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The origin of hate
Jair Bolsonaro - Photo: Fernando Bizerra Jr/EFE

The origin of hate

28/10/2018
09:22
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader
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As Jair Bolsonaro is set to become Brazil's next President, we must fight against hate and racism

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If the surveys are correct, Jair Bolsonaro will be elected as Brazil's next President today. This man doesn't hide his discrimination against minorities and his disdain for the environment. This is why he is dangerous, because hate speech towards those who are different is always the first step towards physical violence.

Recently, the United States has been the victim of the same phenomenon. Years of inflammatory speech towards those who aren't white or have conservative values, have motivated certain characters, such as the one who was recently arrested: a man who sent bombs to outstanding Democrats, such as the former President, Barack Obama, and another criminal, who entered a synagogue yesterday and opened fire indiscriminately against the attendees, while he yelled insults against the Jewish community.

How much tolerance can you have for hate speech, such as Trump's, before we have to act to censor them? That is a great debate about the limits of free speech. In Germany, for example, it is forbidden to use Nazi symbols or Nazi-related speeches. Nevertheless, some argue that forbidding certain ideologies through law only contributes to make their followers feel more united in the face of government “oppression” against them and to reinforce their isolation.

Magical formulas to stop the dissemination of hate in society don't exist. What we can do is warn about it and call for moderation from every side, including the ones who call for the elimination of those who think radically; because there is no better way to motivate hate than trying to fight it with hate.

Mexico must learn from the elections that are, unfortunately, taking place in Brazil today.

The citizens' anger towards the corrupt political class is completely justified. Nevertheless, we can make the mistake of moving towards the other extreme, where, with the desire to purify, the eradication of those who think differently is demanded. Venezuela is the perfect example, it is an unfortunate example of what happens when a “cleansing” of those considered as impure goes too far.

The best solution we have in our hands is to debate with arguments, fight with ideas, but never assume that a certain type of person is harmful, because then the spiral towards violence begins.

Artículo

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