As the year begins to unfold, merely a week in, I have already noticed a pattern. In my own city of Toronto, there has already been a hit and run causing the death of a child, a few stabbings and shooting and the murder of a toddler. Same old, same old, you might say.
Why I predict that year 2013 will be the Year of Hate, is that I am seeing an undeniable amount of hostility and aggression in my own city as well as an undeniable amount of hatred toward my fellow man in news articles, comment boards and blogs.
I will begin with my personal observations. In my city of Toronto, the largest city in Canada, I was pleased to see most of my fellow citizens were civil during the holiday season. But what I noticed is when I did the slightest act of kindness, like holding a door open for someone, or offering my seat on a bus or streetcar, my fellow Torontonians were taken aback by my small gesture. They often thanked me profusely, as though I rescued their cat from a tree or something. I believe this is an indication that these gestures are not usually performed. On the other hand, I recently left a coffee shop with 6 coffees in hand. I was sent to get coffees for staff and had my hands full. While leaving the shop, I pushed open the door with my back and a person slipped through the door while I held it open. My reaction was, “Really?” Doesn’t seem very Canadian to me.
OK, so this is the part of my hypothesis where I begin with the part about my fellow Canadians. I always believe that we are quite civilized in a somewhat uncivilized world. Not so, I think anymore. During some very sensitive stories this year, the vitriol and hatred have been spewed in spades; stories such as the Occupy Movement or Idle No More or the Sandy Hook shootings or the Gang Rape in India. There is no doubt about it that these are all very sensitive topics. I wouldn’t even dare to write about them. Firstly, they are so involved, deeply woven into the history or culture that I wouldn’t dare tackle such subjects without having at least a great deal of scholarly knowledge or experience.
So why I comment on it now is the exploitation of such subjects. Racists and homophobes and misogynists are using these forums as an opportunity to spew their hatred. After they have then spewed their hatred, they deny that they are being racist and so forth. They argue that they just have a difference of opinion. Racists, for example, rarely know that they are racist.
I just came across one site that completely blew many of the others out of the water called The Spearhead. It’s not Canadian, although I have seen panels on TVO and Sun TV that have had similar sentiments, and while they might have been grass roots USA, it is indeed spreading north of the border too. I discovered it while doing some research on another topic. While it doesn’t call for the lynching of women, it’s not too far behind.
So why is there so much hatred out there? First and foremost, I believe it is born in ignorance. I mean, there was a comment on Spearhead that stated that ¾ of women has some sort of mental illness. The poster just made that up, of course. The making stuff up thing seems to be pretty popular, and adds to the hatred.
I also might add to my hypothesis, I am no expert in this area, and this is merely anecdotal, but it seems that most of the hatred is from a self-centred point of view. You, the person does not have something, and that something is usually monetary, like money or property or things, and you perceive that the other group, the one receiving your hate, does. And why you hate them is it seems unfair that they have the stuff that you don’t. I mean, really, it all comes down to envy. I can see how that might lead to you hating said group, but it doesn’t make it any less irrational.
Finally, the third reason I believe that 2013 is the year of hatred is fear. This is by far the most powerful. In this case it might be a fear that they will take away your money or property or things but also that they will create change, and I think that fear of change is the greatest cause of hatred. It comes down to said group will take your job or taxes (again back to money) but even more powerful is they will change society. And haters don’t want that, unless of course the changes in law go in their favour. But if the change is against their personal beliefs, than the hate will seed itself and grow.
Where I hope I am wrong is that this hatred is from a small segment of society. I have to believe that the majority of persons in my country of Canada and my city of Toronto is rational, reasonable and tolerant human beings. Because if I am wrong, than the year of hate will become the decade of hate and so on.