10 December, 2016

What a feeling!

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Category: European Action Day, Human Rights, Opinion
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Written by Debora Barletta. 

All alone, I have cried
Silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel
Made of stone
“What a Feeeling” – IRENE CARA 1983

It may sound a bit dramatic but these lyrics sum up pretty well how I feel when facing hate online and its supporters, the only difference being that I never feel alone since I am part of an amazing campaign such as the No Hate Speech Movement, made by a wonderful group of people who believe that a different world is possible.

So that’s why this song can be interpreted on so many levels, since it gives you also the energy that you need when trying to react, with its refrain of BEIN’S BELIEVING in fact, it makes you feel like you can do it and that everything will be fine, which sometimes it’s all we need to hear in order to keep fighting.

This because at the end of the day when you decide to act pro or against something, what really matters it’s how you FEEL about it. Really often in fact what really push us it’s what we feel much more than what we THINK, and since we are talking about hate speech here, I think that
it’s really worth reminding that “hate” or “hatred” are feelings, states of perception more than theories.

Having to deal with such a huge thing in fact, it often happens to me to reflect upon the meaning of hate and what does it include, and the reason why I do that it’s because I feel the urge to do my best in order to contain and contrast all the negativity that is lately showing up from all over the world, trying to find ways to spread messages of peace and inclusion to those who don’t believe that a less violent and more equal world is possible.

Therefore in my attempt to find possible solutions and to have a dialogue with diverse people,  I try to read, to analyze, to investigate, to build solid statements and to accumulate proves to deconstruct the ideas of hate, racism and discrimination; basically I use my rationality, following the 18th century notion that knowledge and information are the light that break the darkness made by ignorance, superstition and fear.

Really often however I find myself ending up in infinite conversations because my rational statements or my nicely exposed speeches crash against walls of pride, rage or indifference; all things that don’t really care about listening or understanding, they just want to express themselves, exposing their stories, what they believe to be true.

When it comes to statistics and information in fact, it’s really easy to find data that can support either one or another thesis; the internet is flooded with different studies and investigations, all proving something different, that’s why it becomes a matter of faith: what do you choose to believe?
Unfortunately given the current situation of uncertainty and fear, choosing hate appears easier and more appealing, it gives people the easy answers they need to get on through this chaotic and scary world.

What can we do then? How can we reply then to those who think that who fights for human rights it’s some sort of delusional person who tries to “convert” people to some kind of religion, idolising something more intangible than God, such as LOVE or EQUALITY?

Well, it’s certainly not easy and much frustrating but since we all got feelings, even if different ones, I decided that my question to haters will be “ Why do you feel like that?” more than “Why do you think that?” and I really believe that in this way I can get many more stimulating answers.

That’s why I particularly love this year’s slogan of the campaign for the Human Rights Day, HATE IS NOT AN OPINION, because hate is definitely not an opinion, even if it’s possible to find some data that support it, it’s just a matter of feeling and if we manage to make people understand that hate is a choice and therefore they can have a different one, I believe that we can achieve many small victories that can lead us to a better future.

So choose the good feeling everybody 😉


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