I am forever telling my son that ‘hate’ is quite a strong word and more likely he means dislike, or perhaps disdain. Of all the negative emotions ‘hatred’ is most likely the easiest one to have because other feelings, such as fear, jealousy or rage, beget it. And it is one of those emotions which seek an outside target, yet in an odd way its focus remains internalised, perhaps even self destructive.
When we come across someone who angers us through their actions or opinions and we feel our anger is justifiable, then our appropriate response should not be hate, which is both energy and time consuming, but should be disdain, backed up by our cessation of any kind of social recognition.
Hatred can often mis-represent people and ensure they become a twisted caricature of themselves and often the root cause of the hatred has little to do with the target of it. And hatred can often mean the hater becomes less worthy then the hated, losing themselves in misleading mists where the original causes of the hate are lost and replaced, or magnified into some grotesque kind of super-hate. Here lies the root of any kind of xenophobia, as well as the possibility of the rational exploitation of the many. (Plenty of historical examples.) Hatred is at its apogee when applied to groups. Individuals become viewed as mere units, defined only by their group memberships and damned for the labels they do, or do not, bear. It is easier to hate a group than it is an individual and hatred has a natural appeal to the mass mind. It does not take long for it to spread, like some virulent infection, and become a insidious part of a community, who conjure up an imaginative ‘other’ to focus that hatred upon.