Haters, haters everywhere
Words often have little to do with reality. Consider the pick-pocket in Casablanca, who kindly warns people against the (metaphorical and human) “vultures, vultures everywhere”—while having his own hand wandering into their pockets…
Similarly, the people who complain about haters are often themselves the true haters—and in most other cases they are misguided, over- and misinterpret, or otherwise unfairly accuse.
To recap and expand upon a recent comment of minee:
Many cases are totally unfounded blanket-accusations: Those opposed to feminism do not automatically hate feminists—let alone women. Those wishing for lower taxes do not automatically hate the poor. Someone committing a crime against a member of a minority or against a woman does not automatically hate the group the victim belongs to—a wish to get easy cash (or whatever the crime was aimed at) is a more likely explanation. Etc.
Yes, even outright racists do not necessarily hate people of other races: A number of other feelings are possible, including indifference, loathing, a “we are better, but in the end we are all human” (similar to what followers of different sports teams, employees of different firms, students at different schools, whatnot, can feel), and charitability akin to “The White Man’s burden”. In a twist, I have so far seen far more dislike of “anti-racists” than of coloured people in the blogosphere—and there certainly appear to be far more people around hating racists (or those claimed to be racists…) than either.
Yet, these are accusations that I have seen levied many times on no better grounds than above. I have even seen cases where someone has been condemned as sexist or misogynist for using the word “bitch”… What kind of utter mental disconnect is needed to arrive at this conclusion!
A very good example is fans (of mostly athletes) who call other fans “haters” on very unjust grounds. (In my observations, many fans of Rafael Nadal and Usain Bolt fall into this category). Notably, the alleged hate of the athlete, or the jealousy at his success, is not even actually related to the athlete—but to his obnoxious fans. Basically, the latter behave like complete idiots, belittle other athletes, taunt other fans, fill their comments with annoying repetitions of all-caps statements (“VAMOS RAFA!!!!!!!!”), whatnot. Then, when other participants start to show their natural annoyance, this annoyance is written of as “hate” towards the athlete and taken as an excuse for more obnoxious behaviour…
For examples, see e.g. http://www.tennistalk.com/en/e.
The Swedish retort “den som sa det, han var det” (“he who said it, was it”, similar to the English “he who smelt it, dealt it”) is often the appropriate response to accusations of hate:
The accusation usually says more about the accuser than the accused. Notably, it is often stemming from an intense emotional involvement and a presumption of guilt on behalf of the former.
The accusation of hate is usually combined with a lack of actual arguments—both concerning the alleged hate and with regard to the actual statements that lead to the accusation. If a motivation is given, it is usually entirely lacking in reason, e.g. “How can you say something like that and deny your hatred!”.
In this, “hate” joins a number of other words, most notably “sexist” and “misogynist”, but also “racist”, “xenophobe”, “homophobe”, “fascist”, “communist”, “capitalist”, “imperialist”, … (With a great variety on the context, e.g. year, country, audience. Notwithstanding that the accusations are occasionally justified.)