Hate does not have “many sides” — morning meditation

What is a morning meditation? To help me build a habit of daily writing, I’m publishing a few thoughts here every morning about ideas that interest and inspire me, mostly drawn from ordinary life. I hope you enjoy them.

I’m late to this discussion. While I was away from my computer this weekend, the world taught us yet again how hateful and ugly we can be to each other. It taught us how good we can be at rationalizing and diminishing this ugliness, too.

Our news media has done us a terrible disservice by teaching us that every issue has at least two sides. For as long as I can remember, friends, family and pundits alike blamed our country’s dysfunction on cronyism and pandering “on both sides.”

In more civilized times, this was often true. When it comes to complex issues of policy, there are necessarily many angles to consider, and a diversity of opinion is welcome and needed across the political spectrum.

But not when it comes to hate. Not when it comes to denying basic human dignity. Not when neo-Nazis are literally killing people in the street.

The events of Charlottesville, VA, do not have “many sides.” They were rooted in hate, and there is no such thing as many-sided hatred.

Hate cannot tolerate nuance or complexity.

Hate does not know how to compromise.

Hate has no values, no moral creed, no coherent worldview that is not rooted in the demonization of the other.

Hate does not lead to progress.

Hate cannot solve problems.

Hate cannot be reasoned with.

Hate does not build; hate only destroys.