Look, I’ll be the first person to admit that bad things are, well, bad. Racism is bad. Sexism is bad. Pedo­philia is, so very obviously, bad. Mur­der, stealing, not eating your vegeta­bles, animal abuse, terrorism, murder again, white guys in reggae bands, and so on are all things that should be avoided.

I mean that, strictly. Do not let your children hangout near pedo­philes. If you are a woman, avoid guys who make “make me a sandwich” jokes if you can manage it. Do not insist that your black friends go to Klan rallies to “meet new people.”

Avoid situations like that. Abso­lutely. Note, however, that hatred is in no way linked to those instances of avoidance. As a matter of fact, I would politely ask you to do your best not to openly show hate toward those groups of people.

“Why?” I’m sure you’re asking, “What do I owe racists and pedo­philes?” I’m sure you’re following up with. You are right to ask! And the answer is nothing. You owe those people nothing. But you do owe it to the rest of us.

Do you know what you get when you put every cannibal on an island together? An island full of cannibals. Not only that, but as you continue to reject each cannibal they join the is­land. They convince each other while on the island that what they do is okay, and they eat your beautiful children.

This logic can be applied to the majority of niches in the vast market of folk who do and think terrible, ter­rible things. Think of the Internet as the previously mentioned island. For racists, sexists, and pedophiles, this is a grand ole time where similar folks can be found.

“What does that have to do with me hating them?” you ask, and frank­ly I’m getting tired of being inter­rupted by your silly questions. When the majority of people are hateful to a group that is in the minority, it naturally keeps them from interacting with the majority (or just lying about how they really feel). Tyranny of the Majority, John Stuart Mills, Google it, I’m not your baby-sitter.

That sounds fantastic at first, until they seek out somebody who will un­derstand them. Instead of interacting with say, a therapist, they find other people who are like them. And wheth­er their behavior is based on a chem­ical imbalance or a bad upbringing, you better believe they will find an entire community of people who feel the same way.

Pushing groups away really just kind of perpetuates their existence. We know that we are capable of help­ing—as hard as this is to believe, evil is not what creates pedophiles or rac­ists or sexists.

People are always capable of being reasoned with. Reformed racist is an actual thing (you’ve probably seen heartwarming articles about it on Facebook). Sexists can come around. For goodness sake, there are abstinent pedophiles that we have never heard of because they have never hurt any­body, because they didn’t want to hurt anybody.

Again, you deserve to know when a person has traits that are less than desirable. That’s why we track sex of­fenders. But being aware is so far gone from being hostile. Forcing someone out of society with hate just leaves them on a fringe that we can’t get them back from. It fuels the fire. And we can’t fight fire with fuel, so stop trying, doofus.

ILLUSTRATION BY FELICIA CHANG
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