Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Love, Hate and Indifference

Love, Hate and Indifference

Indifference by nemo et nihil

It was Eric Fromm who pointed out to me years ago in his book “The Art of Loving” that the opposite of love isn’t hate, but indifference. How can this be?  Because hate implies some connection to the object of one’s hatred, some recognition of his or her existence.  Indifference on one’s part can say to an individual, a class of people, or a whole country that you don’t matter to me at all, you are beneath my notice. This is the opposite of love.

And it was indifference by the US populace to the deaths of the people of Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries when the US, UK, UN and NATO were bombing the hell out of Muslim countries. It was the same American and Canadian indifference to Obama’s drone strikes for the deaths of many innocent people, all Muslims. How is it that Israel can “mow the Palestinian lawn in Gaza” periodically (killing Muslims and stealing their land) without radical condemnation for Israeli indifference to the suffering of their victims? How is it that this US and Canadian indifference to the Muslim world in terms of raining death down upon them has suddenly turned into intense love for the same Muslims whose death tolls the “adorables” didn’t even recognize yesterday?

I believe the psychic of many Americans have gone haywire. It’s as if they are  undergoing some kind of “Come to Jesus” moment.  Is it guilt they are experiencing?  I hope so.  We are all guilty for the destruction and loss of life in the Middle Eastern countries that we of the Western world have not only tolerated, but instigated the destruction.  But what about some guilt for the collective indifference to the plight of many desolate Black neighbourhoods in the US, for police brutality, for many First Nations people in the US and Canada who suffer the same deprivations as third nations countries, such as the lack of clean water and adequate medical care? Yes, Muslims should be allowed into the countries that have devastated their own. Of course. But all of the fervent outpouring of love for Muslims currently shaping the discourse of many Americans and Canadians strikes a discordant note with me. The air around the anti-Trump protests are mired with beatings, shattered glass windows, smoke bombs, pepper spray and above all, the stench of hypocrisy.

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