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[EDIT: additional clarification added on August 18] I'd like to clarify (and I am adding this to the original post, too) that I don't mean to condone hate or the use of hate or living perpetually in hate as a motivation. My original intent was to point out that hate is something that is natural and nothing to fear and what we do with it is what matters. We don't have to be scared of hate that rises in us in reaction to awful things. Hate is just information. It points out what we find repulsive and disgusting. Most people think of the hate that is expressed from people who live in hate just because someone is different and they don't understand or like it. That's what we think of when we think of hate. That's an ugly and terrifying kind of hate because it goes unquestioned and unchecked. But when we are subject to the horrors of Nazis, racists, sexists, homophobes, abusers, rapists, murderers, and molesters, etc. it is totally fair, normal, and natural to feel hate for these things. That kind of hate is still just information. We are passionately repulsed and disgusted. But we don't want to live in it any more than we want to live in fear or anger, but we shouldn't try to avoid or shame or fear our hate, and we certainly shouldn't believe that our hatred of people who harm other people is the same thing as the hate that actually harms people. That's like saying that the violence of people fighting for their lives is the same kind of violence that has come to take their lives. Violence, hatred, anger, and fear... they are not the bad guys. What we do with these, how we direct them, how we understand them... that's what matters. That's all I really meant to say. **** [original post below] Below is a combination of posts I wrote in response to two different approaches to questioning hate, anger, and violence. One presented the question as a thoughtful exploration, and one came from a hostile Michael Student from the greater community who wanted to put me in my place for expressing my anger on Facebook toward a fake president who is encouraging violence and white supremacy. Both prompted me to look more carefully at these terms of hate, anger, and violence and try to explain how they work when they are forced on us and how they can be constructive. I decided to create a new post from those responses so we could discuss this and call bullshit on my perspective, or if we can learn to see the constructive side of emotions that are sometimes forced on us and that we have to deal with. *** For those of you uncomfortable with the hate, anger, and violence forced into the equation of protecting ourselves from hateful violent racists and homophobes, rest assured that Love *will* win and save the day. But some of us don't have the protection or privilege of just waiting for that day to come, so please forgive us as we get dirty, hurt, and angry. We are doing the work of clearing a path to that day when you get to say that Love Wins. We don't have to fight dirty for Love, but please understand that we have to fight, and we will get very dirty fighting for it. So save a nice spot us for when we can rest again. *** It's so frustrating to see the effects of inculcation from the new age and religion that keeps us locked in this binary world of "Versus." Love vs Hate, Fear vs Love, Anger vs Peace... That binary world just doesn't exist. It never did. It only looked like it did because it made it easier for us to navigate as we grew up. It made it easier for Baby Souls and Young Souls. Eventually, we grow more mature and that's when we realize there is a spectrum of life, of emotions, of gender, of sexuality, of intelligence, of choice, of everything. Even at the heart of this teaching is the very concept of Polarities that teach us about this spectrum that was never pitted against each other, but a part of each other. Hate and Fear and Anger are near the end of the spectrum of life where choices have become more limited. When this is imposed on yourself or imposed on others as a way to remove choice, it is the familiar destructive force we all know. But when Hate, Fear, and Anger come in response to others taking away our choices and threatening our lives, it is entirely warranted, appropriate, and can be constructive. Hate is just extreme passion. It's no more inherently uglier or villainous than Fear. Things like Fear and Hate and Anger are tools that can protect a house or tear down a house, and Love IS the house. Fear can destroy us or protect us. Hate can destroy us or protect us. Anger can destroy us or protect us. Sometimes protection is necessary in a world where we can be harmed. These emotions are tools that override logic and that's why they can seem so scary. Those who glorify Hate, Fear, and Anger tend to be those who passionately and senselessly seek to destroy the choices of others, and this is what we think of when we see actions motivated by Hate, Fear, or Anger. But these are the same tools that have to be used by many on the front lines of fighting for those who are targeted and oppressed because they know there is no logic that can reach the oppressors or make sense of the chaos. They have to passionately fight back and help clear a path back to logic and reason and it is entirely warranted and healthy and constructive to harness the tools and fuel of Hate, Fear, and Anger and aim it all right back toward protecting and rebuilding the "house" of Love. When people say they can't fight hate with hate, they think of hate as being this singular position opposite of Love. But Love and Hate were never opposites. Love can't be divided, but Hate can be, so Hate can be used against Love or help us clear a path back to Love. Shocking, I know, but anyone who has been directly targeted by violent oppression knows the productive and passionate power of hate, anger, and fear that can help change the world for better. I'm not saying it's ideal, but it helps more than we give credit. When people say they can't fight hate with hate, they also tend to mean that it's an issue that means something different to them and that it makes them uncomfortable to be expected to feel as much extreme passion about that issue. I am totally okay with that and if you can fight using calmer more "loving" methods, then please, by all means, do so. Please don't just turn your back because it's uncomfortable to see the passion from those more directly targeted and hurting.