Posted by: Paul Chiariello | March 2, 2011

How to Stop Hate Groups: A Response to a Previous Article on their Recent Rise

This is in response to a comment on my blog post entitled “In US, Active & Public Hate Groups Top 1000 for First Time: Why?”  The comment was in short: what can be done?

So I decided to write up a short post about how I think you can simply go about contributing towards the ever receding bastions of hate.

First, there is the need for optimism. So are these groups ‘ever receding’?  Well… yes, basically.  Its a slow difficult process but we don’t have slavery and lynch mobs anymore; ts been a long time since, the longest in the history of people living in the EU, that there hasn’t been a war their; crime rates are much lower in the US and EU; most people see private arms for self-defense as unnecessary and so on and so on.

Of course the world isn’t perfect, but ask yourself if you’d rather live in the ‘peaceful’ days of yore where you could buy somone if you were stronger/richer, the color of your skin by law prohibited you to anything but a second class status or, for the 50% of readers who are women, you won’t be allowed to vote anymore.

We’ve gotten rid of the cough and the rashes, now to figure out how to fix up the headaches, sore joints, insomnia and allergies.

So first, I say we need to realize there is no fatalistic cycle of history humanity must continue to live and re-live but that we make our own.  Looking back on the horrors that have happened in no way implies something else is not also possible.  And when following # 2-4 below, know that you are making an impact and improving someone’s life.

Second, for the average Joe or Jane: sign a petition, join a protest, hold an event or vote out a bigot.  These are the best way to make your voices louder so that hate groups are seen for the actual minuscule size they are.  Nothing is more reinforcing than thinking everyone is with you and exerting your voice on the larger scene.  This is true for hate groups as much as those who wish to fight them.

Personally I wrote a short while ago on a petition against fast tracked zoning restrictions in NJ that seek to bar a planned mosque from being built.  Or this petition to help assure asylum for Libyan pilots that defected instead of bombing their fellow citizens.  Another example, a counter protest of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.  If you have more links to other petitions, please attach them below.

To search or start other petitions you can go to change.org.

Third, get informed and inform others.  My own academic research is in part on Christian-Muslim relations.  From personal experience and my own studies I believe most hate as a direct result of ignorance and of political manipulation of ignorance.  Informing yourself and others may be the most important step.  I should have put it at number one, actually.

So, 1) Find articles and read them, 2) post them to your Facebook, etc, 3) talk about them with friends and 4) confront bigots.

Here are just a few of my own posts that have followed directly from topics I’ve discussed with people that I know:

A Global historical Survey: Does Accepting Homosexuality Lead to Civilizational Ruin?

Evolution Makes No Comment About Ethics: Why Hitler and Darwin are Unrelated.

Free Speech / Violent Rhetoric: Stop Mixing Up the Issues.

Muslims Want to Chop Off Your Head: Verses From the Bible and the Quran.

Fourth, their are professional and organized means of fighting these organizations.  1) Get a law degree and fight the legal battle.  These organizations rely on legal structures, pay taxes, etc and compared to similar orgs usually slip up or aren’t to honest to begin with. 2) Do research in the field.  Not to toot my own horn too much, but fighting this kind of ignorance is one major reason I am interested in this subject.  The creation of knew knowledge is a necessary step before its dissemination and acceptance by a culture.  3) Donate to or work with organizations that specialize in combating this kind of thing, for example the Southern Poverty Law Center, which did the original article above.  Search for organizations related to civil or human rights, peace education and so on.  There are a lot of them out there.

……..

If you have other petitions, organizations of interest to the above and further comments please add to the post by putting them in the comments!

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Responses

  1. I had just become aware, much to my chagrin, that there are 47 hate groups in New Jersey. That NJ ranks 3rd in the country. This is appalling. What are we doing about this? Why is there no media attention given to this atrocity? How do we confront this?


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