In the Name of Love

Ahmed, Sara. 2003. In the Name of Love. Borderlands, 2(3), pp. 1-41. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

How has politics become a struggle over who has the right to name themselves as acting out of love? What does it mean to stand for love by standing alongside some others and against other others? It has become common for ‘hate groups’ to re-name themselves as organisations of love. Such organisations claim they act out of love for their own kind, and for the nation as an inheritance of kind (‘our White Racial Family’), rather than out of hatred for strangers or others. Indeed, a crucial part of the re-naming is the identification of hate as coming from elsewhere and as being directed towards the ‘hate group’; hate becomes an emotion that belongs to those who have identified hate groups as hate groups in this first place. In the above quote, the hate watch web site, which lists racist groups on the internet, is juxtaposed with the Lovewatch site, which also lists these organisations, but names them as ‘love groups’. Such groups are defined as ‘love groups’ through an active identification with the nation (‘those who love this nation’) as well as a core set of values (‘anyone who loves liberty’). Love is narrated as the emotion that energies the work of such groups; it is out of love that the group seeks to defend the nation against others, whose presence then becomes defined as the origin of hate. As another site puts it: ‘Ask yourself, what have they done to eliminate anything at all? They feed you with, "Don’t worry, we are watching the hate groups" and things like this. You know what they do? They create the very hate they purport to try to erase!’ (About Hate) It is the very critique of racism as a form of hate, which becomes seen as the conditions of production for hate; the ‘true’ hated group is the white groups who are, out of love, seeking to defend the nation against others, who threaten to ‘steal’ the nation away.

Item Type:

Article

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

Dates:

DateEvent
2003Published

Item ID:

13914

Date Deposited:

06 Oct 2015 10:51

Last Modified:

22 Apr 2016 16:39

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/13914

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