This article interrogates the tension between the way that the condemnation of hate performatively establishes and reinforces discursive and affective boundaries for public debates and the embrace of hate by anti-racist, abolitionist, feminist, and queer activists, that is, their claim that hatred is a valid response to the existential violence inflicted by borders or the police. The cases of activists embracing hate indicate that the boundaries set by the condemnation of hate are too limited to appropriately account for the violence of the status quo. The condemnation of hate, rather, appears to veil this violence, that is, as a way to curb the means to critique and overcome the status quo. The article offers a critical engagement with studies on hate that pathologize the hateful subject, juxtaposing these studies with cases of activists affirming their hatred for politicians, straight people, or San Francisco tech workers. It thereby broadens understandings of hate by proposing that hate as a response to harm can be part of anti-racist, abolitionist, feminist, and queer struggles and provide valuable epistemic effects grounded in theory rather than conspiracies. The article consequently challenges the condemnation of hate by contesting that hate is necessarily illegitimate.

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