‘He abused me, he struck me,
he overpowered me, he robbed me.’
Those who do not harbour such thoughts
still their hatred.
– The Buddha
Someone quipped this on our post-truth era, ‘We used to laugh at comedians and listen to politicians. Now we laugh at politicians and listen to comedians.‘ Before you laugh that off, there is more truth in it than ever. In stand-up comedian Jim Jefferies’ (JJ) ‘Freedumb‘ (2016) show, he sprouted the below wit and ‘wisdom’ in a rather serious way. It is not perfect, but it makes some sense. Where he falls short, is where the comments come in…
JJ: ‘What he [Trump?] does, he preys on fear… [T]here was a terrorist attack [at Paris on 13 November 2015]… and then he started saying… “We should put every Muslim on a register…” As soon as he says that, ISIS have f*cking won… because… to shoot people in Paris, that’s not their end plan. They didn’t kill 128 people and go, “Ah well, that’s done.” … It’s a recruitment tool… and… can only work if hate is bred…
Comments: Fear and suspicion can be easily used by the opportunistic to stir up hate, and manipulate all affected. What needed is to not stir up hate in the first place, or to continue doing so, which breeds more of the hateful. ‘Bodhisattvas fear [planting] causes [of suffering; while unenlightened] sentient beings fear [reaping] fruits [of suffering].‘ Terrorists tend to terrorise those who live in countries that terrorise theirs for material gains like oil and land. The more extreme the actions, the more extreme the reactions.
JJ: Now, you’re a 16-year-old boy or girl who is a Muslim living in this country… your entire life… You’ve always considered yourself American. And then all of a sudden, someone who could be your president says you are not welcome here and that you should be put on a register… How f*cking quickly do you think that kid could be radicalised now? Before, he wasn’t gonna be radicalised at all!
Comments: Baseless demonisation of the innocent can end up creating more real ‘demons’. However, the innocent should resist baseless demonisation to become real ‘demons’ too. If not, the demonisers would win, when their demonisation is proven right.
JJ: So what he’s trying to do is… defeat hate with hate. And hate doesn’t beat hate… It just makes more hate… The only thing that can beat hate is love… Now, love doesn’t always beat hate… but it does do something… Think about a person who hates you and you hate them. From now on, just show that person nothing but love. Now, I’m not saying that person will start loving you… but one thing will happen. Eventually, everyone will see them as the as*hole. Don’t be the as*hole, America…
Comments: This is directly reminiscent of what the Buddha firmly taught in the Dhammapada, that, ‘Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred (love) alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.‘ Trying to beat hate with hate is adding fuel to the fire, with the delusion that it will put it out, when it feeds and spreads it instead. It is possible that the hateful are moved by the loving. However, for mass hatred to be transformed, there has to be mass loving-kindness with understanding for forgiveness to change hearts and minds.
JJ: Now, in saying that… I hate Muslims, Christians… Amish, Buddhists… Jews. I don’t know who I’ve missed here… I hate all. Our fight in this world… it’s against religion… ’cause I can tell you this for sure – No one’s head has ever been cut off in the name of atheism. No one has ever cut into human flesh, and look on camera and gone, “In the name of nothing!”… If you’re religious, some of you might be very nice, but you’re slowing us down. We’re trying to move forward, and you’re in the f*cking way. I’m sorry.’
Comments: Ironically, though anti-hate and terrorism, he is also hatefully anti-religion. Despite his ‘fight’ against hate, he remains poisoned by hate – against all of the religious, who are many more than ‘religious’ terrorists. It is also not that all of the ‘religious’ kill in the name of their ‘religions’ (or that all of the non-religious are peaceful). For instance, Buddhism is against killing of any sentient being (human, animal or otherwise) in its universal First Precept. Another irony is that many Buddhists already live by the anti-hate quote above, whose message is thus not uniquely from the non-religious. In this aspect, Buddhism always helps to clear the way, to move the world forward. Looks like JJ has a personal demon to vanquish – his inaccurate generalisation of all religions, which again, ironically, might create more hate!
A mind unruffled by the vagaries of fortune,
from sorrow freed,
from defilements cleansed,
from fear liberated —
this is the greatest blessing.
– The Buddha
Is Buddhism A Religion?
Are Buddhists Atheists?
Bombs: Cause & Effect
Terror Of Killing
The Reluctant Fundamentalist