Coffee Rhetoric: Hateration Nation: Making Sense of a Tired Concept

October 23, 2013

Hateration Nation: Making Sense of a Tired Concept

Is Genuine Dislike or Disagreement Really Jealous 'Hating'?

For the past several years, I've been trying to understand what, truly (sans the B.S.), constitutes a ‘hater’. I'm not talking about the intense, vile kind of historical hate that prompts people to marginalize, rob, and disregard the humanity of others or that breed violence. I'm talking about the theoretical 's/he hate me' disdain that seems to feed the delusions of grandeur and ego of the so-called 'hated on' nouveau class.
Call me a nitpicky ol’ Hater Mchaterstein, but I really want a breakdown of the components of ‘hating’. Because here we are in 2013, and I continue to see t-shirts emblazoned with the word ‘Hater’ across chests without rhyme or reason, like a caesura in the middle of a poem or song, but without any follow-up, and I routinely hear the word uttered if there’s any hint of disagreement towards any person, place, or thing. 

When the word hater entered the American (and now worldwide) lexicon as fodder favored by decadent rappers, pop stars, and 'other' celebrities who used it to decry their dissenters, to my understanding it, initially, meant a Debbie or Danny Downer who pissed on someone else's glee. But now? The minutiae— simply looking in someone's direction with anything less than adulation—will get a person branded with a 'hater' tag. 

You find someone to be crass and incorrigible? You're a hater

Not a fan of a particular celebrity? You, my friend, are a damn jealous, broke, fat HATERRRRRRRRRRRR.

How dare you have the nerve to have tastes that aren't in accordance with popular opinion and culture? You're just a damn hatin' mofo!
Project your voice and express righteous indignation against a social ill or mistreatment? Then you’re nothing more than a jealous, envious hater, who needs to pipe down and ‘get over it’.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the subculture of folk, whose value seem to be contingent on how many haters they think they've accumulated, as in the myopic anthem 'Let your haters be your motivators.' I guess surrounding yourself with folks who actually support you and your endeavors and who want to see you win, while not paying credence to those who wish you ill, no longer suffices. You've got to have a crowd of haters to truly feel like you've made it... even if, well, you're still living like the average Joe or Joanne, in-spite of having accomplished a feat or personal goal. Ambition and upward mobility aren't legit, apparently, unless you're stepping all over people's toes in hopes of scoring a group of haters to point and 'neener, nanner, neener' at. Also, let's be real, some people purposely provoke the ire of others, just to be able to say they're 'hated' and as a tactic to cultivate some sort of relevance or visibility

Most problematic are women who can't or who simply refuse to try to get on with other women, because ‘females are jealous, hatin’ ass bitches,’ yup, lack of self-awareness, a bloated sense of entitlement, and insecurity have nothing to do with their inability to cultivate significant relationships or network with those within their own gender. 

The (mis)use of the word has definitely run its course. Its application is being used out of context and usually shouted the loudest by some of the most obnoxious personalities, who seem to get-off from the belief that the whole world is against or jealous of them, but who'll never stop to consider, perhaps, they’re one that’s wallowing in a sea of hatefulness, particularly if they perceive every person they engage as harboring some sort of resentment or hate towards them or their success.  
Dealing with someone who silently seethes over a person without provocation and wishes them harm or with a contrarian who’s antithetical for the sake of being a know-it-all asshole or troll without a cause is, undoubtedly, cause for concern; but disagreeing, offering a nuanced critique, or expressing simple dislike for something or someone doesn't automatically make one a hater nor does it mean someone's simmering with jealousy. As we navigate spaces and time, we'll inevitably cross paths with those who will disagree with us, dislike us, or won't cheer in our corner for the myriad of reasons, many of which will be inconsequential. We pick up the pieces, examine them if we want to expend that kind of energy, and move on. It's not the end of the world for some. 

Personally, I'd rather not entertain or acknowledge anybody who openly despises me or who wants to see me do poorly, kind of in that same way I inadvertently touch decades-old gum underneath a desk or bar... I don't want to actually see the cause of that momentary annoyance. I just want to wash and disinfect my hands of whatever germs I may have encountered, and go on about my day. That’s not the kind of motivating force that drives me. For better or worse, agree or disagree, I respect a critical thinker who can counter with thoughtful opinions without needing to pander to an audience.