The opinions stated in this article are solely those of the author and not of The Davis Clipper.
It was clear from the cheers and the jeers that the people in the raucous crowd cared deeply about Muslims and about women’s issues.
It was equally clear that they hated the white, male congressman who stood before them attempting to answer their questions.
And in that moment and others like it, it has become painfully clear that for many it has somehow become acceptable to hate one group of people as long as you care deeply about another.
Yes, care deeply for the poor but hate the rich with a passion.
Yes, care deeply for the members of a minority, but hate the people trying to maintain law.
Care for the refugee but despise the illegal immigrant who came here for the very same reason.
Care for the person on welfare but hate the politicians who keep financing the programs.
And vice versa.
We’ve become very good at dividing ourselves, taking sides and sticking to them.
We’ve become very good at convincing ourselves that it is right to hate someone who has offended us or who has taken a stand different from our own.
And not just in politics.
It was a long night at a recent professional basketball game, as every time a former player for the home team got the ball he was roundly booed. Not just the first time, not just the second, but every single time throughout the entire hours-long game, he was booed.
Apparently the vocal majority of the thousands who filled the arena were angry about comments he had made about their team and felt justified in expressing their hatred over and over and over again.
It was a long night.
And we are having long days in America as we have led ourselves to believe that hating is OK as long it’s because of a love for something else.
But is it?
And can hating someone or some group -- instead of hearing them or trying to understand them or hoping to come to a solution with them – bring about anything worthwhile?
I love a good protest.
I love it when like-minded people get together for a cause and let their views be heard.
It’s how things get done, or at least how things start moving under our system.
Whether it’s about education or air quality or medical care, the treatment of animals or the placement of roads, protests have brought attention to necessary issues and resulted in positive next steps.
But that’s when people believe in something.
Which is infinitely better than hating something else.
This is not going to be a lecture.
I am not going to say what we already know.
I just want us to look it in the face. See it for what it really is. And ask us if we can’t do better.
I bet we can.