October 20, 2017

"I could have hit him, I could have hurt him ... but something in me said, ‘You know what? He just needs love.'"

Said Aaron Courtney, a 31-year-old African-American high school football coach, about why he hugged a man who was wearing a swastika T-shirt. At the link is the viral video of the hug, with Courtney saying "Why don’t you like me, dog?"
“I had the opportunity to talk to someone who hates my guts and I wanted to know why. During our conversation, I asked him, ‘Why do you hate me? What is it about me? Is it my skin color? My history? My dreadlocks?’” he told the Daily News.

But the man simply looked off into the distance and brushed off his questions as Courtney pleaded with him and grew increasingly upset.
It should be noted that before this happened, the man, Randy Furniss, was "surrounded by a crowd of protesters who screamed, punched and spat on him."
“After beating around the bush, and avoiding my questions, I asked him, I pleaded with him, I almost broke out in tears, growing increasingly angry because I didn’t understand,” he said.... The crowd around them immediately reacted and when Courtney pressed him again, asking “Why do you hate me?” Furniss finally answered, “I don’t know.”

“I believe that was his sincere answer. He really doesn’t know,” Courtney said.
Furniss was surrounded and in a physically dangerous situation. What could he do? And that hug was a big physical encroachment on him. Even loving hugs should be consented to, but it's not clear — I've seen the video — that the hug expresses love. I think if I were in that situation — not that I'd wear a swastika T-shirt...
... I would experience the question "Why don’t you like me, dog?" as threatening.

I am not so naive as to believe that a distinct line exists between love and hate.

27 comments:

rhhardin said...

Shortest paths from six senses of love to some sense of hate, in the thesaurus

love infatuation obsession phobia aversion hate
love desire covet begrudge resent dislike hate
love delight admiration awe dread aversion hate
love cherish bear endure brave defy despise hate
love caress dally with tease banter deride despise hate
love lover enthusiast devil bugbear dread aversion hate

Such paths tend to be stories rather than hot-to-cold temperature gradients.

buwaya said...

I suspect a sort of suicidal/sacrificial impulse, the urge to martyrdom. He expected, or hoped, to be attacked by the mob.

Its probably a similar case to people who set themselves on fire as a gesture, like the Buddhist monk in 1963.

Kevin said...

It should be noted that before this happened, the man, Randy Furniss, was "surrounded by a crowd of protesters who screamed, punched and spat on him."

I nominate this for parenthetical of the year.

rcocean said...

I refuse to care about Richard Spenser. I guess he's supposed to replace the old Racist Boogeyman, David Duke.

10-1, Spenser will come out later as a Jewish Gay person and admit all the Nazi stuff was a bid for attention.

rhhardin said...

Spenser and Derbyshire seem to be same-conference friends, so I gather Spenser isn't actually nuts, whatever his portrayal is.

In particular he doesn't wish blacks ill, which is the key item.

About his plan, whatever it is, he's simply right or wrong.

The two minutes hate is wrongheaded but profitable to somebody.

holdfast said...

If Spencer did not exist, Tai-Nay-Shay Coats would have to invent him. Coats is certainly responsible for most of Spencer's fame and power (such as it is).

They're both racists fuckwits who should be condemned to an eternity together in a tiny cell.

Curious George said...

"I am not so naive as to believe that a distinct line exists between love and hate."

Heh.

Fernandinande said...

I remember that "Friends of the Swastika" guy from somewhere, years ago; as far as I could tell he was sincere about the "Gentle Swastika", but is perhaps a fake Indian - "Formerly Patrick Charles Kemball, ManWoman was born after a strange out-of-body experience where he believes he touched the Hand of God."

buwaya said...

This is actually a clever tactic, for a suicidal person, to seek martyrdom.

Extremist politics attract the hopeless.
And martyrs are politically effective.

Bill said...

Too much meaningless hugging going on. I prefer the handshake, provided the hand isn't limp.

Sebastian said...

"I don't know" is the ultimate default behind most political positions. Why do Black Lives Matter more? Just because. Etc. etc. All politics is faith-based.

bgates said...

If this story had happened a few weeks ago, Harvey Weinstein could have tried out the excuse.

"Yes, I held her in a long tight embrace, but I thought she was wearing a swastika shirt."

Greg said...

Why do some people think it's OK to punch someone with a swastika shirt? If that's acceptable then it should be mandatory to punch anyone with a Che shirt, or a hammer and sickle flag / shirt.

Steven Wilson said...

And yet Che Guevara T-shirts are still in vogue (and perhaps even in Vogue) and worn with impunity.

I refuse to get worked up over Nazis neo or otherwise who are a despised fringe
while communism is once again being revived with nostalgia by the NYT and continues its
the binoculars backwards view of history and society through our institutions
of higher "learning" or should I say leanings.

Known Unknown said...

We need more Daryl Davises.

n.n said...

Symbols with progressive connotation. It could be a rainbow, but, alas, it was usurped by the German National Socialists.

Bay Area Guy said...

I have family members on my father's side who were lost in the Holocaust.

I have family members who bravely fought in WWII against the Nazis.

When I see some dude 75 years later (2017) in a Nazi t-shirt, I am bemused. It's obviously somebody a bit off, a bit alienated, perhaps seeking attention.

Those past battles against real Naxis were fought and won. Same with the Klan.

Sorry, I just don't buy modern day imaginary angst over long discredited symbols, because there is no active threat.

Stan Smith said...

We had a party once in our church fellowship. It was attended by a few black kids that we had invited to share in the worship. A member of our church had invited a visiting cousin from the South, Tennessee, I believe. During the party, with all of us dancing with everybody else, the Tennessee cousin was observed crying in the corner. When we went over to ask her what was the matter, she said "I know I'm not supposed to feel this way, but I just can't be here with them (the blacks) here too."

There is a great song from the musical "South Pacific": "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught". As long as people continue to teach their children that the "other" is somehow "wrong," we will continue to have situations like this post has described.

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

Earnest Prole said...

The opposite of love is indifference, not hate.

Feste said...

Love confronts

FullMoon said...

As long as people continue to teach their children that the "other" is somehow "wrong," we will continue to have situations like this post has described.

Sure that happens.
What also happens is an innocent kid gets bullied, chased and beat up by the other colors and develops their own opinion from experience.
What also happens is innocent kid hears over and over and over that they are owed something for past injustices suffered by their ancestors and begin to hate because it
is what they are conditioned to do.
What also happens is kids grow up and learn to think for themselves and judge people individually instead of following the crowd

Stan Smith said...

What also happens is innocent kid hears over and over and over that they are owed something for past injustices suffered by their ancestors and begin to hate because it
is what they are conditioned to do.


Exactly. And that's pretty much the same thing for the "cousin" I referenced above. It happens on both sides. I grew up an anglo kid in a predominantly hispanic town. The bulk of "white" citizens pretty much arrived after the end of WWII, and tensions were high. My brother was 5 years older, and when he was in high school, there were fights every day. By the time I got to high school (graduated in '67), we were all dating each other. When you live together, ultimately, you realize we're all the same.

walter said...

"I could have hit him, I could have hurt him ... but something in me said, ‘You know what? He just needs love.'"

Well..it's also kinda illegal.

Mark said...

It's the better way, as one person of note understood --

There are a lot of people that I find it difficult to like. I don’t like what they do to me. I don’t like what they say about me and other people. I don’t like their attitudes. I don’t like some of the things they’re doing. I don’t like them. But Jesus says love them. And love is greater than like. Love is understanding, redemptive goodwill for all men, so that you love everybody, because God loves them. . . .

Hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and go on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. [tapping on pulpit] It just never ends. Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. And that is the tragedy of hate, that it doesn’t cut it off. It only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love. . . .

Love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, "Love your enemies." Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. . . .

I’m foolish enough to believe that through the power of this love somewhere, men of the most recalcitrant bent will be transformed.


-- Martin Luther King Jr., Sermon of November 17, 1957

virgil xenophon said...

If love is the opposite of hate, what comes in between? Ans: "A sort of calculated insincerity" --Peter, B.C. cartoon strip.. :)

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

Virgil offers: If love is the opposite of hate, what comes in between? Ans: "A sort of calculated insincerity" --Peter, B.C. cartoon strip.. :)

Exactly. Civility--manners, if you prefer--need not be sincere. It is still the social lubrication that reduces interpersonal friction. Unfortunately, people now feel compelled to express their emotions honestly at all times and without the least provocation.