Hate, Love, and Nonviolent Resistance: Is it Really Possible?

by Latina Fatale on 10/19/2010 · 2 comments

in Activism, Nonviolent Resistance

:: HATE ::
Sometimes I’m full of hate and I just can’t help embracing it.

I’m currently on day two of my 365 Days of Activism project where I am reading the speeches and writings of activists. Over the past two days I decided to start reading some of the essential writings and speeches of Martin Luther King. It’s day two and today I recently brought it to my own attention that I am a hate monger.

In his article “Nonviolence and Racial Justice”, written in 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King wrote:

A fourth point that must be brought out concerning nonviolent resistance is that it avoids not only external but also internal violence of spirit. At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love. In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethic of love to the center of our lives.

I don’t know-maybe I lack the self discipline but I just can’t seem to stamp out some of the hate that is just seething in my heart. It’s just a little hard to not hate certain people when I turn on my computer or television and see nothing but offensive attacks of people of color, women and other people. How can I not help but be enraged? Whatever happened to the notion that if we aren’t enraged then we aren’t paying attention?

It sounds like great advice, to reject hate and embrace love for our enemies. But in a way I feel as if I am being weak by doing so, or that I am disrespecting myself in some way for opening myself to hate mongers. Do I really want to not hate some of these people?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

amber July 20, 2012 at 3:15 am

i dont think luther jr was saying to keep from all hate, i think its more of dont let the hate be an effect or reaction you to take for long. feel your feelings through, its the only way to get to the next one, but if you confront hate with hate and just hate some more your not looking for solutions to opposing oppositions, your distressed and fustrated. conquering the way you think you feel is all in how you truely want to handle a situation.


Marie June 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Well, hating is not the same as feeling disgusted, or revolted, or indignated.
Use the indignation as a motivation for action, but that action must be guided by love and reflection, NOT instinct and emotions like hate.
The media play on that “hate factor” but how much more brain and effort does it take to not buy it, not react on raw emotion? A lot.
Non violence is not weak, it’s actually harder. Any idiot can take a weapon and hit, but not everybody can sit back, think, imagine what it is like to be in someone’s shoes, even your enemy’s, understand them and their reasons, accept the fact you can’t change what’s been done, and move on to concentrate on how to change the future.


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