I remember a time where people didn’t give their “haters” so much attention. Sure some would have their spaz out moments addressing doubters and people who they generally don’t like but it wasn’t a daily occurrence. And while there were plenty of songs that were anthems people could use to address such haters (Hate Me Now is still a favorite for me) you didn’t see artists have a “hater song” out merely to join the trend. For some reason we as a society have allow casual hating to not only be acceptable but stylish as well.
Hate is a strong emotion and word that is overused to astonishing levels. But more than anything, the word hate is a lifelong victim of hyperbole to the highest degree. As a kid I was always told never to use that word as grown ups heard me utter those 4 letters. Mainly because I didn’t know the impact of the word I was using to describe my dislike for black eye peas, untimely naps, or window shopping for toys among other trials and tribulations I had to endure. While I never understood what I was being told (or wanted to), I simply followed instructions to defuse a situation because I hated unnecessary confrontation. And while I was never 1 of those kids who would tell you “I Hate You” when I didn’t get my way, I hated hearing my peers say that for some reason. I knew that is was just extra for no valid reason. So with that as my foundation for understanding its full impact, my years of puberty and high school would show me the power of those 4 letters.
I hated that I was going to an all-boys high school after finishing 8th grade. Sure I knew plenty of people who went to St. Rita already while many of my classmates too were going, but that didn’t alleviate my pure hatred I was slowly developing of looking at boys all day for the next 4 years. Long story short I really enjoyed my time there despite my initial doubts. The fact that there was only testosterone sitting next to or behind me only seem to heighten my need to do my work in class, a concept that showed results in my grades. And yes being a black student in a predominantly white school had its own problems any person could stereotype about. While I got along with most people I knew, it was the few that pretended it act like we were cool only to say some of the most ignorant things about race my poor ears have to endure. I realized that for some of my classmates I was probably their real first black friend as some admitted to me. They were cool because they were open about it and didn’t tiptoe around the obvious which made things natural and comfortable. But the ones who would watch a speak from Rev. Al Sharpton then want to discuss his hypocrisies in class which led to remedial, racist statements always amazed me. It amazed me that people taught their kids to think so…stupidly about race. I hated to see my peers be victims of heredity racism or even worse racism they’ve personally developed without realizing it.
After high school, college was an extremely welcomed change in my life in every aspect. And it was during this time I believe that “hating” became a verbal fashion statement. All of a sudden people everywhere felt a dying need to personally comment on their perceived “haters” like they were organ donors for the person receiving the hate. What caused this trend? Now it’s easy to say Hip-Hop played a huge part in it, that’s because SURPRISE SURPRISE it did! Sure this genre of music has created and ended many trends and fads over the years but it made a monster that many of us didn’t quite see coming. And while Hip-Hop provided the soundtrack for this wave, social media gave it a platform to be seen and heard. I have a question for you, when was the last time you’ve logged onto Facebook, Twitter, or your site of choice without seeing a person addressing their haters? Don’t worry I’ll wait…yup exactly. The combination of our favorite rappers flaunting their success in the face of their doubters and our ability to use social media to entertain ours has created an entertaining, yet predictably annoying epidemic. And it only gets worse.
Now that people feel empowered to confront these fictional or surprisingly real “haters” they now have the courage to hate on others who are bothering them. Quite the paradox (I pray that’s the right word I’m thinking of) isn’t it. You would think since people have finally muted their naysayers, they wouldn’t engage in the very activity they condemn others of doing. But obviously that would be too much of a good thing, like Sanaa Lathan being my personal assistance in life/lover (let me dream and be great please). Sure people have always love to hate celebrities, athletes, or anyone seen in media. Now it’s just to the point where people start to hate these high-profile either for the sport of it or simply just because they can. For example, I can’t think of a person who’s had more bandwagon haters than John Cena (LeBron does come in mind though). Cena has heard chants about him sucking from almost every male over the age of 16 in the audience every time he performs. It’s gotten to the point where it’s just protocol to hate Cena, especially if you’re watching WWE for the first time in a while or period. Recently Nicki Minaj has been another victim of this “let’s hate on them because it’s cool” fad. She has apparently reached her breaking point with deleting her Twitter and expressing thoughts of stop making music. The sad part is hearing about people are enjoying this so much. Look I certainly understand how Nicki can annoy those who aren’t fans of hers. But to take pleasure in her troubles (real or not) isn’t cool to say the least.
Everything I’ve just typed wouldn’t bother me so much if it wasn’t for the fact that so many kids and teenagers pick up on this habit more than ever now. I can’t tell you how disturbing it is (after the laughter of course) to see a 16-year-old rant about how she don’t care what nobody thinks of her and she’s going to continue doing her. But I’ve come to the realization that is best describe in a song, just like the having haters = being cool equation: