Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Depoliticizing the Personal


Sally Kohn is out selling her new book, The Opposite of Hate. Recently, she opined about the topic in a Georgetown University interview, conducted by CNN’s Candy Crowley.

In it she made an important point, one that is worth underscoring, namely, that she had mistakenly judged her Fox colleagues by their political beliefs. She had assumed, because in certain New York precincts, everyone assumes it, that conservatives are haters and that their hate is so all encompassing that they show it in their interpersonal interactions.

Kohn discovered that such was not the case. The people she met at Fox News were kind and considerate. They engaged with her and showed that they cared about her. They even helped her to hone her skills.

And she showed integrity when she explained that the experience had taught her that she was projecting her own hatred on other people, that she was politicizing her personal relationships. Thus, she learned to depoliticize the personal.

She explained:

And then I went to go work at Fox News as a lefty lesbian – by the way, I'm a lesbian; I hope that didn't shock anyone, you've also read the Internet, you know – so when I showed up at Fox News, listen, I thought they had some hateful ideas, supported some hateful policies, right, but also I expected everyone on air, off air, people watching at home, I expected them to be like totalistically and completely a hundred percent hateful monsters, I just did….

And that sounds horrible to say but it's just what I expected. I thought they'd just be mean to me, they wouldn't care about me, they'd be homophobic, right, I expected all hate – and when I went to go actually spend time at Fox News, two things happened…. I found out that these people – who I still think, by the way, believe and support a lot of hateful things in the world – were quite nice to me as a person, just interpersonally they weren't what I expected and cared about my career and cared about my family and sometimes we could even find things to agree on. And we’re complex people who were more than just those political views and I realized I hated them.

Here I was thinking I was this like holier-than-thou champion of kindness and fighter of hate and I realized how much hate I walked in there with – all the stereotypes and preconceived notions and judgments, and that led me to want to understand how and why we hate because I wanted to fix it in myself. I didn't like that part of myself.

9 comments:

Deana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ares Olympus said...

I saw the interview a few weeks ago, an excellent attempt to bridge a divide, and I agree a start must be to see people as more than political beings struggling for power. The tribal perspective is strong once it gets hold of you, and the way out must be to break the echo chamber that holds you in.

Perhaps the goal is similar to the Christian moral phrase "Hate the sin, not the sinner", although always easier said than done. The problem with hating is projection and scapegoating. Anyone you're free to hate conscience-free, you're also free to project your own issues onto them and believe banishing them will also banish the bad feelings you don't want to deal with.

Deana said...


I am of two minds when I read stories of Progressives who tell us they have “seen the light:”

1. Good for them. And I’m heartened to see they have the integrity and courage to be honest about their discoveries.

2. They are so very, very fortunate because the Progressives’ desires to control what we think, support, read and say, their unquenchable desire to control everything, to destroy everyone who doesn’t march lock step with them to their vision of paradise (in which THEY conveniently control everything), their willingness to destroy beauty and goodness and the lives of others, all of that had earned them much, much more hate than what they could possibly dream we are capable of.

For decades we have swallowed their poison and been forced to go along with their whims and demands and I’m just sick of it all.

They are lucky that the vast majority of us just want all of them to be forced to live with the consequences of the ideas they have forced on us all.

Sam L. said...

'Tis the progressives/liberals who are the haters. The rest of us are mostly just getting on with our lives.

Sam L. said...

Kohn shows her liberal indoctrination. Which was a lot of lies and misinformation.

Rick Parker said...

85% of the people who work at Fox donate to Democrats.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I believe that she was in particular talking about Sean Hannity. She has in the past praised him for helping her develop her career and for showing great kindness toward her.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Rick Parker @May 10, 2018 at 4:49 PM:

Reference for your assertion, please.

I can’t find it.

Papa said...

She sounds a bit naiive. How old is she? 12?