The whole sentence is “ It is hard to hate up close, and the FBI could bring people up close.”

1 Answer 1


It is hard to maintain prejudiced hate, once you get to know the person.

Using a New York Times article for context.

The quote appears in a number of interviews and speeches by (2015 F.B.I Director) James Comey, where he discusses the problems with prejudices in the police force. His view is that a lot of the prejudices, against black Americans, from the police force - can be solved by having the police get closer to the communities they are meant to protect.

The idea is that if you have hateful views of a community, from being ignorant, that these can be solved by getting to know the community better. Being closer to the community (in emotional/relationship distance) helps you to see them as individuals and avoid applying prejudiced stereotypes to them.

I have to apologise for the lack of direct/dictionary references on this, as the phrase is not a widespread idiom - but it's meaning will be relatively clear to native speakers.

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