture and displaying it to ravenous Facebook wolves. 

Don’t give in to it anymore. I don’t want to give into it anymore either. I don’t want to be one of the shares…one of the likes…one of the taunts.

Because when it comes down to it– Hate is the only one laughing.

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13 thoughts on “This is what hate is: And sometimes you share it too

  1. Hello, Kayla.

    Following your blog posts has become a “regular” on my daily “to do list”, literally! I love this post. Just last week while watching a news broadcast a topic found its way into my ears, and I was offended and left the room to take care of a task that would block any further dialog on the topic. When my husband asked me if I had caught that particular commentary, I said no – – explaining that I didn’t want it bouncing around in my brain and didn’t want to put that boulder in my wagon to be tugged around behind me.

    This beautiful world we live in is full of wonderful things; good news – – nourishing commentary and that is the part of the world in which I want to be fully participating . So much time is spent on “zinging” individuals one way or the other – – and all the while those “targets” are hurt and even devastated when a spirited conversation, ridicule or sarcastic innuendo marks them.

    The hurt isn’t laughing as much as our dearest brother and friend, Jesus Christ weeps. I want to be better at stomping out hurt, hatred and any other behavior that causes anyone pain and despair.

    You make a big difference to me, Kayla, and I am proud of you and profoundly appreciative of your call to those who choose to follow your good thoughts and declaration that we are, indeed Disciples of Christ.

    There is a thought I have in front of me on my desk that I love – – and try daily to act accordingly. This is it in a nutshell “Courage does not always roar; sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying ‘I will try again, tomorrow.” I link with you in trying to make each day great – – so that every tomorrow will provide safe harbor and rest to anyone who may need a sincere and loving reminder that they matter! The good news is, that as we all stand shoulder to shoulder blocking hate – – the circle of love will work it’s magic and strengthen our ability to savor and share the delicious fruits of our labors.

    • I need to say this post warmed my heart, not only because Kayla is my daughter but because she has touched so many lives:) she is an inspiration to so many and to know she is my daughter brings true happiness into my heart:)

  2. I would not classify this as hate. I feel it is disrespectful, distasteful and callous. In my opinion we have started to classify so many things under the “hate” banner that it waters down what is truly hateful. Hate is a gnawing, bitter, passionate aversion. An inappropriate laugh that makes us feel ashamed and distressed calls us to better behavior and helps us rise above the disrespect.

    Thank you for these thoughts, and I agree that they are completely inappropriate.

  3. Our family mission statement is “Love is the whole and more than all” (words from e.e. cummings). This is what we’re trying to teach our children. We must love in all ways, including social media shares and status updates and what we choose to “like.” This was a really great post! So enjoyed reading it!

  4. Hi Kayla, uncle Larry here, I was intrigued by your recent article on what constitutes HATE. (Aunt Beck insisted I not miss it) Since Prov.6:16 describes what our Creator hates I tried to tie the things you raised with what is mentioned there. Do you think the insensibilities you raised, which are so prevalent in today’s society, evidence of hate? Or are they the things which, if unchecked, lead to a lack of human compassion and inevitably to a callous disregard for the feelings we should have for our fellow man? In retrospect what you did for me was to make me aware of these things which can desensitize us and lay the foundation for “hateful” things. Love, Unc

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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