Why is there so much hate in the world? Is hatred ever morally justified? Or does hate just breed more hate? What exactly is hatred anyway? These are some of the big questions we’re tackling on this week’s show, Why We Hate.
Many Americans seem have a hard time grasping the idea of Jews as a race because they think of race mainly in terms of the color of a person’s skin. So they tend to frame anti-Semitic violence as attacks on the Jewish faith, rather than racist terror.
“Can Speech Kill?” The obvious answer, it seems, should be: yes, but not directly. However, if one person engages in hate speech against another—using racial slurs or de-humanizing language such as “cockroaches” or “rats”—can that language be counted as killing or contributing to killing other people?
The idea of fighting against hate has had a lot of traction in the public sphere. But conceptualizing our current political situation as a fight against hate paints a distorted picture of what we’re up against and underestimates the ideological wellsprings of right-wing extremism.