Hate is A Four-Letter Word

–But so is Love ...

The handshake spoke volumes. On a March night in 1963, two college basketball players—one Black, one White—defied the hate of segregationists and shook hands, marking the first time in Mississippi State’s history that its all-White men’s team played against an integrated team. To compete in the “game of change” against Loyola University Chicago in a national tournament, the Mississippi State squad avoided an injunction to stop them by using decoy players to leave their state. Loyola’s Black players, meantime, had endured racial slurs all season, getting pelted with popcorn and ice, and faced closed doors while traveling. Yet the young men played. The Loyola Ramblers beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs 61–51, and Loyola eventually went on to win the NCAA national championship. But what really won that night? A move from hate toward love.

What is more powerful than hate?

Only two emotions—love and hate—can be accurately and conclusively described and expressed, and they have been that way since the beginning of time. Hate is a destructive force that can tear apart communities and societies. It can lead to violence, discrimination, and even genocide. In recent years, there has been a disturbing rise in hate speech and hate crimes around the world. And let’s be clear, hate comes in all forms, including Race; Speech, Ageism, Body Shaming, Bullying, Gender Identity, Nationality, Political, Sexual Orientation, Religion, Online Harassment, Antisemitism, Disabilty, Physical Abuse, Verbal Abuse, Child Abuse, and the list goes on …

Hate crimes of any nature are the scariest thing in the world, because people who commit them actually believe what they’re doing is right. No one is born hating another person because of their race, creed, color, religion or anything else.  People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can also be taught to love and to understand with compassion, because both come more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

Of course, it seems overwhelming. And like so many other seemingly insurmountable issues, many people simply retreat or stay on the sidelines because they conclude that whatever they do won’t really matter. Classic responses we’ve all heard,  like: “It’s too big.” “It’s been around too long”. “I can’t change the world”. “I can’t make a difference.” “What if I upset someone?” “Let someone else deal with it.” And all the other rationalizations for simply doing nothing. Quite frankly, It’s time for us ALL to “own this issue” and do something positive about it, including everyone here at 360° NATION —because it’s our job to “walk our talk” when it comes to anything and everything under the “rediscover humanity”  umbrella.

You don’t have to teach people how to be human. You have to teach the how to stop being inhuman.

~Eldridge Cleaver

Combating the culture of hate is not easy, but it is essential. But we can’t do it alone. We must all work together to create a more inclusive and tolerant world. While we continue our unwavering support of #StandUpToJewishHate and similar powerful messaging, it’s time for us all to do more, by expanding our efforts to combat ALL forms of hate.

🔆 Be the Beacon

Our intent is NOT to focus on all the negatives and the darkness. Our plan is to focus on the light. In the words of Edith Wharton, “There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or to be the mirror that reflects it”. Help us spread the light. Be the beacon by taking action (see below). And then own it. And then walk the talk. And then invite your tribe, your circle, your network, your family, and your friends to join us.

But don’t stop there. Together, let’s spread the word by writing about it —we promise to amplify your message on our exclusive STOP HATE 360° Page.

Meanwhile, please add our special “be the beacon” 🔆 emoji on your phone or mobile device. Just click the smiley face on or below the keyboard to bring up all available emojis and search for “light”. It can then be inserted into social media posts, emails, and text messages. See my LinkedIn Profile Here as an example.

And don’t forget to tag #StopHate360° and #BeTheBeacon whenever you share a related post.

“To treat anyone as if they were less than human, less than a brother or a sister, no matter what they have done, is to contravene the very laws of our humanity. We do not want to talk about what you understand about this world. We want to know what you will do about it. We do not want to know what you hope for. We want to know what you will work for. We do not want your sympathy for the needs of humanity. We want your muscle.”

Take Action

For anyone to become an active, everyday social hero who does daily deeds of helping and compassion, that journey and new role in life begins in one’s mind. This isn’t a program, a one-time initiative, or a sales pitch for anything. It’s a good-faith commitment. It’s about changing our mindsets and taking ownership. It’s about embracing our sense of agency, recognizing we have control over actions and their consequences. We can all be guided by the core values of hope, love, humanity, empathy, inclusivity, and impartiality every step of the way.  Join us in simply DOING MORE by doing MORE GOOD starting right now:

  • ACT: Do something. Hate is an open attack on tolerance and acceptance. It must be countered with acts of goodness. Sitting at home with your virtue does no good. In the face of hate, silence is deadly. When apathy is interpreted as a lack of challenge, hate persists and grows.
  • SUPPORT THE VICTIMS: Hate crime victims are especially vulnerable. If you’re a victim, report every incident — in detail — and ask for help. If you learn about a hate crime victim in your community, show support. Let victims know you care. Surround them with comfort and protection. Victims of hate crimes often feel terribly alone and afraid. They have been attacked simply for being who they are. Silence amplifies their isolation; it also tacitly condones the act of hate. Victims need a strong, timely message that they are valued. Small acts of kindness — a phone call, a letter — can help.
  • SPEAK UP: Hate must be exposed and denounced. Do not debate hate group members in conflict-driven forums. Instead, speak up in ways that draw attention away from hate, toward unity. Goodness has a First Amendment right, too.
  • TEACH ACCEPTANCE: Bias is learned in childhood. By age three, children can be aware of racial differences and may have the perception that “white” is desirable. By age 12, they can hold stereotypes about ethnic, racial, religious groups, and more. Because stereotypes underlie hate, tolerance education is critical.
  • DIG DEEPER: Look inside yourself for biases and stereotypes. Commit to disrupting hate and intolerance at home, at school, in the workplace, and in faith communities. Acceptance, fundamentally, is a personal decision. It comes from an attitude that is learnable and embraceable: a belief that every voice matters, that all people are valuable, and that no one is “less than.” We all grow up with prejudices. Acknowledging them — and working through them — can be a scary and difficult process. It’s also one of the most important steps toward breaking down the walls of silence that allow intolerance to grow. Luckily, we all possess the power to overcome our ignorance and fear and to influence our children, peers, and communities.

Finally, help us help you and everyone across the globe by sharing your ideas on how together, we can #StopHate. Period. We’re ready to add them above.


Dennis Pitocco
Dennis Pitocco
DENNIS is the Founder & Chief ReImaginator of 360° Nation, encompassing a wide range of multimedia enterprises, including BizCatalyst 360° —the award-winning global media digest; 360° Nation Studios —dedicated to reaching across the world in an effort to capture, produce, and deliver positive, uplifting messages via blockbuster global events, and; GoodWorks 360° —a pro-bono consulting foundation focused entirely on providing mission-critical advisory services to nonprofits worldwide. Collaborating with his Chief Inspiration Officer (and wife), Ali, everything they do is "for-good" vs. "for profit". Their mission over the past decade-plus has been to rediscover humanity at its best, influencing and showcasing it every step of the way. Together, they do their very best to figure out what the world is trying to be —then using all their resources to help it to be better every day in every way. They understand and embrace the notion that it’s not about me or you; it’s about caring for the people we serve and more responsibly stewarding the precious resources in our care. And they believe it’s about showing up, being present, and intentionally giving our invaluable gifts of time, talent, and treasure "for good". Dennis is a contributing author to these Best-Selling Books ♦ Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational ChangeJourney Well, You Are More Than EnoughThe Four-Fold Formula For All Things Wellness: True Stories of the Heart, Spirit, Mind, and Body Voices of Strength Win the Wellness W.A.R. We Are Responsible

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  1. Hate follows a perverse path: first hatred is manifested through language, then the political culture of the enemy is created, then unjust laws are created which lead to discrimination and then there is persecution which can lead to annihilation .
    When, on the other hand, a plural and dialogic world is preserved within us and in our relationships, we not only find the way of non-resignation but we become a bulwark of resistance to hatred and a link in a chain of human solidarity greater than ourselves.
    On the legislative level, preference must be given to laws of inclusion that extend social rights and civil rights, which are one and mutually reinforcing.
    Abstract sermons are useless, but it is necessary to teach by example that by getting out of one’s ego and living responsibly one can cope with intolerance.
    It is a path that requires constant ethical education as one trains in sport. Then there is moral strength together with physical strength.

  2. “Goodness has a first amendment right, too.” I love that, Dennis, very important twist on a too often assumed opposite sentiment. Reading this, and becoming aware of this initiative, Mariah and I plan to incorporate as much of it as we can into every speech we make. Can there be a better message? No. Timely and critically important? Absolutely.

  3. This is a great initiative, Dennis, but I don’t want to use your four letter H-word if I can avoid it. #BeTheBeacon, yes. #BeKind, yes.

    As Melissa Hughes has taught us, we need to put the positive action word into speech (and writing) – the thing we want and not the thing we don’t want, because people don’t hear the first word, they only hear what comes after. That is why we should shout “walk!”, not “don’t run” and “speak with your indoor voice”, not “don’t shout” if we want our kids to comply with our wishes.

    Now, if we should take another of her lessons to heart, we should also turn the phrase into an identity, which may be easier with the beacon than with the kindness.

    So what would the right name for a kind person be? Friend is obvious, but that is not the gist between people who are strangers. Are you a kindness-ally? I can use a little help here…

  4. It has been said by people much wiser than I that hate is our mostly deadly destroyer.
    The deeper question is why do we hate?
    Do we know why we hate or do we hate because we are conditioned to hate?
    We see, hear, etc. somebody who is different than us in appearance or thought and we immediately hate them.
    But what about love?
    No necessarily romantic love but love as a feeling of warmth and caring.
    A simple conversation between two strangers who discover the more different we are the more the same we are.
    If we are the same hate disappears into the night hopefully never to reveal its ugly head again.
    Just as we can be conditioned to hate by a myriad of influences why can’t we be conditioned to love.
    My beloved cat Bella is shown love and thusly feels love.
    She does not know hate save for the occasional mouse.
    Why don’t we try to deny ourselves the feeling of hate before can ascertain why we feel hate.
    “Love is all you needs-The Beatles
    “It’s funny when you get that close it’s kind of hard to hate.”-The Night That Made America Famous-Harry Chapin

  5. Good points, Dennis. I agree that the first step is to stop the hate that has been infused into ourselves. We get that negative or hate programing from many sources including friends, teachers, relatives, and sadly sometimes even from religious leaders. Of course it is easier to learn to hate than to learn not to. All hate does in the end is to poison our own souls. Personally, I’m too old and tired to nurse those negative feelings, so I hate no one and no group. (Though, admittedly there are some that I seriously dislike.) Can we and should we do more to help? Certainly.

  6. I find this post so loving and powerful, Dennis.

    You covered hate and its terrible effects. You highlighted the need to act, support hated people, speaking up and spreading the way that each one of us to stop being inhuman even for a short time spans.

    Hatred knows no logic and leads to acting chaotically.

    Your great post is an awakening call.

    • Grateful, Ali, as we’ve learned that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that,” .. So it’s time for us all to “be the beacon” together as we #StopHate, my friend.