By Blair Scott
Hate, as an emotion, can be a very powerful motivator for both good and bad. The hatred of racism has helped propel civil rights. The hatred of sexism has helped propel women’s suffrage. When one sees hate fuel good things, it is usually hate directed at an unjust or cruel idea or social norm.
It is the hatred of the other kind that concerns most of us: hatred toward people, especially when manifested physically, such as the brutal beatings of homosexuals, lynching of black southerners during the Civil Rights era, etc. This is the type of hate that normally brings about bad things. History is certainly rife with examples.
Everyone is perfectly free to hate anyone they want. But when someone directs hate at an individual or group of people or asks others to “bring the hate” or “visit the hate” upon someone else, then one’s freedom of thought is now a physical manifestation of and subject to criticism, laws, and the appropriate consequences and repercussions associated with the physical action or manifestation.
We have a prime example of this at The Ohio State University: the difference between hating someone and bringing the hate upon someone. OSU football player Jake Russell (#21, punter) tweeted late night on January 24th, “my roommate max rouse (look him up on Facebook) is an atheist, please show him some hate.”
The tweet was deleted later on by Mr. Russell, but not before it was captured for the entire world to see Mr. Russell’s bigotry on display (see image below). Why did Mr. Russell want his 1,400+ followers to show some hate to an atheist? And what exactly does it mean to “show hate?”
Clearly concerned about the well being of Mr. Rouse, the screen capture was emailed to OSU Vice President of Student Life, Javaune Adams-Gaston. Mrs. Adams-Gaston assured American Atheists (via Greg Lammers, our Missouri State Director, who saw and reported the tweet) that the school will investigate the matter immediately. Thank you to Mrs. Adams-Gaston and The Ohio State University for not sitting idly by while this happens.
As for Mr. Russell, we hope sir that no one ever asks anyone else to show you some hate. We hope that one day you will learn the pluralism that exists at your school and in your future places of employment and residence. If anything happens to Mr. Rouse, you will be directly responsible for instigating such action and inciting someone else to violence or harassment. Mr. Russell has brought dishonor to his team and to his school. He has disgraced himself by displaying his bigotry in public. In a way we owe Mr. Russell an thank you for displaying his bigotry so we now know to be wary of him and his possible actions.
To Mr. Rouse, may we point you to The Ohio State University Students for Freethought on campus, an affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance. May you find like-minded friends there, where we can practically guarantee no one will “show you some hate.”