How To Respond To Hate Of Any Kind – Airbnb Style

“I don’t hate you.. I just don’t like that you exist” – Gena Showalter

Everyone knows someone. You know the type. They’re the person who spreads venomous language through the veins of society, pushing their agenda onto anyone.  They speak over the top of you, drowning any chance for you to fight back. They’re the belligerents, the bigots and the haters. The ones whose opinions rise to the top of the hierarchy like oil in water.

Recently the Australian Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite was crushed by Labor for fears that it would incite hate speech from the vocal minorities. Airbnb is also enforcing a ‘Community Commitment’, banning anyone from the site who cannot commit to treating everyone with respect, without judgement or bias, “regardless of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age”.

This is how you cope with those vicious individuals – ignore them and wherever possible, eradicate them from your life. There’s no point in engaging in long, serious discussions, attempting to reason with tactless people. They’re married to their beliefs. Concentrate your energy on something worthwhile, because eventually it will drown out the pointlessness of belligerents.

But, sometimes that’s not possible. Sometimes it’s someone you’ve grown up with and can’t avoid. And sometimes that person seeks you out, steering their focus directly onto your own belief system.

I knew from very early on that this was someone I would never get along with. Their immaturity was staggering given their age, and their disrespect for others was beyond shocking. But childhood gave me short term immunity. For years I just watched, rather than falling subject to this individuals (excuse my french), bull shit.

But time prevailed, and my belief system developed. One, which differed to that of the person in question. I started to respond to them, and was met with their signature condescension. Eventually, this process became a tradition, and in their eyes a game. Any and every chance they got, they would pick the same fight.

Last week was no different. On Thursday at 5:19 PM I received an image of an anorexic woman sitting on the ground, surrounded by garbage that she had torn out of the bin. The text read “Available to start straight away – medical reception nurse. Good at sorting all torn up medical records”.

Admittedly I replied, I was too furious to think clearly. But I shouldn’t have because the text that followed was worse. They went on to detail how their friend “wanted to put her in the bin but the seven police and ambulance workers who were unjustifiably in attendance probably would not have liked that”.

After several people talked me down, I ended up not hitting send on my reply. Progress Report: Blissful silence ever since. You’re probably wondering at this point what the fight is about, but all I will say is its about ethnicity. While everyone is entitled to an opinion, it is etiquette to not assault people with yours.

Remember, hating is easy to do, and so is responding to it. The hard part is restraint. In life you have to pick your battles, and be able to spot a lost cause when you see one. The world is becoming a nastier place, so take Airbnb’s advice and don’t make room for people like that.

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