Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hate Bombs


The hate bombs are back. I talked about them here. It seems some friends and relatives think it is okay to send really nasty, mean-spirited, ugly "forwards" from some really sick individual working on spreading as much fear and animosity as possible. Why do people feel the need to do that? Do they really think that "just forwarding it" doesn't have the same impact? As if they are not responsible for it, after all they didn't write it - only forwarding on someone else's work?

Yesterday I received an e-mail regarding Obama's mother that was so vile, I have not discussed it with anyone until now. I refused to give it any energy. This from my cousin, that I have loved, admired, and looked up to, all of my life. This was the third hate bomb from him in a week. I no longer feel the same way about him. I feel sorry that he has reached the age he has with such negative energy eating him from the inside out.

I can't change my friends that feel this way, and I can't change my relatives that feel this way. I can only work on me. I'm a big enough project as it is. But slowly, I'm backing off from people that are part of the problem, the ones fighting any and all solutions. The ones forwarding these e-mails despite knowing I don't share their opinions. The hate-pushers. I'm putting space between us. I'm moving on.

42 comments:

Breeze said...

If you look into the sky, at the stars, know that each one of them has just been the recipient of many kilojoules of loving energy sent there by me and rebounding in your direction, enough to cancel out all the petty hate and silly emails of hate sent by unthinking and unknowing people in your direction.

Breeze

Leah J. Utas said...

Hate bombs (great name!) seem so innocent at first as they're cloaked in concern. It's only after they've been read, or mostly read, that the nasty flavour comes through.
It's sad that it's put you off your cousin, but it ultimately doesn't matter who it is. When distance is needed, make it. We have to live with our own selves.

DJan said...

I hear you, Nancy. I also receive something like 20 emails from a particular relative every week. After I read the first couple, I now delete them without reading. I asked my brother whether he thought I should confront the person, and after much thought decided for now just to delete them.

By allowing myself to be polluted by them and thereby confronting him, he would gain what he was looking for: a rise out of me. I am thinking of blocking his email completely.

I think we are doing the right thing by just turning away. But I also am not sure.

DJan

scarlethue said...

I'm torn sometimes between just deleting and replying. I guess my decision ends up being based on whether or not I hold any sway over the sender. Usually I don't, usually I delete. I never try to change anyone's political opinion, as I find that's usually fruitless, just their opinion on forwarding hateful and false emails.

ellen abbott said...

I too have a relative (by marriage), a rabid Republican who forwards every nasty hateful and venomous thing he finds on Obama and other Dems in (or out) of power. I too delete them without reading them. I don't understand why he (and others like him) finds such glee in that trash. I can understand not voting for someone you don't support but to revile them at that level and get a kick out of it? You can't reach people like that. That's Nazi and Klan mentality. Best to just put space between you.

Brian Miller said...

i stopped reading forwards a long time ago...except the one i keep getting from the IVORY COAST...wish they would send me my money. lol. pretty sick the rumor and innuendo that gets credit when someone actually reads these things. some people believe every thing they read...too much. happiness your way.

Ralph Suarez said...

WOW. I am so amazed to come here and find something like this. I have been thinking about anger, in all of its forms and the ability that anger has to begatively impact the lives we try to live. I was looking for quotations for an article that I was trying to write for my blog and I found the following quote from Buddha, which is very appropriate for this discussion and for your cousin: "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."
I hope that your cousin realizes the bad karma that he is engaging in and changes his ways before HATE hurts him/her.
Have a great day!
Ralph

luksky said...

I had so, so many "hate bombs" during the time of the election. Everyone knew where I stood but still insisted on sending me Obama hate mail. When I finally asked them to stop they told me they were doing it only for my own good..so that I could see how horrible Obama was and how he would destroy our country. Crazy people are everywhere!

Hilary said...

I know what you mean. I get them from time to time, from people that just don't appear to harbour that sort of animosity. So I have to wonder if it's passed along without any thought. If so, it would be in everyone's best interest if some attention was called to it, and to how it makes you feel. Maybe you could gently let your cousin know the impact these emails have on you. You might be surprised by the dialogue it might open between you. If the content is defended, then at least you know what/who you're dealing with.

Lydia said...

Yes! You're right; those dumb damn things are back in circulation and I've been more than peeved to receive two recently from my cousin who also knows that I'm not on the same page as she is. In fact, I'm not in the same novel. In fact, it's not a novel, it's a cheap gossip rag. In fact, I want to tell her what I think she should do with such a rag.

But I will take your lead and move on... :]

Pat said...

I hear ya! My brother likes to send anti-Obama emails to me. I read them, shake my head, then delete them. It's amazing the smallmindedness of some people. I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican. But when the emails that go around are just plain prejudiced - it's stupid.

Natalie said...

Morning Nancy!
Hub just said : "John has just sent me a real doozy (hate bomb)do you want me to read it to you?"
No! I DO NOT!!!!Don't give it any energy.
This guy bombards us with them.
A friend of mine of twenty years standing, sends me pictures of the animals they've killed on their hunting trips!!
What the?????

willow said...

I have an elderly relative who sends those hateful forwards nearly every day. I just delete without even opening them.

Just be glad they're not personal, like the lovely hate mail I get from my extended family.

Jennifer said...

Greetings. This is my first time commenting. My family and in-laws bombard me with these bombs (great name) all of the time. I eventually had to change my email address b/c my brother-in-law was forwarding so much hate and other junk that it was clogging up the real mail. Now he doesn't know my real email. :) Everyone else, I just delete or research the truth and send it back to them with corrections. But, that takes a lot of energy. My brother and I have gotten in the habit of not opening stuff like that from my mother b/c it is 99.5% always wrong and she never listens to us when we say "Research it before you forward it, you can't believe everything you read on the internet."

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

Hate bombs are extreme threats against our beliefs and our emotions when they hit. You are doing the right thing by not fueling it with any energy whatsoever.
I received a hate bomb when my older cousin found out I was a (DUN DUN DUN) vegetarian. I wanted to cry with all of the criticism he was throwing my way. I went home and called my husband. I refuse to let it change the direction of my path. I wouldn't give it any of my energy.

Thank you for this post. It made me feel so much better about where I am.

Joanne said...

Love your view that you can't change others, you can only work on you! So valid, and worthwhile. I too think the best response is silence, distance, creating a quiet pocket of peace around yourself.

robert said...

First time I hear/read about such things. Thank you for informing me that such 'bombs' do exist, will be on the lookout.

Hilary said...

Boundaries are a wonderful thing.
We create ourselves by the choices we make, and sometimes, it is a choice of boundaries.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Oh, the power of that magical delete button......... But, I know, you have to wonder what people are thinking to be sending it to anyone. Maybe they find it as appalling as you do and want to commiserate..... maybe.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

This happened frequently during the Bush years, when people were attacked if they came out against the war or torture or anything else that Bush advocated. But the bottom line is that after 8 years in which the bar was set so low, when hate and fear mongering became business as usual, it's not surprising there are still people who attempt to instill the same old stuff.

So let's refuse to energize that kind of thinking and, instead, send these people peace, love, harmony.

Marguerite said...

Good for you, Nancy! I have several so called friends who send me the same kind of twisted stuff in emails. I don't respond to "hate bombs" (perfect name) and delete them without reading.

smiles4u said...

I'm not really sure why people want to spread fear, hate and animosity...and I really don't believe that all the people that forward these things, really stop and think about what they are doing. Not an excuse but I really don't think they mean to spread such hate. But, you are right in calling it for what it is.

Hate, nasty, mean-spirited, ugly, animosity and fear are negative engergy, that no one needs in their life. I think when our eye's open up to it's affect on ourselves and one another, it's important that we take action to eliminate it from our lives. Your refusal to give it any energy is wise. This negative energy is toxic to us...it drains us and makes us stagnant. When we accept it, we risk hurting ourselves and then passing it on to others.

I like what you say when you say you can't change your friends or relatives...that you can only work on yourself. That is such a good reminder. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

California Girl said...

I now put emailers who send me that crap in the "junk" pile so I no longer receive their stuff in my Inbox. I have one old friend who is Jewish and her brother hates immigrants and all manner of things and he sends her that stuff & she forwards to everyone. They should know better! I am always astounded. Another old friend, a retired fireman, sends stupid stuff, not as vile but just unkind. I can't read his "jokes" any longer either.

Kschenke said...

I've gotten to the point where I only forward something if it means something important to me. I'm lucky that the only forwards I get are from my mom and pretty much all the things she sends are positive in nature (although occasionally I'll get a "send this to 15 people and your wish will come true" stuff).

TheChicGeek said...

Good for you, Nancy. Sometimes it's difficult but that's just what we have to do, put distance between us and those that bring negativity to our lives. I does affect us, it stays with us and it is not acceptable. Life is too short. We need to spread love and good thoughts for solutions, and we must respect others opinions and not try to force ours on them.
Great post and good for you!

Nancy said...

i just hit the "delete" button. I have alot of relatives and friens that seem to enjoy sending propaganda about mexican imigrants...and once in a while I remind them that I dont feel the same way they do. They dont seem to care or understand and so when I see yet more of that crap I just delete it.

Amel's Realm said...

Hi, Nancy! THANKS for visiting my blog. Hate bombs sound so negative indeed and I also try to distance myself from as much negativism as possible 'coz it's just not a healthy way of living.

A.S said...

I am totally with you on this! I actually never even forward mails unless they touch me profoundly. There are so many haters out there and so much negativity that you can do without. Why do people even care so much about bringing others down? Its a horrible way to live! Good for you - move on!

Mental P Mama said...

Isn't it true? Boundaries are our friends....

Reya Mellicker said...

When I get hate bombs, I delete them so fast you wouldn't believe it. Like you, I do not want to give them any energy. I do believe in freedom of speech and expression, so in a certain way I support the right to forward even toxic emails.

I believe that whatever you put out into the world will return to you three times. So put love out and you will receive it times three. Put hateful toxic hideousness out, and well ...

R.J. said...

Thanks for an insightful post.

I finally blocked e-mail from a person who sent no personal messages and only sent fwd,fwd opinion pieces written by others. I no longer open those chain mail messages that have been mass e-mailed to everyone in a person's address book. I respect the rights of others to believe whatever they want, but it is an insult to my intelligence that they would think that my opinions are so open to change that all they have to do is tell me that their beliefs are the correct ones. I'm not a fanatic looking for a cause. I know what I believe and it doesn't matter to me what others believe. I don't feel the need to try to change the opinions of others so I avoid discussions of politics and religion because they rapidly become pointless arguments. No one is converted, everyone is mad.

lakeviewer said...

Hi, thanks for visiting me. I totally agree with your commentary here, about people who forward hate literature. In a way, they are sharing their feelings without admitting as much. Good for you for destroying and not passing on any of that stuff.

Momma Moe said...

Hubby has a "friend" from high school who "keeps in touch" by doing the same thing: forwarding hate bombs. Like you said, keep them at a distance.

Jill of All Trades said...

I know what you mean.

Rain said...

Nancy, it takes a lot of energy and courage to rid the toxic people from your life. I've done it, it took decades in the end for me to come to my decision to disown the family and leave the friends behind. I grieved, though they didn't deserve it, I grieved all of them as though they had died; they symbolically did die since they were suddenly and completely out of my life. But after the grieving, guilt, fear, regret...did I make the wrong decision?....day by day, it got better. I am so glad I didn't run back in fear because I would never have come this far. I think you should do what you have to do to make YOUR life better, more happy, peaceful and meaningful. If it means to let go of, or block unwanted emails, that's a first step. I wish you all the best in your decisions and your life!!!
:)

Cubil said...

Nice post. The more time on the web, the more I see that scene in the movie 2001 where the ape/humans discover the first tool (a club) then proceed to beat one another over the head with it.

Ruth said...

I haven't read all your comments, so I don't know if anyone else mentioned this. I just received an option to join a campaign to "reply all" to these hate bombs and state the truth. If you're interested it's here.

Melissa said...

I get my "hate bomb" attacks in the form of phone calls. I wish I could just hit delete, but it's not that easy. Sometimes I can "shake off" the phone call. Other times it sets me into a "tailspin". I really love my answering machine most of the time.

I agree, put space between them and you, no matter who they are.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

I totally agree with this post, you are so right. Occasionally if they catch just wrong I will respond and tell them how it really is, I know I have pissed people off doing this, but do I care - no.

Most of the time like you I just delete them and then have a lower opinion of the person.

Pam said...

Luckily my relatives only send me jokes and cute animal pictures!

Erika C. said...

Helpful post. Thanks.

Sometimes negativity is included in a package that also includes a lot of good. This is what I am struggling with in my relationship with a close relative. I want to be closer. I know there is a lot of love there, but at the same time there is the negativity and criticism.

Yes, you absolutely have to delete when you can. I completely agree. But at times it is not so black and white. Then I need to sort out the good from the bad. Sometimes I learn a lot from the "negative" comments given to my by close relatives. I know this is really a different topic but it is what is on my mind right now.

love,
Erika

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