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Do you drink the sour milk of hatefulness?

If you don’t stand against hate speech, you condone and enable it. Photo by Life Matters from Pexels.

By John Keeble

This is an age of hate and fear and anger. And, for many, it will be getting worse over the coming months. Of course, for others it will be a way to cash in on political support and profits. And, for some, it will be yet more incentive to vent their hateful natures.

The language environment is saturated with opportunities for the hatemongers and dangers for its victims and the unwary caught up in it. If ever there has ever been a time to beware unregulated and uncontrolled “free speech”, it is now – that is, consider carefully what you view, read or hear; and, especially, what you write, say and repost.

Some people want “free speech” to be uncontrolled. They claim the right to say anything without any limits or retribution. That is a system for the bully boys, the extremists of verbal and physical violence. And our modern media, both mainstream and social, megaphones it in the name of news.

After the recent uproar over a racist article in CuencaHighLife, it is easy to think of this in terms of only race, but hatefulness and the wish to hurt others use many targets to achieve their destructive psychological, physical and political violence. And make no mistake: this is a form of violence designed to damage and dominate others.

There are many victims of verbal violence. Don’t tolerate it. Photo: Виктория Бородинова from Pixabay

There are many victims and tactics: the demeaning and disempowerment of women, the demonising of migrants and refugees, the hatred of millions of people just because they have a different religion or skin colour, the disrespect of the poor without adequate work or medical care, the appalling lies about political opponents, the marginalising of people with disabilities, the discarding of armed forces veterans, the disregard for the elderly, and so on ad nauseam.

Unless you oppose this and actively reject it, you are condoning it and helping it to flourish. What kind of post-covid world do you want to live in?

Of course, it does not help when our leaders turn out to be the most powerful liars and manipulators in the world – they create an atmosphere of “say what you like” to the worst kinds of people seeking to damage, divide and dominate rather than unite and build fair and just societies.

In this era of political and economic elites plundering nations for their own gains, discrimination and division are being intensified in our populations for the benefit of the rich and powerful and the domination of the rest of the people.

Unregulated “free speech” is just the semi-visible tip of a sinister iceberg. It points the way to the rot in our societies and the vicious stupidity of so many twitching to the sly dog-whistle words, the wretched use of self-interest to turn people against each other for political gain, and the misleading of good people with professionally-made social media videos designed to cultivate hated.

Violence is not only physical and speech. It is structural too. Photo: Gregory Akinlotan from Pixabay

Beyond even that, it is about having a fragmented society of trained consumers who will fight with each other on any subject to be vocally right and, thankfully say politicians and big business, never agree enough to form a cohesive force for change for the benefit of themselves, the people and the nation.

The big players of social media and some of their supporting advertisers are finally paying lip service to some customers’ outrage. Some mainstream media, like The Guardian in London, have long had strict editorial policies to eliminate discrimination from their pages. Others, like Fox News, fan the flames of hate and division.

A major problem, which slips the stiletto of hate propaganda into even good and careful people, is the rise of social and internet media. Anyone, from destructive inadequate to trained specialist, can find ways to rip apart our societies – often anonymously without personal repercussions.

They are scoring successes, too. Look at the political impact of manufactured hate figures and manipulation in the political elections in the US and UK in the past five years. British and Northern Irish citizens will be paying a high price for falling for xenophobic and nationalistic manipulation in the Brexit votes, and the US has been turned into a seething cauldron of conflict.

What of the future? Equality or strife? Photo by Daniel Torobekov from Pexels

At the grassroots, we see the so-called “jokes” and sly campaigns popping up in our social media and email inboxes. One very professional British video, complete with an exceptionally good presenter, was sent to me recently after I circulated a report of a hidden horror from the British Empire. The video undermined the Black Lives Matter campaign with underhand psychological jabs and lies, and reinforced white supremacy.

You have seen this kind of video. Do not be lazy or careless – try pulling them apart to see what they are really trying to fool you into thinking. Look for the lies and manipulations. Look for the true statements bent to serve their hateful ends.

Those same bully-boy interests have been working hard for many decades to undermine pressure for restraint and legal controls to tackle inequality and the hate attacks on minorities. The cancer of the “politically correct” term has undermined the clear message of fair and neutral terminology for traditional targets of the bully-boys – women, ethnic minorities and especially people of colour, religious minorities, sexual minorities, disabled people, migrants, and refugees.

We can add to that list now with science and scientists, the environment and environmentalists, animals and animal campaigners, any disadvantaged people and their advocates, other countries and their leaders… it is all grist for the hate mill for those who profit from it and for those who find sweet music for their illusions of superiority.

There is little doubt that these campaigns, social media and political malice, will reach hysterical levels as the US goes into its final presidential elections phase and the UK hits the brick wall of Brexit’s cost.

Are you eager for your worst emotions to be jerked around by the politicians and other manipulators – or are you ready to fight for a world without hatred and division?

13 thoughts on “Do you drink the sour milk of hatefulness?

  1. The situation will continue to get worse until we have a change in our morals. Black lives don’t even matter to blacks. Seems more whites are involved than blacks. Since whites are racist, why should we listen to them? We need to change the only thing we can change and that is ourselves. We need to turn to a written moral code, The Bible.

    1. Unfortunately, some who share the viewpoint of this author have determined that the moral standards of the Bible are hate speech.

    2. The Bible is full of terrible stories that make me wonder why we continue to read this awful book.
      Human sacrifice?
      About Slavery:
      In Exodus 21:20-21 NAB it says “When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.”
      It’s basically that a slave master can beat his slaves as much as he wants as long as they don’t die?
      Shall I go on? Be assured I can.

      1. You continue to amaze me young man. We’ll miss your wisdom and knowledge after you move to ES

    3. When you force someone to live in the inner city, for generations, when they don’t know when or if the next meal is coming and all you see is despair. Reminders of how you have been repressed are everywhere. Do you think prison is a deterrent? They give you food, cigarettes, clothing and a roof over your head. That black on black killing isn’t what the problem is, it’s forcing them to live in those conditions. It’s easy to sit in your gated communities, while attending a mega church on Sunday morning, to not have a clue what is really happening in the inner cities. You want to understand, go and live there. I did, right in Detroit, there wasn’t enough for everyone, if you could steal you did, drugs and gangs everywhere, survival of the fittest. You wanna cash a check, you don’t go to a bank, there are non there… check cashing shops… police wouldn’t go into some areas. There was no one there to protect your family, just you and your gun… you want to know why more blacks kill blacks… it’s because they are forced to defend themselves in third world areas in a first world country. Social services are non existent in th US, and all I heard was who is gonna pay for them, why should I pay for that, the truth is if there is no hope this will never end. And who’s gonna pay for it, we all are… right here, right now. The moral code that needs to change is compassion for your fellow man and that does include black on black compassion and it all starts with your understanding of hopelessness and your willingness to help make the changes that will heal. November is coming.

  2. As much as I respect John Keeble and many of his ways, I disagree with what he’s written here. Controlling each others’ speech is simply not the way to go. Are we to obey some general consensus spread through social networks, telling us all how to speak? Nope. Not a good idea. Nor is it a good idea to hold some holy book up as a guide for all, as a previous comment here proposed. What would we do with all the other holy books? We’ve tried the imposition of a holy books many times before. It’s never produce anything more than a lot of killing. As much as we disagree with the speech of those that, well, we disagree with, the only way to for us to live together is to allow it. Speak back! The fact is, there may be nothing broken here that needs fixing at all. Bad times? Think back a few years when we were embroiled in Watergate and Vietnam. A few more years and we were embroiled in World War II and the atomic bomb. Both eras were in a vastly different league as far killing each other goes. There’s certainly room for improvement in our world today, but drastic measures such compromising our freedom of speech is fixing something that ain’t broken, and it could return us to a disastrous yesteryear, against which the “problems” of today will pale in comparison.

  3. In his Article, Keeble joins the cadre of Orwellian facists who only want to totally control all of what you see and hear. So what´s so bad about that ? What a joke. And this continues to tarnish the already tarnished reputation of Cuenca Highlife. Too bad. It is exactly this kind of whining, prissy rabble that have poisoned freedom everywehere, and made life a resounding bore everywhere they make their presumed entitlement known.

    1. Charlie – I agree with most of your disagreement here, although I would not have chosen your words and tone. What I don’t agree with is that Cuenca Highlife has a “tarnished reputation”. I’ve been reading the publication for years. One lousy racist article slips through the cracks (actually, I didn’t even see it so I’m assuming others missed it, too) and we’re going to label Cuenca Highlife as “tarnished”? Even though they pulled it within hours? This is an over-reaction and unwarranted. Cuenca Highlife is not “tarnished”.

  4. Kibbles, you are the one calling this an age of “hate, fear and anger.” That’s because you actually pay heed to the MSM, who fan the flames of such thoughts and actions. Speak for yourself.

  5. I did not read the offensive article that was taken down but I did get some knowledge of what it was about. I unsubscribed from CHL because I understood from some comments that it was just not the “opinion piece” that “slipped through”, the owners also espoused the views of the article author.

    Reading some of the comments on this post I realize that maybe it was not a good idea to unsubscribe because now with all the left-leaning readers gone, the readership has become more conservative. I am now rethinking my decision to unsubscribe because I do not wish my friends such as John and Jeff to stop writing for the expat community.

    Anyway, the discussions around the pulled article and this piece revolve around the constitutionally guaranteed right of Freedom of Speech. Unfortunately, many who claim protection under this right do not seem to realize that the US courts, including the Supreme Court, have ruled on various aspects of this right. I will share below links to that information but it would be useful to state that one cannot compare the pulled article with what John has written, as some of the commentators have tried to do.

    As I understand from the many comments on the pulled piece it was clearly slanderous and libelous as it associated a set of negative and undesirable attributes to a section of US citizenry. According to the US Supreme Court, slander and libel are NOT protected under Freedom of Speech. John’s article on the other hand is an analysis of the contemporary mindset of hate and violence without any association. Read the following for more details:

    What’s allowed and what’s not (Summary points):
    Discussion with references:

    1. I understand on good authority that you are one of the 13 left-leaners who unsubscribed to the newsletter (out of 12,000 subscribers). I think they can absorb the loss being that subscriptions are free.

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