March 27, 2021
This week at a forum event for a US House of Representatives race in the middle of the country, as one candidate was describing their Irish immigrant ancestry, another candidate of BIPOC descent attacked them, attempting to dismiss the Irish candidate’s experience as some sort of “privilege.” The dismissive party reasoned that their own ancestors, who they claimed were part of the slave trade, had no choice in coming to America, unlike those of candidate number one.
In what should have been an exchange of ideas for how to move America forward, including how to unite this country after months of bitter, partisan division, a candidate within the same party chose to tear down another, creating further strife because of the color of his skin while also ignorantly discounting the fact that his ancestors too had little choice in coming to America.
The fact is, facing famine, many Irish citizens took the last of what they had to buy passage for America bartering between starving to death at home or fleeing penniless to a new country where they would be met with harsh poverty, disease, and coarse discrimination.
But rather than know that, or better, celebrate the fact that in exactly as many generations later, both candidates had arrived at a circumstance that from however awful beginnings they were standing to represent their family, district, state and country for a seat in the US House of Representatives – sharing more in common than not – the rude, interrupting candidate chose to make it about hate. And everyone in the room knew it. See, hate is ugly and backward looking. When we hate, good, forward-looking people can see it and they want no part of it.
And that’s the point for the week.
There’s far too much hate in this world. And it is increasingly being used as a justification for poor behavior, including awful rhetoric and unspeakable violence. It’s a knife that cuts all ways, across ideologies, creeds, colors, and party affiliations. No one group is better or worse than another. Hate is hate, and it sucks no matter who is brokering it. Whataboutism is no excuse for it. It matters not at all who did what, who started what, or how horrible the original sin might be. There is NEVER any justification for hate. No one ever deserves hate.
What’s mostly wrong today is that it has become fashionable to hate on particular groups who aggrieved groups feel have it coming to them. This merely inflames other parties to return the favor. Hate simply begets hate. Nothing good ever came of hate. There is no virtue in hate. There is no righteousness in hate. Hate is hate and it’s ugly and sick no matter who is dealing it.
Whether in our homes, our businesses, or in our communities when we start to simply love the one we’re looking at, life will become infinitely better. Teams founded on love and that refuse to tolerate hate win more often, because hate makes trust impossible and without trust, winning won’t happen. When teammates stop long enough to park their hate at the door, they quickly realize that there is more that unites them than divides them. From these common footholds, amazing, winning campaigns can follow. But only IF hate stays away.
So, if you are a leader, or want to be, of a family, a community, a business, or a country and want to win, stop tolerating hate, of any kind – even hate the conventional wisdom will have you believe is somehow justified.
End the hate. Love the one you’re looking at.
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