The Opposite of Hate

The Opposite of Hate

A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity

Book - 2018
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"Television commentator Sally Kohn talks to leading scientists and researchers to investigate the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate, and confronts her own shameful moments and points the way toward change with the hopeful message that we all have the capacity to combat hate"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2018
Edition: First Edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781616207281
Branch Call Number: 152.4 Koh
Characteristics: 262 pages ; 22 cm


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"Television commentator Sally Kohn talks to leading scientists and researchers to investigate the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate, and confronts her own shameful moments and points the way toward change with the hopeful message that we all have the capacity to combat hate."

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Sep 05, 2018

This is a wonderful book that points out human fallacies of thought in the most gentle way possible. She made me realize how often I wallow in my own attribution errors even though I believed that I wasn't prejudiced (or at least fought against it). This book really makes you think. Highly recommended.

Aug 05, 2018

The premise of this book is that we all have the capacity for hate (and more of us are feeling hate in today’s divisive nation and world). She starts by describing her own behavior as a child, bullying another child. She describes reaching out to the people who troll her Twitter account; while their comments are horrible and hurtful, the people behind the tweets are surprising normal, often tweeting just to vent or relieve their own boredom. (And they think SHE is the mean one, and that they are not mean at all.)

The author discusses in-groups and out-groups, and the fact that even people who are terrorists think their actions are justified. They do not see themselves as hateful; they see themselves as fighting back against their hateful enemies. Everyone thinks their own base motivation is good.

She describes “essentialism”, which reduces other human beings to a caricature and strips them of human characteristics. If we never interact with people in that other group, we never learn that they are individual human beings with things in common with us.

She then tells us about her “Aunt Lucy”, whom she loves dearly as a person but disagrees with politically. She tells us of her ABC method for dealing with Aunt Lucy and others with similar political leanings. ABC stands for affirm, bridge and convince. It is very hard to do in the moment, but is a powerful tool for “connection-speech” which can allow her to make her point and actually be heard by the other person.

She notes, “We often assume and act as though everyone on a given ‘side’ is an automatic proxy for the very worst behaving of their side’s most extreme examples. Such hyper partisanship is just another form of attribution bias and essentialism.”

In one of the most powerful chapters in the book, the author talks about getting to know a former Palestinian terrorist. She describes how the two sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict view each other and the motives of the other side. The former terrorist describes the terrible things that were done to him and his family, and how he became a terrorist. He learned to hate the IDF. And then while he was in prison, he saw a movie about the Holocaust, and he was deeply moved. He got to know an Israeli guard as an individual. He came to see his enemies as real people who were suffering too. He explained to the author that the Israelis were still his enemies, but he could have compassion for them. He has rejected hate, even though one of his children was killed by Israeli guards while she was walking home from school. He recognizes that the soldier who killed his daughter is a victim too.

There is a lot of food for thought in this book (especially the chapter about the genocide in Rwanda, in which 200.000 "ordinary people" murdered over 800,000 friends and neighbors.

Jul 07, 2018

Probably the most important book I’ve read this year. It took me a while because I had to stop and reflect on what I had read. I buy very few books, but I am buying this book. I read it on a Kindle. That was a big mistake. It is the kind of book that needs pages dog-eared and notes made in the margin. In this time of hate, I found lots of practical advice, including looking at myself and my own prejudices.

Apr 13, 2018

Heard her on one of those NPR faux shows [cleverly devised to misdirect and redirect, never ever touching on Real News or Real Content] and she sounded quite the mediocre type.
And no, there is no qualitative difference between NPR and Fox [except NPR is principally funded by the Koch brothers through their content ownership at WGBH Educational Foundation of Boston, while Murdoch owns the News Corporation]; even CNN has run more stories on American employment while NPR has actually run almost zero over the past three decades, but endless pro-China stories.


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Sep 05, 2018

The problem starts when our desire to belong leads us to identify so strongly with a particular social group that we become fierce in our belonging--to the point of engaging in , or at least condoning, harmful otherizing. pg. 85


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