Hate is hate. When it’s practiced by people we like or sympathize with, it’s hate. When it’s directed against people we don’t like, it’s hate. When hate is in retaliation for being hated, it’s still hate. Hate is hate, no exceptions.
Standing against hate means exactly that – you’re against hate, no matter what. It also means you’re against groups that practice it. You call out hate when it’s easy to speak against it. You call out hate even though it seems justified. You call out hate when you stand alone. You call out hate even when those who despise your opinion twist your words and lie about your intentions.
When you fail to call out hate because it causes inconvenience, you’re not against hate. When you fail to call out hate because it’s directed against your enemy, you’re not against hate. When you not only fail to call out hate but justify it because it advances your cause, you’re not against hate.
When your cause justifies hate directed toward any person or any group, you are AntiFa. You are the Nazi party. You are BLM. You are the KKK. When you accept hate for any reason, you don’t stand it against it.
When you claim to stand against hate and those who practice it but fail to call it out for any reason, you’re like the lady propositioned by Winston Churchill at dinner one night. The story is also attributed to George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, and W.C. Fields, to name a few, but I like the Churchill version best.
Churchill found himself seated next to Lady X at a formal dinner one evening, and in the course of their conversation he asked, “Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?”
The woman gasped and said, “My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose.” Then with a quick look around the room, she added, “We would have to discuss terms, of course.”
Churchill then said, “Would you sleep with me for five pounds?”
“Mr. Churchill,” the Lady snapped, “what kind of woman do you think I am?”
Mr. Churchill replied, “Madam, we have already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.”
Regardless of what you say, tolerating hate towards any group – whether you agree with them or not – establishes exactly what you are. All you’re doing is haggling over which people are acceptable targets.
Roy Jeffords is an author, ghost writer, and curmudgeon-at-large. A graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, he lives in Texas with his wife and their two boxers. Find him on Facebook at Roy Jeffords, Twitter @royjeffords, and Instagram royjeffords. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.