I have not been formally trained as a writer, but I do have a small collection of degrees. My first was obtained from El Centro community college (A.S. Biotechnology), my next one came from The University of Texas at Arlington (B.S. Interdisciplinary studies with a minor in Biology), and the last was from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (M.S. in Molecular Microbiology). That last one was supposed to be a PhD, but life happens. I have a crazy trail of education that spans from Forrest Park Community College in St. Louis in the fall of 1993 all the way to UT Southwestern in the summer of 2013! If you were keeping track that was a meandering twenty-year journey. Now if you add that to the thirteen years of public school I have had and the last seven years I have spent teaching I literally been actively involved in education in some form for forty years (89% of my life)! No, I was not going full time for my full twenty-year college career but consistently being engaged in learning for an extended period creates habits that are hard to break. I am always researching something, learning something, or trying to understand something. I truly have an interdisciplinary heart and usually attempt to look at a problem from a variety of perspectives. So, while I may not be what most would consider as a highly qualified writer, I think I will get by just fine.
I will admit that this is a big undertaking for me! I consider myself as a writer, but this is a new and slightly scary place for me. I am comfortable writing poetry, short stories, and talking about life on an individual level. So, this is definitely not in my comfort zone and I think this is what has me so excited. Of course, I have written research papers and whatnot, but this will hopefully be so much more than that. I intend to seriously dig deep and attempt to reveal the soft and vulnerable underbelly of hate. I will do so incorporating a wide variety of fields, disciplines, music, movies, books, and even anime. I want to explore hate on a personal and intimate level. I don’t want it to continue being overlooked and for language to dance around it, denial of hate and ignoring its complexities is, in my opinion, a social catastrophe waiting to happen. To do this effectively I need a plan. The plan is not written in stone, but one does need to move through tough topic with some sort of logic.
My first point of interest is naturally biology. I want to uncover any biological links to hate. If they exist, I want to understand them from an evolutionary standpoint, basically why would we maintain a biological connection to hate? Did the capability to hate to provide some evolutionary advantage to our long dead ancestors? I want to dig into the genetics of how hate is passed from one generation to the next. Some of my reading indicates that we may be hard wired for hate, I want to see the wires and how they are connected, how they work and why. I want to know where the center for hate is in the brain and all the chemical components that trigger hate. I want to explore the environmental triggers the initiate an entire cascade of neurological activity culminating in hateful actions. Sounds dope right!?
Next, I will attempt to go back in time and discover how hate has manifested itself throughout time and across continents. I want to see if there is any truth to the concept of a specific group or continent of people with elevated levels of hate. The concept of races of people brimming with hate sounds odd to me but I will see if it holds up. I want to understand how we progressed from hunter gathers to the modern era and if hate was a key component. Was hate the little something needed to facilitate progress? What does hate look like from a wide variety of perspectives and peoples? What are our oldest records of hate? And is there a common language for hate and hateful actions?
I also want to explore religions role in hate. I want to work to understand how polytheism, monotheism, and just theism in general have influenced hate. Is there a religion of hate or do they all house traces of it embedded deeply with in? Why would hate need to be a part of religion? Must we have hate and hateful acts to be able to comprehend and appreciate grace?
There are so many areas of interest when it comes to hate. The dynamics of love and hate, how love can easily be flipped into hate. Race and hate the perpetual us vs them dynamic and how it still plays out on a daily basis. Gender/sexuality and hate understanding why hateful acts are triggered in relation to specific genders and people with nonstandard sexual preferences. Technology and hate, how hate has flourish in an interconnected tech savvy world.
Next, I want to discover why we love to hate. From social media, to Hollywood, to politics we absolutely love to hate people. We go out of our way to read about people we hate. We comment on and even watch news or tv programming just to be able to continue to talk about something or someone that we hate consistently. I also want to know that in the face of such delights to be found in hate is there a way for us to diminish hate? Could there ever be a world without hate? what conditions would need to be met on a global scale for hate to be abolished?
I told you it’s a big undertaking! I hope you come along for the journey and that you share your thoughts and ideas throughout. I will have questions for you all from time to time and I look forward to responding to yours.
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