By Professor Richard A. Byron-Cox (PhD)
Those who read “Quotes by Richard A. Byron Cox,” are shocked I have hates, my solemn oath being, “I have determined to live in, with, for and by love. Hate is too heavy, too ugly, too poisonous, and too destructive!!” And, I have many more quotes rejecting hate; so, am I deceitfully ambivalent, prattling rhetoric I don’t believe? What follows should explain.
I grew up a physical -as opposed to mental- cripple with no siblings, the recipient of episodic lickings from many. Like Johnny King, I accepted this as the fate of the weak, “nature’s plan”, convinced of Billy Paul’s sentiments, “Only the strong survives.” But then history exposed what was done to black people through slavery; the genocide of my mother’s people; and how might perpetually exterminates right.
From these I understood there’s something called justice; and so was born my passionate hate for injustice! Truth is, the ink of much of history, is the blood of the poor and powerless. Today, the Palestinians’ plight, the Julius Malema’s EFF mission, the $15 an hour demand of US workers and so much more are but battles for justice, the foundation of lasting peace.
A local “leading” historian, in vain attempt to discredit Dr. Gonsalves’ role in getting the UN to mark the 200th anniversary of the banning of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, proclaimed that the world has gone pass racism! I lost ALL respect for that man!! There is little today more wickedly insidious than racism/racial discrimination -target of my second hate-. It affects all black people, regardless of their station in life; ask Oprah Winfrey or Tiger Woods. George Floyd is but its most famous martyr of recent times. Racism is the singular instant where one is a born inferior! The crime; being black!! Black people who interface with other races daily know racial discrimination is a thinly vailed evil.
The Black Lives Matter movement is but one necessary response. In SVG, efforts are afoot to play this race card, albeit camouflaged with words like “heritage.” Wake up!
The boundless greed of the “masters of mankind” -recalling Adam Smith-, now threatens the very existence of the life of this planet. With the oil companies leading this pack, they race to the precipice, bent on destroying organized human existence, to borrow from Noam Chomsky.
The Board of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock now shows that the Anthropocene has joined nuclear catastrophe, threatening planetary omnicide. Everything is reduced to having these pieces of “precious” paper ironically labelled “In God we trust.” All is now being sacrificed -from the environment to human life- for greed is our greatest virtue. Not to hate this all-consuming evil is stunningly idiotic, callous indifference to this march to mankind’s ultimate peril!
A truly hideous contemporary phenomenon is the worship by many of what MLK. Jr. called “sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity,” the final hate on my list. Some preach religion, others trumpet ideologies, but all insists there is only “us and them,” ignoring to our common detriment, present dangerous objective realities.
For example, some reject the truths about Covid-19, with the result that millions perished. Others declare we should do nothing about climate change and human destruction of this planet because these are the last days, signs, Jesus is soon to return. Such ignorance and stupidity make victims of the Poor who are robbed to buy jets and build mansions for nefarious preachers, while illegal wars causing millions of innocent lives are religiously venerated.
These believers relegate facts to irrelevance, prosecute truth, and as Goether claims, “scorn all science and all reason, the highest strength that dwells in man.”
Returning to my original question: don’t these hates put the lie to my declaration of hating no one? No. While not being a theist, I live pantheist Gandhi’s dictum, “Hate the sin, not the sinner.” I hold sacred King’s wisdom, “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” I hate these behaviours as they deny the essence of humanity, ensuring that universal peace and peoples’ goodness one to the other remain illusions.
These hates underline my humanness, my fallibility, as I too have behaviours that must be gotten rid of. One may say, in that case I should use a milder term, not hate. Again no! These four evils lay at the foundation of all the other terrible malaises affecting this age. These tragedies are too great for ambiguity. Consequently, I make no apologies for holding these hates!