views updated May 18 2018


As a concept, hate has several interrelated dimensions. It attempts to provide historical, psychological, and sociocultural depth to the forms of hostility and animosity that the term hate ostensibly defines, and to make the idea clear in terms of its linguistic usages. As such, it faces obstacles that often appear insuperable. Nonetheless, "hate crimes"criminal acts and behaviors motivated by hatehave been added to the repertoire of statutory codes of criminal justice jurisdictions throughout the world. The laws help to illuminate the social and political dynamics of racial and xenophobic ethnic hostility as well as gender discrimination.

Hatreds based on identities, lifestyles, cultural values, and tastes appear to have historic continuity and keep simmering across generations. Hate crimes reflect a reservoir of biases and angry memories widely shared within groups that nurse grievances whose origins are often blurred or obscured by time but that retain, nevertheless, a need for revenge and retribution. These antagonisms can act as a flash point for violent behavior in times of economic deprivation or during the stresses that accompany profound demographic transitions in a community that experiences the impact of forced immigration.

Indeed, crimes precipitated by hate involve some of our deepest and darkest instincts. Although moral and ethical principles are basic to the understanding of the problem and instrumental in its resolution, it should not be supposed that effective coping with this particular negative human potential has been achieved.

Hate Mongering

Saying hateful things is facilitated by the standard discourse of most cultures, which usually furnishes speakers with a rich vocabulary of words and colloquial expressions that can demean, denigrate, mortify, insult, instigate, and arouse violent behavior. Even mass media outlets appear to have been polarized along politicalideological cleavages in which extremist fringes (on the right or left) disseminate pernicious ideas and caricatures, all under the guise of free speech.

International Scope of Hate Crimes

In April 2002, the United Nations Centre for International Crime Prevention issued a paper on "Preventing Hate Crimes: International Strategies and Practice." The document suggested that most countries are concerned about hate crime, but that there are important differences in the kinds of behavior that may be included under the rubric "hate crime."

European nations, including Germany and the United Kingdom, emphasize primarily crimes where a racial motive is apparent. Hateful speech also falls under hate crime definitions in these states. French law refers to hate crime in terms of racism, intolerance, and xenophobia. By contrast, in Germany, the expression "hate crime" is rarely used. Instead, "politically motivated violence," "xenophobic criminality," and "right-or left-wing extremism" are more common indicators of hate crimes. Australia refers to the idea of "racial vilification" as its criminal conceptualization of a hate crime. The legal terminology of Canada and the United States tends to be more inclusive by citing as hate crimes acts against those of a particular religious affiliation, ethnic and racial background, sexual orientation, age, gender, and, more recently, disability or physical impairment.

The United States Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 (HCSA) defines hate crimes as "crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, including, where appropriate, the crimes of murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, aggravated and simple assault, intimidation, arson, and destruction, damage, or vandalism of property." The act has also been amended to include physical disability.

In determining whether a hate crime has been committed, the qualifier "hate" must convey a distinctive sense about the underlying dynamics promoting this behavior, showing that behind the crime is an aversion for the victim or a morbid attraction to a potential victim precisely because of his or her perceived individual and social attributes. Thus, what seem to distinguish hate crimes from other crimes are the motives that drive violent, destructive behavior against others or their property. However, proving that hate is the prime motive in committing a criminal act can be very difficult, and in consequence many such offenses go unrecorded or are not prosecuted as hate crimes for lack of a strong, convincing body of evidence.

New Perspectives

With the end of the forty-five years of the Cold War (19451991), the major powers that were left standing dismantled their empires, leaving in their wake a bevy of new states and nations striving to establish their sovereignty. Another legacy of the colonial period is the abiding hatred and bitter resentment of former colonies, many of which are mired in tribalism, warlordism, and an unremitting fear of "others."

In the new world of the twenty-first century the phenomenon of hate crimes is a cultural artifact of a particular kind, however etiolated by social and psychological theories. To understand hate crimes in this context of new and swarming states, it is essential to consider how they have come into historical being, in what ways their meanings have changed over time, and why, today, they command emotional legitimacy. It appears that hate crimes are the distillation of complex racial, ethnic, and political-historical forces. These elements are further defined and formulated into legal and/or criminal categories, and concomitantly into statutory law, becoming "modular." Hence, they are capable of being transplanted, with varying degrees of applicability, to a variety of social terrains, and to merge and be merged with a correspondingly broad class of legal and criminal codes.

A forerunner of modern hate crime legislation was the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, which brought about profound changes in American jurisprudence concerned with hate-related violations of individual rights. The movement's ethical and legal courage bequeathed to the world new standards of decency in behavior and attitude expressed in hate crime law.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and subsequent terrorist actions around the globe have made it clear that, despite the significant advances societies have attained in humane treatment of their members, there still lurks a world-view as treacherous as the Nazi insanity of the twentieth century. Unbridled terrorist violence, with its conjoining fanaticisms, steps across moral thresholds accepted by most of the world. Simply put, there are groups who are skilled in the use of chemical weapons, ballistic devices, and biological weapons that can correctly be classified as weapons of mass destruction, who are prepared to kill randomly. In viewing these two notions, terrorism and hate, as folded into each other, it is quickly sensed that more than a political point is being made. Gratuitous hatred is painfully evident.

These terrorists make no effort to justify the bloodshed beyond perfunctory claims of imperialist colonialism, Zionist repressions, and American-led interventions into non-Christian societies.

Hate crimes will probably continue to occur because, regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in every country, the state/nation itself, at any point in time, is ultimately conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship. It is this fraternity that makes criminal behavior driven by hate possible.

See also Empire and Imperialism ; Human Rights ; Prejudice ; Terror .


Jacobs, James, and Kimberly Potter. Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Kelly, Robert, and Jess Maghan, eds. Hate Crime: The Global Politics of Polarization. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1998.

"Preventing Hate Crimes: International Strategies and Practice." United Nations Centre for International Crime Prevention, 2002.

Public Law 101-275, 104STAT. 140: Hate Crime Statistics Act. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Statutory Provisions, section 14:55. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Jess Maghan


views updated May 21 2018


In day-to-day use, hatred is a violent feeling that impels the subject to wish another person ill and to take pleasure in bad things that happen to that person.

In "Instincts and Their Vicissitudes" (1915c), Sigmund Freud wrote that the primal structure of hatred reflects the relationship to the external world that is the source of stimuli: "At the very beginning, it seems, the external world, objects, and what is hated are identical" (p. 136). The determining factor is thus the relationship to unpleasure. Freud thus asserted that "Hate, as a relation to objects, is older than love" (p. 139), for this feeling originates in the ego's self-preservation instincts rather than in the sexual instincts (although later on hatred can bind with the latter to become "sadism"). It can be inferred from this that "hatred is a kind of self-preservation, to the extent of destroying the other, while loving is a way . . . of making the other exist," as Paul-Laurent Assoun expressed it in Portrait métapsychologique de la haine: Du symptôme au lien social (Metapsychological portrait of hatred: from symptom to the social bond; 1995).

This emotion that aims to destroy thus seems to be radically opposite to love. But as Roger Dorey underscored in "L'amour au travers de la haine" (Love through hatred; 1986), there are deep affinities between the two: Not only does hatred precede love, but no doubt there is love only because there is hatred, at the very origin of the person" Indeed, in both "Instincts and Their Vicissitudes" and "Negation" (1925h) Freud showed that hatred is not exclusively destructive toward the object: Acting as the first differentiating boundary between inside and outside, it ensures the permanence of that boundary and is its constituting principle. Speaking of the purified pleasure-ego, which places the characteristic of pleasure above all others, Freud wrote in "Instincts and Their Vicissitudes" that love "is originally narcissistic, then passes over on to objects, which have been incorporated into the extended ego, and expresses the motor efforts of the ego towards these objects as sources of pleasure" (p. 138).

But prior to the establishment of genital organization, in which love has "become the opposite of hate" (p. 139), the two earliest stages make no distinction between them. The oral stage involves incorporating and devouring the object; in the anal-sadistic stage, "the striving toward the object appears in the form of an urge for mastery, in which injury or annihilation of the object is a matter of indifference" (p. 139). It must be recalled that hatred always expresses the ego's self-preservation instincts and that both the will to power and the urge for mastery originate in hatred; before the genital stage, self-preservation of the ego is precisely what is endangered by the encounter with the object. The love/hate distinction that forms in the genital stage allows them to be linked together, bringing whole persons into being.

If hatred is experienced as the unpleasure derived from the encounter with the "other" that threatens the ego's integrity, the manner of being of this "other" must be reintroduced. With notions involving the determining role, for the baby, of the object, with its expected function as "container" of excitations, "toilet breast," or alpha function, Donald Winnicott, Donald Meltzer, and Wilfred Bion, among others, have shed new light on the treatment of hatred.

Nicole Jeammet

See also: Aggressiveness/aggression; Aimée, case of; Ambivalence; Breast, good/bad object; Dead mother complex; Drive/instinct; Ego and the Id, The ; Emotion; Erotomania; Frustration; "Instincts and their Vicissitudes"; Love-Hate-Knowledge (L/H/K links); Melancholia; Need for punishment; Negative therapeutic reaction; Negative transference; Object; Object, choice of/change of; Obsessional neurosis; Paranoia; Paranoid position; Persecution; Primary object; Projection; Racism, anti-Semitism, and psychoanalysis; Reversal into the opposite; Rivalry; Self-hatred; Self-mutilation in children; Shame; Splitting of the object; Superego; Transference hatred; Turning around; "Why War?".


Assoun, Paul-Laurent. (1995). Portrait métapsychologique de la haine: Du symptôme au lien social. Paris: Anthropos.

Dorey, Roger. (1986). L'amour au travers de la haine. Nouvelle Revue de psychanalyse, 33, 75-94.

Freud, Sigmund. (1915c). Instincts and their vicissitudes. SE, 14: 109-140.

. (1925h). Negation. SE, 19: 233-239.

Jeammet, Nicole. (1989). La Haine nécessaire. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.


views updated Jun 27 2018


HATRED (Heb. שִׂנְאָה), overt or covert ill will. The Torah explicitly prohibits hatred of one's fellow in the verse "Thou shall not hate thy brother in thine heart" (Lev. 19:17). Hatred is understood by the rabbis as essentially a matter of mental disposition, as implied in the phrase "in thine heart." One who expresses hostility to his fellow through word or deed, although he violates the commandment "love thy neighbor" and injunctions against injury, insult, vengeance, etc., is not, according to most rabbinic authorities, guilty of the specific sin of hatred referred to in Lev. 19:17 (Sifra, Kedoshim; Ar. 16b; Maim. Yad, De'ot 4:5, Sefer ha-Mitzvot, prohib. 302; Ḥinnukh 238). The reasons are, apparently, that covert hatred is the more vicious form (ibid.) and that a person can defend himself against open hostility (I.M. Kagan, Ḥafeẓ Ḥayyim (Vilna, 1873), 13, n. 7). The Talmud is emphatic in its denunciation of hatred. Hillel taught that the essence of the entire Torah is, "What is hateful to you, do not do to others," all else being "commentary" (Shab. 31a). Hatred of one's fellow creatures "drives a man out of this world" (Avot 2:16). One who hates his fellow is considered a murderer (der, 11).

Gratuitous Hatred

(Heb. שִׂנְאַת חִנָּם). According to the Talmud gratuitous hatred is the most vicious form of hatred, and the rabbis denounce it in the most extreme terms. In their view the Second Temple was destroyed as punishment for this sin (Yoma 9b; cf. Story of Kamẓa and Bar Kamẓa, Git. 95b). It is equal to the three paramount sins of idolatry, fornication, and murder (Yoma 9b).

Halakhic Implications of Hatred

According to all rabbinic authorities one who hates (that is, one who, out of enmity, has not spoken to his fellow for three days) is ineligible to serve as a judge in cases involving his enemy; according to some he may not even be a witness (Sanh. 27b). Certain relatives of a woman (e.g., mother-in-law, stepdaughter) may not testify concerning the death of her husband, for fear they may harbor hidden enmity (Yev. 117a).

Permissible Hatred

It is proper to hate the wicked. "Do not I hate them, O Lord that hate Thee?" (Ps. 139:21); "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil" (Prov. 8:13). The same thought is expressed in the Talmud (Pes. 113b). Exhortations to hate all manner of evil abound in the Bible (e.g, Ex. 18:21; Ps. 26:4). God Himself hates every form of immorality (e.g., Deut. 12:31; Isa. 1:14; Ps. 5:6) because of its harm to mankind, since God Himself cannot be affected (Saadiah Gaon, Beliefs and Opinions, 4:4). The enjoinder to hate evildoers applies, however, only to impenitent and inveterate sinners, those who pay no heed to correction (Maim. Yad, Roẓe'aḥ 13:14; Ḥinnukh, 238).

The Bible, nevertheless, distinguishes between the person as such and the sinner in him, "As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live" (Ezek. 33:11). One must assist even one's enemy in transporting his burden (Ex. 13:5) for otherwise "he may tarry [by the wayside]" and endanger his life (bm 32b; Pes. 113b). Furthermore, in order to learn to subdue one's baser inclinations, one must give priority to aiding the wicked over the good (bm 32b; Maim. Yad, Roẓe'aḥ 13:13). Thus, the true object of proper hatred is the sin, not the sinner, whose life must be respected and whose repentance effected. Beruryah, wife of Rabbi Meir, offered her interpretation of Psalm 104:35, "Let sins [in loco – sinners] cease out of the earth," and thereby admonished her husband to pray not for the destruction of sinners but for their regeneration (Ber. 10a). It is forbidden to rejoice at the downfall of even those sinners whom it is proper to hate: "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth" (Prop. 24:17). Thus, since one can never be certain of one's motives, of the absolute wickedness of the sinner, and of whether one has discharged or is indeed even capable of completely discharging his obligation to reform the sinner, the rabbis stress the obligation of loving all men: "Be of the disciples of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving your fellow creatures and drawing them near to the Torah" (Avot 1:12).


J.D. Kranz, Sefer ha-Middot (1967), 202–27; G.F. Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era, 2 (1946), 89ff.; M. Lazarus, Ethics of Judaism, 2 vols. (1900), passim; A. Cohen, Everyman's Talmud (1949), 210ff.; E. Bar-Shaul, Mitzvah ve-Lev (1966), 167–77.

[Joshua H. Shmidman]


views updated May 14 2018


As a passion or emotion, hatred is the exact opposite of love. It is the reaction of repugnance of an appetite toward an object conceived as an evil. As a sin it is the opposite of Christian love or charity, or, in other words, it is a voluntary hostility to God and the children of God. Since love of others supposes a true love of self (Mt 22.39), hatred of God and of fellow man presupposes a false love of self, which is truly a form of self-hatred. Charity is the highest Christian virtue and the source of every other virtue, and consequently hatred of God is the gravest of sins, for it is directly and immediately corruptive of charity. It is accounted by theologians as a special sin against the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of love.

The hatred contrary to charity is an act or habit of will essentially opposed to the benevolence of charity. It is therefore voluntary and deliberate, and should not be identified with feelings of hostility or antipathy or repugnance that arise spontaneously on the sense level and not infrequently are stubbornly resistant to voluntary control. Feelings of this kind may be quite involuntary, and they are not essentially associated with any malevolence of will. They may exist in persons whose deliberate attitudes and behavior are unexceptionable when measured by the rule of charity.

The formal object of charity is God, first in His own person, and then in His relationship to men. The formal object of hatred, as opposed to charity, is also God, but God as seen under the aspect of evil. God is all good, indeed goodness itself, and seen as He truly is He cannot be hated. He can nevertheless appear to man as an evil, as when He is considered to be the cause of things man sees as odious to himself, or as forbidding sin, or inflicting punishment.

Hatred of neighbor always involves hatred of God, for just as charity toward one's fellows is identifiable with charity toward God because it loves the realization of the divine good in neighbor, so also hatred of neighbor rejects the divine good and its realization. Hence, "he who says he loves God and hates his neighbor is a liar" (1 Jn 4.20). One must not hate even his personal enemies or the enemies of the church, since all men in this life are potentially at least members of Christ's Mystical Body (1 Tm 2.4), and hence to hate any other person is to hate Christ (cf. Mt 25.4146).

Indirectly and by inference there is an element of hatred of God in every mortal sin, for one who sins mortally deforms the image of God. However, this is hatred only in a relative and attenuated sense, for the sinner does not commonly detest the divine good except in the sense that he values it less than he does some created good.

Those with charity hate the evil that deforms, whether it be sin or error. Thus, just as God hates deceit and pride (Prv 6.1619) and other sins, so do the saints (Ps 96.10). One must, however, love the sinner while he hates the sin, as did Our Lord (Mt 9.11, 13). One must not confuse error with the person who errs, whether in morality, religion, philosophy, or in any other respect.

Bibliography: b. hÄring, The Law of Christ, tr. e. g. kaiser, 3 v. (Westminster, Md. 1961) v.2. Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible, tr. and adap. by l. hartman (New York 1963). d. von hildebrand and a. jourdain, True Morality and Its Counterfeits (New York 1955). a. m. henry, ed., Man and His Happiness, tr. c. miltner (Chicago 1957).

[j. m. giannini]


views updated Jun 11 2018

317. Hatred

  1. Ahab, Captain main character whose monomania is an expression of hatred. [Am. Lit.: Moby Dick ]
  2. basil flower flower representing hatred of the other sex. [Flower Symbolism: Jobes, 184]
  3. Bigger Thomas possesses a pathological hatred of white people. [Am. Lit.: Native Son, Magill I, 643645]
  4. Claggart dislikes Billy Budd so that he falsely accuses him of fomenting mutiny. [Am. Lit: Herman Melville Billy Budd ]
  5. Esau despised brother for stealing Isaacs blessing. [O.T.: Genesis 27:4142]
  6. Eteocles and Polynices their hatred extended to the funeral pyre where even their flames would not mingle. [Gk. Myth.: The Seven Against Thebes in Bénet, 917]
  7. Feverel, Sir Austin after wife left him, he became a woman-hater. [Br. Lit.: The Ordeal of Richard Feverel Magill I, 692695]
  8. Frithiof kills proud sea-kings, saves a king and queen from death, and defeats her brothers in battle. [Nor. Lit.: Haydn & Fuller, 275]
  9. Grimes, Peter a community hounds a man to his death. [Br. Opera: Britten, Peter Grimes, Westerman, 536539]
  10. Medea legendary sorceress whose hatred came of jealousy. [Gk. Myth.: Payton, 433]
  11. St. Johns wort indicates animosity. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 177]
  12. Styx river of aversion. [Br. Lit.: Paradise Lost ]
  13. Tulliver, Mr. instructs children to despise Mr. Wakem. [Br. Lit.: The Mill on the Floss, Magill I, 593595]

Haughtiness (See ARROGANCE .)


views updated May 09 2018

hate / hāt/ • v. [tr.] feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone): the boys hate each other he was particularly hated by the extreme right. ∎  have a strong aversion to (something): he hates flying | I'd hate to live there. ∎  used politely to express one's regret or embarrassment at doing something: I hate to bother you.• n. intense or passionate dislike: feelings of hate and revenge. ∎  [as adj.] denoting hostile actions motivated by intense dislike or prejudice: a hate campaign.DERIVATIVES: hat·a·ble / ˈhātəbəl/ (also hate·a·ble) adj.hat·er n.


views updated May 21 2018

hate vb. OE. hatian = OS. haton (Du. haten), OHG. hazzōn, -ēn (G. hassen), ON. hata, Goth. hatan :- Gmc. *χatōjan, *-ǣjan, f. base of *χatis- (see below).
So hate sb. XIII; partly — ON. hatr, partly f. hate vb. under the infl. of hatred XIII (ME. haterede(n), f. the vb.-stem + -RED). Both sbs. superseded OE. synon. hete (to XIII) = OS. heti, OHG. haz (G. hass), ON. hatr, Goth. hatis :- Gmc. *χatis- :- IE. *ḱades- (cf. Av. sādra-, Gr. kēdos suffering, W. cawdd anger, insult, trouble).


views updated May 11 2018

Hate ★★★ La Haine; Hatred 1995

Twenty-hours in the lives of young, disenfranchised Said (Taghmaoui), Vinz (Cassel), and Hubert (Kounde), who are living in a housing project outside Paris. A riot breaks out, thanks to police brutality of an Arab resident, and Vinz finds a gun the cops lost. A Paris sojourn leads to a police interrogation of Hubert and Said, a fight with some skinheads, a return to their home turf, and an unexpected conclusion. Intelligent look at the idiocy engendered by societal oppression and a buildup of hatred. French with subtitles. 95m/B VHS, DVD . FR Vincent Cassel, Hubert Kounde, Said Taghmaoui, Francois Levantal; D: Mathieu Kassovitz; W: Mathieu Kassovitz; C: Pierre Aim, Georges Diane. Cannes ‘95: Director (Kassovitz); Cesar ‘96: Film, Film Editing.


views updated May 29 2018

ha·tred / ˈhātrid/ • n. intense dislike or ill will: racial hatred his murderous hatred of his brother.


views updated Jun 27 2018