From guest writer John Brock:
I hate Hate. It ruins your life. It destroys your soul.
“Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater … when you start hating anybody, it destroys the very center of your creative response to life and the universe; so, love everybody.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
“Always remember, others may hate you. Those who hate you do not win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.” – Richard Nixon
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
I am fearful that we in the United States are institutionalizing Hate. It is institutionalized in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. When you visit Kosovo or other Baltic countries, the first thing they tell you about is an atrocity committed by their neighbors a thousand years ago. These countries are filled with hate. It causes “ethnic cleansing” as in Rwanda and Kosovo.
In our country, a multi-million-dollar industry of extortion has grown up around hate. If you say the “forbidden” word, even in an academic discussion, you will be hounded and vilified and, in many cases, lose your job. I heard a minister in a North Tulsa Church state on television that we will never have peace until we pay “reparations.” No one can justify slavery, but if reparations are to be paid, we will owe 10 times as much to the Native Americans for ethnic cleansing. Money may buy contempt and hate but not love and respect.
I have been amazed at the changes in people’s attitudes since Jim Crow laws were abolished. Martin Luther King Jr. showed us the “way.” Now my grandchildren (25 to 35 years) do not see color. They accept all races without prejudice. I am afraid that the college age children today may not feel the same way after being subjected to obligatory courses in Critical Race Theory.
The story of Louis Zamperini illustrates the only way I know to eliminate hatred. He was an American Olympian captured by the Japanese in WWII. He spent four years in a Japanese prison being constantly subjected to torture. He came home filled with hate. After unhappy years of bitterness, hate and alcoholism, he chanced to hear a message from the Reverend Billy Graham on forgiveness. Forgiving the Japanese restored his life. I have the highest regard and admiration for the members of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church of Charleston, South Carolina. After nine members of their congregation were shot and killed in a hate crime, the entire congregation “forgave” the murderer. What wonderful people they must be.
Instead of teaching guilt, we must teach love, kindness, courtesy, respect and the golden rule.
John Brock is a Tulsa oilman and philanthropist, founder of the Brock Prize in Education Innovation, and a member of Oklahoma Hall of Fame
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official position of 1889 Institute.