Same System [OpEd]

Love Trumps Hate

Ryan Bye is continually surprised by systems that encourage hate instead of kindness.

In the wake of the Zimmerman verdict I have witnessed a large outcry towards the judicial system and hate towards lawyers, the jurors, witnesses, and each other. Hate is a reaction that always surprises me. In fact, the last time I wrote for Good Men Project I was surprised at some of the comments. I shared my first person story and struggle with domestic violence and still people chose to criticize.

What compels us to always criticize each other? Is it that when something upsetting happens or when things do not go our way we decide to use hateful words? I am not an opponent of public discourse or change, but I am an opponent of hate, belittling fellow humans, and unnecessary judgment.

Now that the trial is over, and who knows for how long, we will hear about how the judicial system failed us. I hold my own beliefs over what George Zimmerman should have done that night, how the case should have gone, and what the verdict should have been, and perhaps I am jaded by the judicial system from personal experience I do believe this is how it works.

It’s the same system created by those in power, for those in power.

It’s the same system that calls for a jury of our peers to decide the verdict.

It’s the same system that allows us to voice our opinion even when they may hurt others.

It’s the same system that ignores my mother’s allegations of abuse and stalking from an abusive ex-husband.

It’s the same system that will allow Sybrina Fulton to write and profit off a novel, but not Juror B37.

It’s the system we have lived with, are living in, and will live in—until we call for a change. A change in the process of how we treat others.

When we can change the outpouring of hate towards kindness is the day I believe we will see a change in the system.


Image: westm / flickr


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About Ryan Bye

Ryan works as a Student Affairs administrator, within the residence halls supervising and advising college students, while working on his master’s degree in Higher Education Administration with plans to graduate in May 2013. Ryan wants to continue working within Higher Education and help grant access and opportunities to all college students. He is a weekly blogger for Student Affairs First Years, can be found tweeting @ByeByeRyan, or you can email him.


  1. What compels us to always criticize each other? Is it that when something upsetting happens or when things do not go our way we decide to use hateful words?
    While being upset or being in a position where things do go our way I think there may be something that comes before those things.

    Not being heard out.

    If you look at arguments and flamewars that get out of hand I believe we’ll see that when you get down to it a lot of the folks involved in them haven’t been heard out and in the face of realizing that respect and civil politeness don’t work decide to turn to hate.

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