Re-Blog: An Open Letter to Those Who Hate

This is one of the best things I’ve read on the internet in a long time. I’m scared of what I see in political discourse in our country, in conversations I hear on the street, and where I hear people cite information from.  I’m all for people having different ideas, different feelings, different priorities, and different motivations.  Fine- but every day I see and hear a deepening chasm of hate and ignorance that frankly scares the shit out of me.

Recently, I was asked what I felt it meant to be “progressive,” a word I am not afraid to use to describe myself. To me, being progressive is being humble, willing, and interested in taking a look in the mirror at yourself and learning from what you see.  It is virtually synonymous with being accountable.  I answered honestly, and realized after the fact that my answer has nothing to do with supporting traditionally liberal values- I’m sure there are folks who espouse traditionally conservative values that would aspire to that same reasoning.

That said, I think it does have something to do with basic human decency, responsibility to our whole communities (including the natural resources that sustain us, the diversity of our citizens, and the many resources that we indirectly benefit from), and a commitment to thinking carefully.  We need this, we need it now- how can you help?  How can I help (feel free to post ideas to comments)?

5 thoughts on “Re-Blog: An Open Letter to Those Who Hate

  1. Soren

    While I’m glad the author claims forgiveness at the end, it’s not clear to me this diatribe has value. Maybe so folks know “liberals” can yell too … but that’s not solving the problem. In addition to making more noise, it’s giving credence to
    1) the idea that some significant number of people consciously think all that hate
    2) that people are too dumb to change their minds
    3) that there is little common ground among people who do love the ideals of our country and are only opposed to viewpoints (not people) they don’t understand.

    It’s only a culture war if you assume the other side hates everything you stand for. 🙂

    -Soren

    Ps, ask Jeremy to give you a copy of the responses he got when he was similarly frustrated & scared and sent out email to a few friends. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Soren

      It does identify some issues and some hypocrisy that need to be addressed, but I was turned off by the tone which came too close to the hypocrisy it was trying to mock.

      Reply
      1. sticker1 Post author

        Thanks for the insightful comments dude, all valid points. To preach tolerance, there must BE tolerance first, even of an opposite viewpoint. It is often tempting to respond to the fury with vigorous defense, when a more useful response would be careful, calculated, and respectful.

        Thanks for the difference in perspective, and encouraging me to think about it again. I won’t be changing the post, or denying that the feeling and tone in the article resonates with some of what I feel, but I respect and appreciate that there is an even more useful tact to take. I’d be ingenuine if I didn’t acknowledge that the fear and frustration wells up sometimes.

  2. Soren

    Exactly, and your post already asked for forward-looking ideas — to get beyond the hate. I laughed at some of its revealings hit home, but now that another has laid the problem (and some of less-productive feelings) bare, how do we, as thoughtful, self-examining folks respond with care and love that’s strong enough not to get trampled upon.

    Go mak friends with some who thinks differently than you and isn’t scared to tell you why!

    Reply

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