• RSS
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Chernynkaya On March - 3 - 2010

Yesterday, March 2, 2010, the Southern Poverty Law center issued a new report on hate groups in America.

The report documents a 244 percent increase in the number of active Patriot groups in 2009. Their numbers grew from 149 groups in 2008 to 512 groups in 2009, an astonishing addition of 363 new groups in a single year. Militias – the paramilitary arm of the Patriot movement – were a major part of the increase, growing from 42 militias in 2008 to 127 in 2009.

An April 2009 assessment by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis said pointedly: “Lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.”

Slowly, but steadily, these bigots are slithering from beneath their rocks, armed and deadly.

Almost as disturbing as the incidents themselves are the family, friends and neighbors who talk about the vitriol they heard and the warning signs they saw. What did they say or do about it? What any of us do? My suspicion is that far too many do far too little.

Although people say that they would be very upset by a racist act and would take action, their actual reactions were much more muted because people are much less willing to pay the emotional cost of the confrontation than they thought they would be. I am not confrontational, but I hope that I could summon the courage to say something.

This is the final piece in my series, Hate in America.  I’ll be honest–I hate certain groups too. Maybe that’s why I undertook this series. I hate most Republicans, and think they are anathema to humanitarian values. I hate Rush Limbaugh and I hate Glenn Beck, to name just two examples, because I honestly believe they are a danger to our country. And Ann Coulter? Don’t get me started! They are every bit the enemy combatants as are the most rabid Al Qaida terrorists. I hate haters, but what does that make me? But in my defense, is it irrational to hate those people who one believes are out to hurt me? I do take their statements and ideology personally, because they are working very deliberately to change America into a place I don’t want to be—and worse, where I don’t want my children and grandchildren to be. I don’t think my hatred is irrational, but then, who does?  I know that hatred is a toxic emotion and wish I had an antivenin for the poison it spreads.

So, enough. Let’s put that aside for a while and see what others, more evolved than I, have done to combat hate.

I am glad to report that there are many groups working hard to combat hate and to prevent it. Hate has been with us since Cain and Abel—or, if you prefer, since Neanderthals encountered Homo sapiens.

We will never be able to eradicate hate. Human beings are irrational beings; we are not Vulcans. But there are steps we can take to combat hate. We can start with ourselves for insight into our own prejudices. We can teach our children tolerance and conflict resolution. We can educate adults about the effects of hate. We can legislate against hate crimes. While we will never eradicate it, there are steps we can take against it.

The Internet has been rightly hailed as a groundbreaking interactive marketplace of ideas, in which anyone with the necessary hardware and software can set up a cyber-stall. But the downside of this unparalleled information exchange is that, alongside its many valuable online resources, the Net also offers a host of offensive materials – including hate materials – that attempt to inflame public opinion against certain groups of people.

A few months ago, I was on the Huffington Post, reading and commenting on a thread about the Federal Reserve. There were several posters expressing their beliefs that the Fed was up to nefarious deeds and should either be abolished or made transparent. Fine—they are certainly entitled to their opinions. But as I read, something started to look familiar about some comments. I recognized that a few posters were indirectly accusing Jewish bankers as controlling the Fed, (and thus the monetary system of the United States and even the world) by listing all the Jewish-sounding names of fed bankers. When I Googled those names, it turned out that they were not only incorrect, but were part of an old anti-Semitic tract called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. I called them on it and was roundly and harshly criticized. I was so upset, I emailed the Anti Defamation League about it. I got no reply, but subsequently, I read that several prominent Jewish bloggers no longer post their blogs on HP, due to the response of its readers. (As an aside, Abe Foxman, the National Director of the ADL, has some serious credibility problems .)

Bigotry and hatred thrive on ignorance, fear, false information and half-truths. But if readers are able to deconstruct any messages of hate that come their way, much of the messages’ power is reduced. This makes critical thinking skills an indispensable part of an anti-hate tool kit.

What We Can Do About Internet Hate

If people want to do something about hate material they see on the Internet, there are several options:

Contact the Internet Service Provider

All over the world, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are being forced to become more proactive about hate material on their servers. Most ISPs now have Acceptable Use Policies that clearly define the guidelines for using their services, as well as the penalties for violating those guidelines. However, ISPs do not have the legal power to decide what material is illegal; and so most are reluctant to remove suspect content from their servers without official direction from a law enforcement agency.

Report online hate to the police

Some urban police departments now have a High-Tech Crime Unit to investigate online offences. If none exists, a complaint can be made to the local police. It’s advisable to attach a copy of the offending material to the letter of complaint.

Check out “hate watch” Web sites:


American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Phone: 202-244-2990
Web: http://www.adc.org
(Combats media stereotyping, defamation, and discrimination against Americans of Arab descent through legal action and education.)

Anti-Defamation League

Phone: 212-490-2525
Web: http://www.adl.org
(Combats anti-semitism and racial supremacist ideology,
published Hate Crimes Laws: A Comprehensive Guide.)

Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund

Phone: 212-966-5932
(Community education, legal counseling and advocacy on behalf of victims of anti-Asian violence.)

Center For Democratic Renewal

Phone: 404-221-0025
Web: http://www.thecdr.org
(Published When Hate Groups Come to Town: A Handbook of Effective Community Responses.)

Center for New Community

Phone: 708-848-0319
Web: http://www.newcomm.org
(Publishes special reports on anti-immigrant groups)

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Phone: 202-488-8787
Web: http://www.cair-net.org
(Published, Law Enforcement Official’s Guide to the Muslim Community)

NAACP

Phone: 410-521-4939
Web: http://www.naacp.org
(Combats racisms and fights for civil rights.)

National Council of Churches

Phone: 212-870-2141
Web: http://www.ncccusa.org
(Organized nationally to rebuild burnt churches in 1996.)

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force

Phone 202-393-2284
Web: http://www.thetaskforce.org
(Fights hate crime; monitors attacks on civil liberties.)

The National Urban League

Phone: 212-558-5300
Web: http://www.nul.org
(Increasing civil rights, educational and financial opportunities for African Americans through programs and research.)

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Phone: 202-467-4999
Web: http://www.pflag.org
(Support for families of Gays and Lesbians with hundreds of local chapters).

People for the American Way

Phone: 202-467-4999
Web: http://www.pfaw.org
(Supports community organizing for freedom of thought, expression and religion.)

Political Research Associates
1310 Broadway, Suite 201
Somerville, MA 02144
Phone: 617-666-5300
Web: http://www.publiceye.org/
(Think-tank monitoring the full spectrum of hate organizations.)

Southern Poverty Law Center

Phone: 334-956-8200
Web: http://www.splcenter.org
(Reports on hate crime and advances the legal rights of victims of injustice. Home of Klanwatch.)

Study Circles Resource Center

Phone: 860-928-2616
Web: http://www.studycircles.org
(Helps communities and organizations begin small democratic, discussion groups that can make significant progress on difficult issues including race.)

100 Black Men of America

Phone: 404-688-5100
Web: http://www.100blackmen.org
(Helps young African Americans to overcome financial and cultural obstacles through mentoring, anti-violence, education and economic development programs.)

Regional Organizations

California Association of Human Relations Organizations

Phone: 213-974-7601
Web: http://www.cahro.org
(Works with groups to develop statewide responses to hate crimes.)

Montana Human Rights Network

Web: http://www.mhrn.org/

Western States Center

Phone: 503-228-8866
Web: http://www.westernstatescenter.org
(Works to fight intolerance in the Northwest.)

Women’s Project

Phone: 501-372-5113
Web: http://www.womens-project.org
(Community-based organizing project that combats violence against women, economic injustice, racism, sexism, and homophobia in the South.)

If hateful Internet communications do not cross the line into incitement to imminent lawless action or a true threat, they receive First Amendment protection. The U.S. is a free speech outlier in the arena of hate speech– many other countries criminalize online hate speech.

However, even in the United States, certain forms of hateful speech — such as cyberbullying in schools and targeted harassment — may continue to face increased regulation.

How hate sites contribute to hate crimes

The Internet does a couple of things for hate groups. First of all, it raises the impact that a single hate-monger can have. Not too many years ago, a single Klansman would have to go to a great deal of effort and spend quite a bit of money and find a sympathetic printer in order to produce a pamphlet that might reach 100 people.

Now the same Klansman, for almost no money, is able to very quickly put up a Web site that has the potential to reach millions. The other thing the Internet does is let haters network easily. Many of these people are on listserv programs, so if something of interest happens in one part of the country, very soon people all over know about it. Or very often sympathizers just see information posted in announcements on other people’s Web pages.

Law enforcement agencies must assume a central role in implementing the hate crime prevention, and response. The authorities won’t be able to stop every “lone wolf” with a gun and a gripe. But we, as a society, can do a much better job of creating an environment where hateful beliefs are never ignored and suspicious behavior never goes unreported.

What Law Enforcement Can Do

From the Federal Bureau of Investigation:

To develop and implement successful intervention strategies to deal with hate groups, law enforcement personnel first must understand the hate process. The hate model identifies the multiple stages of the hate process. Investigators can use this model to identify haters who have not yet transitioned from hate rhetoric to hate violence and target them with intervention programs, which have a higher probability of success. Likewise, law enforcement personnel can identify and target hard-core haters with appropriate interdiction strategies. Knowing how the hate process works helps interviewers penetrate the hate mask and address the hater’s underlying personal insecurities. If investigators can attenuate these personal insecurities, haters will become more receptive to rehabilitation. Identifying and understanding the stages of the hate process constitute the first steps in controlling hate violence.

From the International Association of Chiefs of Police:

Investing in prejudice reduction and violence prevention is vital to reducing the incidence of hate crime. The International Association of Chiefs of Police convened a summit in 1999 to address hate groups and hate crimes. Participants were hopeful that communities, schools, and justice system agencies could work together to create and maintain conditions in which prejudice gives way to tolerance and bias-motivated violence is replaced with peaceful problem-solving. Summit participants recommended proactive initiatives to help communities prevent bias-motivated incidents and hate crime.

The 1998 IACP Hate Crime in America Summit produced 46 recommendations to:

Collectively, the recommendations constitute an action agenda to advance understanding of hate crime, prevent hate crime, and improve the effectiveness of our response to this complex and challenging social problem. The agenda sets forth roles and responsibilities for a coordinated, community-wide response by citizens, schools and colleges, police, justice system agencies, social service agencies, and victims.

The summit also produced a Law Enforcement Action Agenda —12 essential actions to help police address hate crime.

Following are some useful strategies that may be used as tools to promote tolerance:

What Individuals Can Do

Individuals should continually focus on being tolerant of others in their daily lives. This involves consciously challenging the stereotypes and assumptions that they typically encounter in making decisions about others and/or working with others either in a social or a professional environment.

What the Media Can Do

The media should use positive images to promote understanding and cultural sensitivity. The more groups and individuals are exposed to positive media messages about other cultures, the less they are likely to find faults with one another — particularly those communities who have little access to the outside world and are susceptible to what the media tells them.

What the Educational System Can Do

Educators are instrumental in promoting tolerance and peaceful coexistence. For instance, schools that create a tolerant environment help young people respect and understand different cultures.  In Israel, an Arab and Israeli community called Neve Shalom or Wahat Al-Salam (“Oasis of Peace”) created a school designed to support inter-cultural understanding by providing children between the first and sixth grades the opportunity to learn and grow together in a tolerant environment.

Although this is about hate in America, there is probably no better example of intractable conflict than that between Palestinians and Israelis. These short videos show how historic hatred can be overcome. This is an example of an extreme solution, but maybe that’s what it will take.

Problems arise when people simply do not understand one another. At the community school in Neve Shalom-Wahat al-Salam – named in both Hebrew and Arabic – children learn both languages at a very young age, thus cultivating a spirit of communication and mutual understanding. 5 minutes.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6KhloixHGc

A 10-min presentation of the binational village of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam in Israel. The “Oasis of Peace” is the only community in the country where Palestinians and Jews choose to live, work and raise their children together in equality and mutual respect.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwhGkN7CYEI

What Organizations Can Do

There are several wonderful organizations working tirelessly to combat hate through education and intervention. Many of them are listed above, but I’d like to highlight just a few that are doing exceptional work.

Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program is working to foster school environments that are inclusive and nurturing – classrooms where equality and justice are not just taught, but lived. They distribute a magazine called Teaching Tolerance which reaches more than 400,000 educators across the country. Published twice a year and is provided free to educators.

In addition to the magazine, they also provide multimedia teaching kits, online curricula, professional development resources like Teaching Diverse Students Initiative and special projects like Mix It Up at Lunch Day. These materials are provided to educators at no cost.

Here is a sampling of some of the curricula from their wonderful program:

Toward a More Civil Discourse

Letters to the Editor

Introduction to Refutation

Browse the resources

Teaching Kits and Handbooks

The Simon Wiesenthal Center

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization dedicated to generating change through the social action and education by confronting anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promoting human rights and dignity, and teaching the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations. It is accredited as an NGO at international organizations including the United Nations, UNESCO, and the Council of Europe. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Simon Wiesenthal Center maintains offices in New York, Toronto, Boca Raton, Paris, Buenos Aires and Jerusalem.

Museum of Tolerance

The Center’s educational arm challenges visitors to confront bigotry and racism, and to understand the Holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts. Over 1.5 million children and youth have participated in the Museum experience and its programs. Over 110,000 adults have been trained in the Museum’s professional development programs which include Tools for Tolerance, Teaching Steps to Tolerance, Task Force Against Hate, National Institute Against Hate Crimes, Tools for Tolerance for Teens and Bridging the Gap.

Hate groups are growing. Their techniques of recruitment run the range from simple and inexpensive, to sophisticated and technologically advanced, and are aimed with specificity at every age-group and social class. On the one hand, fascist organizations must be exposed, combated, and destroyed. On the other hand, in order to eliminate the soil in which hate grows, corporate manipulation of the media and exploitation of the people must be reversed. The slogan of the day ought to be: more funds – not less – for health care, unemployment insurance, welfare, and education. The rise in hate can be defeated.

In 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in a letter from a Birmingham jail, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” That’s still true.

Other Helpful Links:

Artists Against Racism
An international non-profit organization featuring dozens of artists taking a stand against racism.

Building Equality
Challenging prejudice, discrimination, and domination based on ethnicity, race, national origin, language, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation age, class, ability, size.

Civil Rights Organization
Recruits, educates and mobilizes individuals of good conscience in the ongoing struggle for equal opportunity.

Cross Point Anti-Racism
A large collection of links in the field of human rights, anti-racism, refugees, women’s rights, anti-fascism, Shoah, etc.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
A resource for discrimination in employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Equal Pay Act (EPA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Eliminating Racism and Creating Equality
A non-profit organization focused on dismantling the invisible, yet socially destructive boundaries that have been fortified by the divisiveness of racial discrimination.

Institute for Global Communications
Advancing the work of progressive organizations and individuals for peace, justice, economic opportunity, human rights, democracy and environmental sustainability through strategic use of online technologies.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Their principal objectives are to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality in the United States and to eliminate race prejudice.

National Association of Black & White Men Together
A group committed to fostering supportive environments wherein racial and cultural barriers can be overcome and human equality can be realized.

Race Bridges
Devoted to bringing the races together in projects that seek to bridge racial division.

AND THANK YOU POSTER KHIRAD FOR THESE:

Muslim Public Affairs Council
http://www.mpac.org/

American Islamic Congress
http://www.aicongress.org/

The Sikh Coalition
http://www.sikhcoalition.org/

Hindu American Foundation
http://www.hinduamericanfoundation.org/

Hate In America: Introduction

Hate in America, Part 1: A History of Hate

HATE IN AMERICA, Part 2: Hate Speech and the First Amendment

HATE IN AMERICA, Part 3: The Psychology and Recruitment of Hate

Categories: News & Politics

Written by Chernynkaya

I am an artist and have lived in Los Angeles all of my life, except for a brief hippie period when I lived in SF. I am currently (semi-unwillingly) retired, but have had several careers.

95 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. bitohistory says:

    Damn, why didn’t I think of this scam? Where does this information come from?
    Baffling.

    “Beyond Redemption”

    The latest multi-million dollar scam in the world of antigovernment zealots is taking off across the nation.

    Scam artists and right-wing extremists are hawking a pseudo-legal strategy that promises both financial gain and the opportunity to take revenge against what is seen as a sham government. Called “redemption,” the technique has earned its promoters untold profits, buried courts and other agencies under tons of worthless paper, and led to scores of arrests and convictions throughout the United States.

    The details can be eye-catching. Some redemptionists say that whenever a person is born in the United States, approximately $630,000 is deposited into a special government account. If only you know the right procedure

      • javaz says:

        PROVIDE TWO SMALL PASSPORT PICTURES, BIRTH CERTIFICATE, AND A GENEROUS FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION. APPLICATION CONTRIBUTIONS MAY BE MADE BY ANY SOVEREIGN CITIZEN OR CORPORATION WITH INSTRUMENTS DENOMINATED IN UNITED STATES OR DOMINION DOLLARS.

        Generous donation?

        The second site -- sovereign-citizenship -- is really out there.

        And I can’t stop laughing at the benefits of becoming a sovereign citizen.

        Does it seem as though there are more nutcases out there than ever before?

      • bitohistory says:

        Who/what is “MELCHIZEDEK”?

        The first thing a Sovereign becomes is immune to law, I.E. statutory, civil and vehicle codes. You no longer are subject to those laws they just do not apply to you.
        You gain the ability to discharge anything in the legal arena of commerce using the laws of that system against the perpetrators that are currently using those laws against you for their gain.
        From the DVD course (after purchase) you will learn hundreds of tricks of the legal system that can free you from most anything. Included but not limited to this are…..

          • bitohistory says:

            Man, do I feel like a fool. of course I learned this in school.

            All monotheistic religions spring from the blessing Old Testament Abraham received from Melchizedek, the righteous king of peace and history’s first monotheistic teacher of God, the Most High.
            Due to the fact that information about Melchizedek was almost exclusively and early found on the Internet, the Dominion was declared by NBC News to be the first nation on the Internet.

            Guess I forgot! 😆

    • javaz says:

      Whoa, does that mean every single one of us has a bajillion dollars now, you know with all the accumulated interest on $630,000?

      And who is the person(s) that puts that money into newborn’s accounts?

      Oh cool, we’re all rich!

  2. javaz says:

    Cher, have you seen this about the people in Indiana who’ve declared themselves sovereign citizens?

    According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups in the United States, the sovereign citizen movement originates “in the ideology of the Posse Comitatus, an anti-Semitic group that raged through the Midwest in the late 1970s and 1980s. … Some of the more famous adherents of sovereign citizens’ ideology include Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols and members of the Montana Freemen.”

    http://rawstory.com/2010/03/indiana-sovereign-citizens/

    • bitohistory says:

      j’avaz, I grew up in Indiana and went to school in Bloomington. I know that Hwy.36 very well and the town of Martinsville on that road from hitchhiking home. Martinsville was known as the home of the KKK of IN. We prayed that we would get a ride all the through that area--“damn long haired hippies” Funny now-Not then.

      Not surprisingly, state officials call these claims

      • Khirad says:

        I looked it up, Martinsville is 98.62% White. Sort of ruins what I’ve always thought about the Klan (being borne out of conflict). I think we all know Indiana’s reputation with the KKK, though. To say Martinsville is the epicenter is saying a lot!

        • bitohistory says:

          New president of the Indiana Ku Klux Klan Buford Kellens is hoping to change things by promoting the KKK as a

          • kesmarn says:

            Why is it not surprising, b’ito, that his name is Buford Kellens? (I shouldn’t laugh. I once had a cat named Buford T. Pusser.) And is it a serious priority that the Klan “survive in the 21st century”? 😀

            (Did you happen to know the Frazee family, by any chance? Speaking of Indiana roots?)

            • bitohistory says:

              k’es, I don’t think I know that family. Do you remember Martinsville? It was on the hwy. from IU to Nap? It had a reputation when I went to school.

            • kesmarn says:

              Hoo-boy, b’ito! A good place to steer away from! I’m told those were dangerous times for people like us who would have been hippies if only we’d been born a lot earlier.

            • bitohistory says:

              k’es, well, being 39, yes they at one time had a sign up at the city limits declaring them home to the Klan. There were probably plenty out good people FROM there. Luckily, I always got a ride through the town. I didn’t want to find out if the rumors were true. Not that brave.

            • kesmarn says:

              B’ito I had a prof in college (really brilliant Fulbright scholar kinda guy) who I was pretty sure came from Martinsville. But--even though I’m only 29--my memory could be wrong. I never realized Martinsville had a reputation, though! You mean it was a sorta KKK hotbed back in the day?

  3. escribacat says:

    Well-done series on a somewhat overwhelming subject, Cher. I’d never heard of that village in Israel and I’m sorry there aren’t more like that. I see them as the only true hope for peace in that region.

    I think I mentioned recently the racist literature I found in my neighborhood. I found another one the next day, on the sidewalk where elementary school children walk home from school every day. Mostly hispanic kids, by the way. I talked to a policeman about it and the packets had already been reported. He said “We can’t arrest people for being small-minded.” The best they could do is arrest them for littering — if they could ever find them.

    Despite all the stuff you see on the internet and elsewhere, I am still very much aware that we are infinitely better than we used to be on this score. I read a lot of history and it constantly strikes me how far we’ve come from where we were. The history of my own state is full of race-based lynchings and massacres and the endless mal-treatment of women, not to mention animals. The racism and sexism of the past was out in the open and standard operating procedure. If you weren’t white and male in those days, your options were only slightly better than zero.

    We haven’t completely healed ourselves and evolved to where we need to be, but we have improved drastically on many important fronts over the past hundred years. My hope is that this evolution will continue.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Hi, E’cat. That place in Israel is the way towards peace and it somewhat tries to do what Gandhi suggested during the time of the Hindu/Muslim riots in India. This is how I remember it:

      If you are a Hindu, adopt a Muslim orphan and raise him in your house as a Muslim; and if you are a Muslim, take a Hindu child and raise her as a Hindu. Then there will be peace.

      I couldn’t find the actual quote, but that was the gist. I often think about how wise and how difficulty that would be to actually do, but I know that it would absolutely work. It’s what Hopeington is doing I think, BTW, with the Afghan kids she is raising.

      And I also believe that as a society, we have come very far. But we also regress. It’s not a smooth path.

  4. Khirad says:

    Who saw this?


    What do you think?

    • escribacat says:

      I can’t stand watching these shout-fests. Neither one of these guys ever finished a point and they both come off looking like jerks.

      My impression of the tea partiers is that their primary platform is based on bigotry. The subtext of “I want my country back,” is “I want all the leaders to look and think just like me.” My other impression is that they’re mostly uneducated. I may be wrong — I base this impression on what I saw at their rallies last August and their disgusting signs, the speeches they have at CPAC and the radical anti-government figures they admire like Palin and Limbaugh and — most of all — Glenn Beck.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        BT, I saw some of these signs on the news, and I googled

        • escribacat says:

          Those are stunning, Cher. I have nothing to say to those idiots.

          • bitohistory says:

            BT, I agree that Ratigan is a ranter and a very poor interviewer. Ratigan could have let him speak and hang himself. I wouldn’t let him give a speech, but he didn’t get a full sentence out before Ratigan jumped on him. Very poor job.

          • Chernynkaya says:

            Oh, OK BT-- I guess I misunderstood and I apologize. Now I see what you were saying.

            Here’s the deal, as I see it. The TP movement, when it first started, was peopled by racists from my POV. It didn’t have any real ideology and was a bunch of angry white folks gone wild over the first AA prez. No one can convince me otherwise because I remember it vividly. They were protesting the middle class tax CUT?! Right. They were an amorphous, chaotic group of people who freaked.

            Now, however, I think through the intervention of some RW PACs, they found an actual position based on taxes (somehow) and govt. spending. Fine. Yeah, they may still be racists, but that is no longer their main beef. The have morphed into something else that I still can’t figure, but at least they have another basis than the pure hissy fit that started them.

            And I do share your feelings about the Fox-like reporting and style of some on the left. It is totally unnecessary, because we have facts and policy on our side; to act like Fox cheapens us. Fox does it because they are hollow-- we really do have depth.

      • Khirad says:

        Histrionic? yes. But, he was evading, and who knows if there was a pre-interview or something. I have mixed views on Ratigan, I know. But the moment the guy deflected was a pattern we’ve seen before. Sad thing is though that Matthews would have done a better job letting this guy hang himself (funny how all of a sudden he’s shown a little self-awareness). Shouldn’t have cut his mic and let him continue -- I don’t like it when Fox does it (though it was necessary with Taitz), though. I would’ve loved to see him struggle longer.

          • SueInCa says:

            I get what you are saying, but while they claim they do not embrace rascism, we saw many instances over the past year or so where they also do not outwardly condemn it in their rallies. I say if they do not embrace it, then speak up in their rallies with the nasty signs. They do a diservice to their cause when they do not. A small group in Minnesota actually cheered the removal of “European Immigrants” from our shores until they realized they had been punked. All they heard was immigrants to send them in to a tizzy, not realizing some of them are in that European group.

            • Blues Tiger says:

              *

            • SueInCa says:

              TB
              Set up or not, they clearly were cheering for immigrants to be returned. No one has come forward and said the video was edited like they have on the Acorn thing.
              I just do not know what people would have the left do, just sit by idly while all this rascist crap is going on?

          • Khirad says:

            Have they shamed or distanced themselves from these people, though? And, when he goes on the Sacramento talk, is that his version of wingnut? In any case, if the news channel did that, it does not excuse him.

            The ambush style of the ‘interview’ we both agree on. I guess I feel most robbed of watching this guy squirm, because I would’ve liked more serious questions like: will you tell people to quit it with the racist signs or have you called out Dale Robertson’s n-word sign? I feel robbed, because I’d be willing to bet, like many GOP politicians, he would get cute like JD Hayworth when asked about Birthers. Maybe he felt too offended by the question to acknowledge it with an answer. I would’ve gotten indignant and said no, no, no -- of course we don’t condone that -- and then gone into the Sacramento story, if I were to deflect.

            I guess, I’ve seen this type of evasion too many times and want to lump this guy in with all the others who started out “we aren’t extremists” and then get caught later -- and I can to a very small extent understand the frustration of Ratigan, however unprofessional. Truth is, it could be done better, but these guys should continue to be pressed to emphatically denounce racism -- for their own sake if anything else -- if they’re truly concerned by it.

            • Blues Tiger says:

              *

            • Khirad says:

              Ah, okay, so they have. The splinters and factions are hard to keep track of.

              I guess I’ll wait to see how the faction this guy supports does in practice.

              If you didn’t understand my intention -- I posted “what do you think” very, very, very intentionally. We had some of the same qualms on this. I find such confrontations a little uncomfortable. I had to turn away myself from it. On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind finding one of these guys and really grilling him -- Maddow style.

    • Kalima says:

      I think that this interview was what Sue was referring to below in her reply to me. I hadn’t seen it but good job Ratigan for calling them out on their bigotry and hypocrisy.

      I just got this in my inbox, an article by Bob Cesca on HP and was pleased to read that he also thinks as I wrote here, that the Tea party is all about race.

      Sorry that I have to link to over “there” to read it, mea culpa.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/the-tea-party-is-all-abou_b_484229.html

      • Khirad says:

        Oops, I tried to review the thread, but missed it.

        Good article. A tad simplistic, and the conclusion too absolutist; but overall, the points stand -- and I have yet to hear legitimate explanations why this movement wasn’t outraged when W was in office.

        • Kalima says:

          A bit simplistic maybe, but I like Cesca, he calls it as he sees it and I see no real reason to try to analyze the teabaggers or their party, when they are such a mishmash of so called causes and anger, do you?

  5. Khirad says:

    Upon seeing the new report, I knew you’d have to finish your series. 😉

    I enjoyed the comments on the Sullivan piece, this one in particular:

    I’m a Jew. I’m 24 years old and I’ve been to Israel on Birthright (essentially a propaganda trip disguised as hook-ups and drinking). I agree with some (but not all) of your criticism of the BiBi government. I guess that makes me a self-deprecating Jew. Oh well. I guess that’s why not as many Jews are making Aliyah to Israel anymore, because they cannot capture the young generation of my peers who have dissenting views.

    The bi-national community is wonderful. Fortunately, as seen on signs like @ 3:00 in the second video, Hebrew and Arabic already share much vocabulary and grammar (like three consonantal stems, though I don’t know if the Hebrew def. art. is is as flexible and confusing). The irony pointed out by Jewish and Arab comedians alike (I wish I could remember the Arab comedian I’m thinking of), is they already share so much in common (think about the Hummus War between Israel and Lebanon!). Of course, they are still different, and helping bridge the Semitic divide is key in children. I think about the effect of languages a lot. It would have occurred to me, as well, as a logical first step -- before sharing each others history and religions, we must be able to understand our shared experiences. Besides, judging from those videos (and Bar Refaeli and Haifa Wehbe), Jews and Arabs could make some beautiful children. That young woman in the purple shirt was gorgeous.

    If I might add a few organizations:

    (first two a bit redundant with the ADC link you already gave)

    Muslim Public Affairs Council
    http://www.mpac.org/

    American Islamic Congress
    http://www.aicongress.org/

    The Sikh Coalition
    http://www.sikhcoalition.org/

    Hindu American Foundation
    http://www.hinduamericanfoundation.org/

    You might be interested in their Jewish connection, and that it’s been praised by the Simon Wiesenthal Center (by the way, was it wrong for me to chuckle that they have a center in Boca Raton?).

    For Indian-Americans (Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, whatever): google “Curry Bashing” -- or view ” rel=”nofollow”>this picture, which is much more to the point.

    Also, in my piece I put in the part about the Iranian press (state and semi-state) obsession with Stuart Levey (Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence) reminded of your observations of the Fed commenters. I wonder how many of the latter even realize what they’re saying, or that it’s just seeped through the Alex Jone’s sites and they don’t recognize its origin (from Jones, or the Protocols) for what it is; and how many of them really do know where it comes from. I think I’ve seen a little of both in my experience. We caught one a few weeks back over there. Just listed names, all Jewish and one person defending them spent some time playing cute before being forced to condemn them for what they were.

    P.S. When writing articles and linking, you can make it so that the links open up in a new tab and don’t direct you away from the article. I prefer to do this, but it’s up to you.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Khirad-- so much to respond to, I hardly know where to begin! Thanks!!

      Randomly: How do you (this is rhetorical, probably) post links that go to a separate tab-- I prefer those?

      Important! I will definitely add those resources to my post-- I REALLY appreciate those!

      About those HP posters and the Fed: Some didn’t realize that they were citing the Protocols, but once I told them, and linked to it, they persisted, so to me it was deliberate. Philip Taylor-- that poster who is the one-trick pony about the Fed-- was especially willful in denying the Protocols-- he just didn’t want to know the truth. Willful ignorance to make his case. I really got into it with him!

      It’s funny-- the quote you cited from the Andrew Sullivan page was my favorite too! And he is so right!

      Anyways, thanks again for all your comments.

      • Khirad says:

        When doing links you’ll see:

        Link URL: *web address*
        Target: — Not Set —

        Click on arrow, and drag down to “Open link in a new window”

        Click ‘Insert’ button.

        Voil

  6. kesmarn says:

    Cher, what a gift this series has been. I wish there were a way to bundle it all up and distribute it widely…to millions! I know that if I were teaching a social studies class, I would incorporate this series into it somehow. It’s so valuable. And so beautifully written.

    I realize it’s been said so often that it’s a cliche, but hate almost always is rooted in fear. When you say that you hate Coulter and Limbaugh, I wonder if what you’re really grappling with is a powerful fear of what they’re trying to do. A very rational fear--in my opinion. When someone is threatening much of what is meaningful in our lives, why would we not have an intensely negative reaction to that? I think it would be judging yourself harshly to say that you hated someone who was trying to corrupt your children while at the same time attempting to burn down your house! While blind hatred is pretty much irrational, feeling extreme fury at that sort of person seems like a mark of mental health to me!

    Like you, I wish we could start with the very youngest among us. I saw one analysis of violent/potentially violent behavior that listed as “acts of aggression” a whole range of actions--from outright murder, to insults, all the way down to “deliberately attempting to make another person feel stupid.” That was an eye-opener for me. If we could communicate to kids the fact that the whole range of hateful/potentially violent behavior is avoidable, we might have a shot at making a dent in the culture of hatred that the groups you’ve profiled would love to make mainstream American thought.
    (God forbid.)

    You’ve given us a wealth of options and resources in this series.

    Thanks again, Cher. Really beautiful work!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Kes, I appreciate your comments immensely. Did you get a chance to view the vids about that school/community in Israel? I have seen a Frontline (I think) on it and, while not utopia, it is a remarkable place.

      You mentioned the behavior analysis and I want to share this with you, because I know that you are interested in the customs of different religions. In my religion, embarrassing someone is considered akin to murder. Not quite literally, but it is a serious offense because the ancients noticed that when someone is made to feel embarrassed or shamed, their complexion changes-- they either become ashen or beet red. It was understood, therefore, that something was happening to them physically. Something unhealthy. And it is prohibited to embarrass someone. (Ah, if only we practiced our religions, huh?)

      Anyway, thank you for your very sweet comments, Kes.

      • kesmarn says:

        Cher, yes, I loved the vids about the school/community in Israel. And the name--Oasis of Peace! What could say it better?

        It’s interesting that in Judaism embarrassing someone is considered akin to murder. Because when we were taught as young ‘uns to “examine our consciences” (Now there’s a concept that it might be well to revive! But that’s a whole other post!), we would take the ten commandments and go through them one by one. When it came to “Thou shalt not kill,” there followed a set of questions that included: “Have I spoken unkindly to or about anyone?” If the answer were yes, it was considered a sin and confessing it was in order.

        It’s been many years since I went to confession, but every now and then I still read through the questions of the old examination of conscience. Not a bad way to spend fifteen minutes in the late evening!

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Kes, someday, I wish you would print up conscience examination questions and procedure. I am very ignorant of Catholicism.

          • kesmarn says:

            Cher, yes! I certainly will do that. I have a devotional book that is older than I am (translation: think Methuselah) which has all the questions in it. It’s getting a bit late here (almost 11:30 p.m.), but I will try to post it tomorrow. (Maybe the OT area?) The examination of conscience is such a total anachronism in this day and age (as is the concept of humility)! I mean--who in the 21st century engages in daily soul-searching to discover and eradicate personal character flaws?? Isn’t everything somebody else’s fault? 😀

  7. Questinia says:

    Exceptional piece. You really altered my sense of powerlessness on this issue. All of the resources are avenues for voices to be heard.

    Hate is a mixture of anger and fear. Anger is a disinhibitor. In other words it is contagious. People witnessing anger become angry. Fear is similarly contagious. Reason is non-existent.

    It will probably be regulated at some point. The degree to which
    hatred is advanced by these people indicates their reasoning and reality testing are compromised. In other words, these people who hate to the degree that they do are mentally ill. I can’t hate the mentally ill, but they need to be responded to like any people who present themselves as a danger to others.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Thank you, Questinia! I agree with your description of the roots of hate and I really do believe that fear is the deepest, biggest root to that hate-weed. These people feel tiny and inadequate at their core, so I can understand why they hate--so to speak-- but I do not excuse them.

  8. AdLib says:

    Terrific article again, Cher!

    I think it is realistic to accept that we as a society can no more eliminate hate than we can fear or love or any human emotion. We can however, as you describe, try to contain it and reduce the intensity and the expression of it into emotional and physical violence.

    We discussed this over yonder during the election, that if Obama won, it would drive the racists in this nation insane. Who’s surprised? It doesn’t mean we’re not also disappointed that these types are still in such numbers.

    Haters and racists do need to be confronted, we all know what timidity and appeasement leads to…greater hatred and aggression. It is a poison that only spreads and becomes more potent if not disrupted.

    What is interesting, which your series on hatred examines, is what is at the root of this hatred by white, lower income, less-well educated people. Why does the color of the president’s skin affect them so personally to make them spew hatred?

    Is it not the very fact of them being white, lower income, less-well educated people? For many, aren’t they just following the finger of blame pointed by the GOP at welfare recipients (blacks) and illegal immigrants (latinos) as stealing the American Dream from them? Hasn’t the GOP enforced that “they” are to blame for the predicament of these poor, ignorant white people?

    And hasn’t that scapegoating been done to send them on a wild goose chase while the GOP helps corporations continue to steal the American Dream from them and millions more?

    Historically, the most heinous tyrants scapegoat the minority or the weakest group to turn the rightful focus on them for being the oppressors, to others that are easy to hate as “the others”?

    Is such hatred not proven as a tool for dominating the very people who are hating and consolidating political and economic power over them?

    Hatred, like any tool can be used destructively or constructively. The anger that the Bush Admin inspired created the rise of the Progressive movement and President Obama’s election. The anger many of us have towards the corporations dominating our nation is inspiring us to become active and involved in reversing that.

    Anger and hatred can be great motivators for positive change…or for terrible acts and destruction.

    We can’t and shouldn’t end hatred but we can and should work hard to contain it as best we can from growing and being used to destroy.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      AdLib, Right On! and I can prove it:

      Exclusive: RNC document mocks donors, plays on ‘fear’

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/33866.html

      Slide from RNC fundraising presentation depicts top Dems as ‘The Evil Empire.’

      “The Republican National Committee plans to raise money this election cycle through an aggressive campaign capitalizing on

    • Kalima says:

      Which in fact leads us back to the need of education for people to aspire to better paying jobs, not just in America but around the world.

      I believe that there would be less fighting if everyone had access to more information, If everyone, every child in the world had access to a computer to really understand the lives, the cultures and beliefs on a grand scale, why would there be the need for conflicts.

      I argue with my friend in NC often about the poorly educated, he feels compassion because of the circumstances of where they live and how they live. I believe that if you want to, you can start by reading books, if you can’t read, ask someone to teach you. We can change our circumstances sometimes if we want to, it depends on the individual need to learn and to improve.

      If I had stayed in our small town in middle England instead of dropping out of art college and feeling a strong need to move away to London, maybe I would have 10 kids by now, be in a boring loveless marriage and be excited about a Saturday treat of fish & chips. Would I be happy, I doubt it, then again it would be all I have ever known. Would I blame others, of course not, it would have been my decision.

  9. Kalima says:

    The increase in hate groups that you mention is in my opinion still all about race. They are still foaming at the mouth about your first black President, some are still in shock, it fuels their anger.

    They can say it’s about government, they can scream it’s about taxes or about anything else but once they try to make their excuses, tie it up with a fancy bow, with a fancy name, it is still ugly and it is still at it’s very core, about race.

    • SueInCa says:

      Which is why their leader, Williams, would not answer Dylan Ratigan about the rascists in their crowds and why they did not denounce them.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      I agree, Kalima. This round of the rise in hate groups has everything to do with racism. But-- not to dispute that-- when Bill Clinton was elected, the rise in militias was very steep too. Although… a case could be made that Clinton represented a betterment for all people, not just whites.

      • nellie says:

        To be honest, Cher, I think the same thing would have happened if Hillary had been elected. This is fascism, pure and simple. And those people just can’t stand to see the bullies out of power.

        • Kalima says:

          I still feel that the election of President Obama was the fuel for this final insanity and what has been lurking under the surface since he’s been in office. If their idols can scream it on the tv and the radio without repercussions, it’s a free for all for the rest of the haters, it makes them feel legit, it empowers them to show their real faces, to express the depth of their hate. No Repug has the guts to stand up and criticize them, why should they, it means more votes if they don’t take a stand. Bunch of mealy-mouthed cowards.

          • bitohistory says:

            Kalima, I tend to agree with you. The hate groups would have increased because of a Democrat was elected, but it was a black Democrat. A double whammy!! Bigotry abounds and hate seethes.

            (Hope all is well with you, Dear Kalima, good morning.)

            • Kalima says:

              Good evening bito, everything is plodding along here, myself included. Hope you enjoyed the picture of Coco>

              Obama being elected was the final accelerant to push them over the top, without a doubt. Now because of the Lush. Becky and the rest of the sickos, they show their true colours and it’s hard to miss or make excuses for.

            • Kalima says:

              It can’t be denied either, it’s in your face on the tv and spewing out of the radio, yet the GOP don’t condemn it because it will work against them. They are afraid of one, overweight, hating, potty-mouthed ape. My apologies to all apes everywhere.

              No rush bito, I know that you have things on your mind.

            • bitohistory says:

              Kalima , Yes Becky/Fox/NewsCorp/Murdoch are to blame for much hate and lies. Their deceit cannot be excused.

              (Yes I did enjoy the pic of Coco Thank You. I willget caught up on my emails. SOOON

      • Kalima says:

        Well wasn’t Clinton once described as the first “black” President?

  10. nellie says:

    Cher, I’ve said many times before, bigotry makes people very stupid. They get angry at the wrong thing. They make bad decisions based on bad information. They close out their options. They make bad choices. They delude themselves. They don’t see the world for what it is. And they act like idiots.

    I’ve had friends who have turned into absolute jackasses when they let this side of their personalities show. And it has taken a lot of forgiveness on my part to forget about it and move on.

    Hatred is something else. As you’ve portrayed it in your series, it’s a political force that all Americans need to resist with everything they’ve got. Hate groups have nothing short of the destruction of our social fabric as their goal. They use violence as their tool. They are paranoid and prey on vulnerable ignorant people. They are our own home-grown terrorists.

    We have a lot of work to do on both fronts — to smarten up people who are hanging onto bigotry, for whatever reason, and to make sure our home-grown terrorist hate groups never cause the kind of damage they would like to cause.

    Thanks for your series. It’s been very thought provoking.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Thanks, Nellie. And everything you say bears repeating. You bring up a very intriguing point: Is there a difference between bigotry and hate? I believe there is, but I’ll have to think about that. Many people are prejudiced but don’t wish the object of their bigotry any harm, and that’s not what this series is addressing-- and I know you get that, but I am sort of thinking aloud.

  11. bitohistory says:

    It is amazing that when they mapped the human genome, they found that all humans are 99.9% the same. How is it we can take up that 0.1% of our make-up to find difference and hate that difference? Can we not channel that same minuscule amount to find our shared humanity?

    Cher your series has been thoughtful and thought provoking and I thank you.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      It is amazing. And our DNA is 96% the same as chimpanzees!

      (Although I recently read that most of the big differences between human and chimpanzee DNA lie in regions that do not code for genes. Instead, they may contain DNA sequences that control how gene-coding regions are activated and read. Whatever that means!)

      • bitohistory says:

        Cher, “DNA sequences that control how gene-coding regions are activated and read.”

        I heard many of those words by a researcher and at my CC about auto-immune illness. Imagine,billion DNA codes in a human. Is there a sequence for hate? Is there an outside trigger that alters a sequence? Like getting MS that causes hate? Is that where some believe causes someone to be evil?

        Can you get back to me on those in about 8 minutes? 😆

    • javaz says:

      B’to, would you not agree that organized religion throughout history is the cause of hate and wars?

      Do you think those who wrote the bible intended that outcome?

      • bitohistory says:

        Is not organized religion not based on finding “that” difference? Has man not organized themselves into organizations because of any difference. Perhaps it is simple greed.
        It is a mystery to me. I often feel like Siddhartha under the bhodi tree. I have yet been unable to understand, if it is even understandable.

  12. choicelady says:

    Wow -- brilliant as always! Thank you so much for doing this series.

    Since the 1990s when the first wave of anti-government violence erupted so powerfully (remember the fears of martial law and black helicopters that came when Clinton took office?) the numbers of groups acting in response have also grown.

    One thing about those younger than we here on the Planet is that they have grown up in a much more diverse society, don’t see the government as anything they care about much at all, certainly not an oppressor even under the last 8 years, and they are vastly more inclined to be racially, ethnically, religiously, and sexually more indifferent to other people making them far more inclusive and far more tolerant. It’s not universal, of course, but it does give one hope.

    In the meantime, our concern for combating hate crimes grows, people declare themselves more actively on behalf of inclusion, and even as the RW expands and hate festers, well, so does its opposite. The yin exists and flourishes right along with the yang.

    Since the majority of the tea baggers are old farts, one can live in the hope that nature will take its course leaving the young’uns more prevalent. Until that happens, though, having a list of resources such as this is essential.

    This is so comprehensive no one can go wrong just keeping this resource close at hand. Amazing work, Cher. Brilliant job, beautifully done!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      C’lady, I hope you know how much I appreciate your comments! And I really do think that most of the prejudice of our generation is indeed dying out. But then again, I don’t live in the South or in underdeveloped rural areas; people I knw who do live there are not as sanguine as I am about that though. It just seems like progress is inevitable. Look at history and we can see how our attitudes have changed for the better!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Thanks BT! And please let me clarify-- I am an ardent supporter of net neutrality. I actually believe it is soon becoming the last bastion of free press, and it is incredibly valuable. I believe that MORE speech is the best antidote to hate speech. And I hope you are right about the rise of militias.

  13. FrankenPC says:

    Wow this was a well written series.

    The ideas in this article really cemented in my mind the idea that even laying down a foundation for hate is an incredibly bad idea.

    For instance Palin leveraging hate to push her political agenda should be treated as an act of terrorism and investigated accordingly. I’m not saying people like her should be arrested. I’m suggesting they should be investigated and that investigation should be made public.

    My reasoning is, if people are basing one of their foundations of hate on fear of terrorism, then they should know that the people they idolize may in fact be causing the problem.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Frankin, I see the RW icons like Palin and Limbaugh et al to be walking a very fine line of sedition if not terrorism. (I refuse to read anything about her, BTW, because I think the media has made her a star, and I don’t want to be a part of that.) But they terrorize ME! And I am very glad you liked the series!!!!


Leave your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Back to top
PlanetPOV Tweets
Ongoing Stories
Features