The Structure of True Hate

By Mathias Anyanwu. Mathias, 20, is from Enugu, Nigeria, and is currently studying as a student in the University of Nigeria. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

True hate is scarce these days. Hate is not what we often think it is. When people experience similar patterns of hostile behaviour, they are inclined to conclude that they are being hated, but what we mostly interpret as hate in society is in fact often demonstrations arising from conflicting interests and goals. When individuals occupy a position that poses a threat to an interest or goal, such a person is prone to the dislikes and risks that accompany it. A strong dislike and its demonstration towards someone cannot be immediately concluded to be hate, because it could be reversed. For a feeling to be termed hate, it must meet certain requirements. Hate, or true hate, is a constant and irreversible feeling that is negative towards an individual and is intended to reflect the wounds of past experience and could be further demonstrated by inflicting suffering on any fragment of an individual, or the individual as a whole. “Constant” in this definition means that such feeling pops up immediately at the sight or remembrance of the reason for that hate. You can’t call a feeling ‘hate’ if you dislike someone today and like that person tomorrow. True hate must have this feature. “Irreversible” here means that no matter what is done to appease the subject of such feeling, the feeling will continue to remain. “Negative” here means that the content of such feeling must be the total devaluation of the victim to nothing, and the justification of any misfortune that befalls the victim. If any form of hostility is devoid of any or all of these factors, then such feeling is not qualified to be hate, because those factors are what distinguish dislike from hate. Sometimes men are hostile to their fellow men not because they hate their fellow men, but because they want to accomplish specific interests, or because they haven’t found something compatible between themselves and their fellow men.

Hate is not without reason. You could be a victim of hate because of your background, evil acts, colour, lifestyle, achievements, etc. Whatever the reason is, you could be a victim as an individual or as a member of a group. If you are a victim of hatred, the next question to ask is “How do I react to this hatred towards me?”. Individuals react to hatred differently, but before any reaction to hatred, some conditions must be met. The first condition is for one to be aware that he is being hated. This could be realized through the incessant negative actions and attitudes towards him. The second condition is to know the reason that prompted said actions and attitudes. Sometimes the victims know the reason for the hate immediately they realize that they are being hated; they don’t need to search for the reasons. However, some people seek why they are being hated when they never expected a negative behaviour from an individual or group. Having known that you are hated and the reason for such hatred, the last stage is what I call the ‘action stage’. It is in this stage that the victim will react. In this stage, here comes the question: ‘does hate attracts hate?’

Like I said earlier, it all depends on the individual no matter the magnitude of such hatred or the way it is demonstrated. What mostly prompts reactions to hatred is not the intensity or degree of hatred itself, nor the manner by which it is demonstrated, but the personality of an individual. The personality of an individual is a conglomeration of culture, experiences, beliefs, and future aspirations. The foundation of the personality of an individual is based on his innate interpretations of these factors. Some individuals, due to their personalities, will decide to make out time for resolution. When they understand that the hatred is irreversible, they may decide to react to hatred with similar demonstrations of hatred, but the door for resolution will still be open while they react. Unless retaliation continues for a long time, then the door for resolution will close and it will be reacting to hatred with hatred. Some other individuals might decide to endure the hatred even whey have realized that it is irreversible. Some won’t even give time for resolution; they will just react with hatred immediately when they discover that they are being hated. However, there are some others that will retaliate in any possible way to hatred in order to curb its demonstrative effects, but they do not actually hate the subject of such hatred. It’s just that they can’t risk their own interests and desires. Hate does attract hate in some people, but not without demonstration. And demonstration must be to the extent that it poses threat to or thwarts the realizations of interests or goals.

However, to learn the best reaction to hate of any form and magnitude, it is necessary for one to look at the lives of some people, especially the Igbo ethnic group. The Igbo ethnic group is a nation that is within the federal republic of Nigeria. If you take a glance at the history of Nigeria, you will understand that it has not been easy for the Igbos in getting along with other ethnic groups like the Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba ethnic groups. Since the history of the federation there has been fierce conflict on how to share and manage the nation’s resources. In the process of this conflict the Igbos have become victims of hatred. This hatred has been demonstrated in forms of mass carnage, hate speech, marginalisation, etc. How do the Igbos react to this hatred? It is important to know that the Igbos are not centralized like other ethnic groups; every individual in the Igbo nation cherish his/her opinions or interests against group interests. This is to show that they are likely to react to issues individually rather than collectively. Igbos often ignore hatred rather than react to it. Why is this so? Simply because they are so obsessed in realizing personal goals and dreams and have no time to deal with hatred. Even if such hatred poses a threat to their ambitions, they don’t mind taking risks. For instance, Northern Nigeria has become immensely unsafe for the Igbos because of incessant hostility of Muslims to Christians. The Igbos are Christians, yet they are still flocking to Northern Nigeria. They are not doing this because they hate their lives, but because interest and goals prevail. They always find an alternative whenever hate blocks the way. This is to tell anyone out there that if you are a victim of hate, ignore them and get busy. Remember, this example is not applicable to all Igbos, and neither should it be forced upon everyone, because reaction to hatred still depends on the individual.

So, Mathieu Kassovitz, hate will only attract hate when certain conditions are met. It is not an instantaneous phenomenon and it depends wholly on the victim and his understanding of his conditions.

26 comments on “The Structure of True Hate

  1. Chidi on

    Wow. Innovative and thoughtful. What else should I expect from someone that won’t say or write anything, until he finds an opportunity to break out from the crowd.

  2. Chisom on

    Mathias, your piece is a thought provoking one. However, if hate is what you defined it to be, then there is nothing like hate on earth, because bitterness in humans is always reversible. Think about the Rwanda Genocide. despite the fact that people were slaughtered, yet the victims were able to forgive those responsible for the evil committed. In a nutshell, no matter the hatred towards one, something can be done to reverse it. That is why we are humans.

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