Whats so Bad About Hate?

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Eng. 101 September 12, 2013 Reading Response What’s So Bad about Hate? “What’s So Bad about Hate” by Andrew Sullivan is an essay that looks into the effectiveness of using the word hate. Sullivan clearly feels that this word is used too often in day to day context. Hate is a strong word and is pretty vague in meaning. What does it really mean when one says that they hate someone or something? Sullivan looks to a better definition of the word hate and gives us one by a psychotherapist names Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, who classifies hate into three categories. The first being obsessive, which is the type where one group tries to get rid of another group by imagining a threat from the minority. They refer to this minority as diseased or sick. The second group is the hysterical haters. The “hater” envies those who are able to act out on desires that he himself has to repress. The third group is narcissistic hate where unawareness of a group leads to contempt for them. Although Sullivan feels that this definition is not the final definition of hate, but it serves to better define the word and helps understand the true meaning behind the word. Sullivan has more of a problem with hate crimes than he does with the word hate. He feels that hate serves as a “blanket” since it does not refer to the acts of an individual but it serves to make it refer to a general group of people instead (Sullivan 315). He provides the interesting insight that any “sense of belonging is followed by an unequal sense of unbelonging” (Sullivan 309). This seems to be a direct result of our strange tendency to classify people, objects, and even ourselves. Sullivan also accurately explains how a victim’s hatred can more easily become destructive, because being victimized builds up aggression. This is most commonly noticeable with children, when those who were bullied often become bullies

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