Stand strong against hate

There was a piece on hate crimes on WAMU this morning that explained very clearly why we're seeing a rise in such crimes at the moment. I can't find it online yet, but you can check.

Someone (didn't catch the name) was quoted as saying we're in a "perfect storm" of reasons for this: the election of our first African American president, the economic crisis, broken immigration laws, and the availability of internet communication. It makes perfect sense to me, and also gives a reason for us to be more vigilant than ever against the groups and individuals who believe this way. The murder at the Holocaust Museum is proof positive.

After that tragic event, I decided I needed to educate myself better about hate groups and crimes, and turned to the internet to do so. In the process, I found a hate group map on the Southern Poverty Law Center website. There are 26 hate groups documented for my state alone. Twenty-six. I’m sure there are even more, as I suspect there are many smaller and less organized ones. It makes my blood run cold.

SPLC website I also found good anti-hate resources: tons of information, a blog, and a site where you can Stand Strong Against Hate. I added myself to the map, and encourage you to do the same. I also encourage you to add the button to your websites, with a link back to Stand Strong Against Hate - mine's over there on the right.

It will take a lot more than this to stop hate groups, but publicly voicing your opinion is a good start. Learning who the hate groups are in your area is another. Speaking out against them when you have the opportunity is another, too.

Let's just do it. Because the time for these groups to fade into the sunset is now.


papa2hapa said…
This crime truly bothered me. I can't fathom why people actually allow this hate to exist in the world. In the United States we protect the freedom of speech, but I'm beginning to wonder why we protect the freedom of hate.
Margie said…
Me, too.

And I like the way you put that. Why are we protecting the freedom of hate?
Anonymous said…
We protect the "freedom of hate" because legislating what people can and cannot say is a violation of human rights. I may detest what you say, but I will absolutely defend your right to say it.
Who do you want to be able to tell you what you can and cannot say? The government? You may want to look at what is happening in Iran right now. Please do not make the mistake of thinking that it could not happen here.
At the same time, it is up to those of us who do not believe in hate to speak up strongly and, if possible, educate and change the minds of people who espouse hatred. If nothing else, we can try to speak up strongly enough to drown them out.
Margie said…
Anon, I understand what you're saying. But we're discussing a crime - an action, not speech. The speech of groups and individuals who openly profess hate seem to be a different animal to me. Right now, stopping the kinds of messages that led that nutjob to pick up a rifle and take an innocent life seems more important to me that protecting any old crap that a professed hate organization spouts.

This is probably why I could never be an attorney - the distinction between saying something horrible and inciting to kill seems pretty vague to me.

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