Well, that was a misleading title.  Martin Luther King Jr said ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’  Or at least that quote is attributed to him, but I’m too lazy to fact-check beyond a Google search.  Nevertheless, I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment that we cannot fight hate with hate.  Those who propagate hate are counting on you to hate them back as well because your hatred of them is what fuels them.  Think of this:  when the KKK holds one of their nifty parades, do you think they assume that all the people attending are supporting them?  Of course not.  They are counting on people just like you to go there and vocally oppose them.  When you do, you are playing right into their game because they feel justified in their cause because people so vehemently hate them that their hate grows exponentially.  Everything you do to oppose them makes them happy.  So how do you fight hate?  You fight them with two tools: love and ridicule.

What happens when they hold a parade intending for others to hate them and these others that turn up are actually supporting them and holding up signs of love?  It takes the wind out of their sail.  You don’t have to support their agenda, but you can support them as human beings.  When they look out into the sea of humanity and they see me-a little Asian girl- holding a sign saying ‘You’re a good person!’, they’re going to be so confused.  If you wanted people to hate you and they instead care for you, your hatred subsides.  Their ideology hasn’t changed, but the level of hatred they have in that very moment will decrease.  You have taken their intention from them.  Hate breeds more hate even if you are hating them for the right reasons.  Instead, do what you never thought you would do and show love and compassion because it is freaking mind-blowing.

The other way you can stop the hatred is through ridicule.  I picture Ron Weasley pointing a wand at a white-capped member and shouting ‘ridiculoso,’ and seeing them morph into a little child still wearing exactly what they’re wearing, but miniature-size, because everything is cuter in miniature-size.  Just ask Tyrion Lannister.  Ridicule is a great tool to use-especially for those with over-sized egos and notions of themselves.  I remember Sherriff  Joe Arpaio did not care what others said about him and his racist tactics, but he really resented the fact that a cartoonist kept drawing him quite portly in his cartoons.  This is what ridicule is: a tool to deflate egos that have grown too large for their own good.  These people will not listen to reason, but they still have feelings and they can be hurt by showing the truth in a ridiculous manner to point out how ridiculous they are.

Oftentimes, when we encounter extremism such as this, we tend to condemn them outright, but do nothing about the person.  It is fine to condemn the actions, but we should still feel for the individual.  There are no right answers to how we solve religious extremism and racist organizations, but we can start by helping the people they pander to.  When we offer them a different view, they may see that other options exist, and those who are extremists may notice that we are not rooting out the very people they are ‘protecting.’  There will always be extremists and individuals who use propaganda for their own gain(Here’s looking at you, Trump), but we should be more concerned with the people they are pandering to.  They have concerns, whether you believe they are legitimate or not, and they should be heard.  I think that’s all they are asking for: to be heard.  For when you refuse to listen to them, they can only turn to those who will listen, creating the vicious cycle that is.  I challenge you to break the cycle.      

Published by Kerry Yang