The Nation


Letters to the Editor

"Hatred" and "violence" - heavy words lightly thrown

A regular American contributor of letters to both local English-language newspapers likes to express his hatred for the demonstrators. It seems the words "hatred" and "love" have lost their original value for some Americans, who confuse them with "like" and "dislike". So maybe the contributor just means he is a little upset with the demonstrators. After all, how can you hate people you have never met?

Or is the explanation that the contributor, in common with many other letter-writers, lacks analytic skills? Perhaps he orients himself in the world by feelings alone? Such a dangerous emotional state leaves you wide open to propaganda and manipulation. It is not enough to just feel for yourself, you have to think for yourself as well. The same goes for violence. For "feeling" people, a stick with which to protect yourself equals a grenade thrown at your enemies. Deputy Government Spokesperson Sunisa Lertpakawat branded the demonstrators "violent" for allegedly handling her roughly when they took her aside for questioning. But she received no black eyes or bruises, so was it really violent?

There are big problems with both the language and the sense of proportion being used in describing the crisis. And perhaps the media are taking a role in this too.

A Johnsen

Chon Buri

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