Ripples of Hope in the Fight Against Hate

Ripples of Hope in the Fight Against Hate

Hate crimes are on the rise, and too many individuals fear they will become the next victim of violence simply because of who they are. Our fellow U.S. citizens are looking to the president to lead and reassure us that intolerance has no place in our society.

But it took President Trump 48 hours to condemn the white supremacists who took to Charlottesville’s streets over the weekend. Then, on Tuesday, the president sought to diminish the role of white supremacist marchers by reiterating that “many sides” were at fault. By repeating this totally off-base and offensive view, Trump once again revealed his hostility towards race relations in our country.

Right now, concerned citizens deeply anxious about what they are seeing are wondering if their community might be the next target of a hate-fueled protest. With little inspiration coming from the White House, neighbors must look to neighbors, and communities must join together to combat hate. 

Despite the president’s lack of leadership, we are beginning to see some ripples of hope elsewhere. Chief executive officers of major corporations quit the president’s business advisory group in protest. Lawmakers from both parties criticized the president’s unwillingness to call out hate.

Even President Trump’s attorney general used forceful language in condemning hate and indicated a willingness to prosecute the driver who slammed into a group of protesters on Sunday. For Attorney General Sessions, who as a U.S. senator opposed hate crimes laws, this marked a significant turning point—one that recognizes the real problems our communities face in experiencing hate crimes.

Community leaders across the country are also standing up and taking action. Communities Against Hate, a historic coalition of diverse national organizations and neighborhood groups from across different communities, is working to share stories of hate incidents and provide resources. As a proud member of Communities Against Hate, the Stop Hate Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has the privilege of supporting local community organizations and individuals combating hate in their communities.

The Stop Hate Project seeks to connect people targeted for hate incidents and hate crimes with legal information and counsel. The project provides information advocates can use to protect protesters’ rights in counter-hate demonstrations. It connects groups and individuals grappling with hate with social services supports, and it conducts legal research and training that local organizations can use to advocate for marginalized communities.

These efforts are made possible by leveraging our national pro bono network to make sure leaders across the country have the tools they need to protect and advance civil rights in their communities. Through our resource and reporting line, +1-844-9-NO-HATE; our website, www.8449nohate.org; or partnerships with local legal and social services organizations to learn directly from communities targeted for discrimination and violence, the Lawyers’ Committee seeks to ensure that those on the front lines in the fight against hate have access to the legal information and resources they need.

This is a teachable moment. Hate is not a new phenomenon, but it does have a new platform.

Marchers in Charlottesville talked about fulfilling the president’s promises. Those promises include enacting a “Muslim ban” targeting people on the basis of their religion, attempting to dehumanize transgender Americans and deny them from serving in the military, and continuing to repeat baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in service of efforts to deprive communities of color of the right to vote.

President Trump is pushing these efforts while seeking the counsel of a White House staff which includes individuals with ties to white nationalists, and while engaging in efforts to delegitimize and curtail the coverage of his administration by a free and independent press. These actions do not send a message of unity. Instead, they only seek to divide.  

Our country is stronger when we share messages of inclusion, and when people of all backgrounds are welcome in their own communities and treated with respect and dignity. For generations, our country has grown stronger as we have become a more inclusive society with laws and ideals that support the equal opportunities for all Americans. While our nation has made great strides to becoming more equal and just, Charlottesville reminds us that we still have a long way to go.

Learn More:

4 Comments

Hide

Hate has no place in American society

As a world, we must work to end hate and must work to end discrimination and racism. We must live one people created by one God.

In Uganda we are also facing the same hate crimes based on our sexual orientation, many of our young people in associations of MSM have been targets of the so called heterosexual thinkers and in rural communities segregation is the order of the day. We call upon the President of Uganda never ever to endorse the anti homo sexuality bill into law

White supremacists and neo-fascists flock to a small town in Virginia to protest the renaming of a park to Emancipation Park; counter-protesters assemble to show solidarity and support. A woman is killed by a white supremacist.

The president condemns the counter protesters and casts them in the same light as these hate groups; he makes no mention of the innocent victim. This blanket condemnation is truly disheartening.

A tolerant society cannot accept intolerance. Those who are intolerant forfeit their right to be tolerated. This is unacceptable for an American president.

Add your voice