I was just reading a newsletter from Southern Poverty Law Center, who are doing some very meaningful justice work to bring oppressed people the rights they deserve and protect them from racism.
They mentioned the summit, United We Stand, where the White House brought together a wide variety of businesses, NGO’s, City leaders, and influencers around “Combatting hate and extremism”. It sounds great right? Erasing all hate and (right wing) extremism! But, as I read, I started to realize there might be something wrong with the approach.
“Combat hate and extremism”.
Are we really going to bring unity and peace between cultures if we’re in combat?
How can we acknowledge and start to heal the deep trauma within the people who perpetrate hate crimes, dealing with them at the source, if we’re in combat against them? Are they just unredeemable? Should they just disappear?
On one hand, I understand that people feel the need for combat and a warlike mentality against isms/hate. People are being killed and harmed for the color of their skin, their culture, religion, and it’s wrong.
But is a combative stance going to truly solve anything? Or will it just result in attempts to bludgeon and silence the people committing hate crimes? Based on the outcomes of the summit, it seems like the bludgeoning and silencing is taking precedence over understanding, acceptance, and healing.
- Improving hate crime data collection to measure the problem better
- Healing victims of hate crimes and centering them in the narrative (which is great, how about also thinking about healing the people doing the hate crimes so they don’t do hate crimes?)
- Silencing hate, violence, or violence inciting content on social media
One thing that I’m not seeing addressed here is the acknowledgement that many expressions of hate come from projecting trauma and unprocessed emotions.
If people are hateful towards a certain group, it’s because of their own inner dis-harmony, cultivated by their unique psychological, economic, and social situation.
There don’t seem any efforts or language around addressing the root cause of violence and hate crimes. The trauma of the people who commit them, and the systems that develop that trauma.
What do you think? Should we “fight hate”? Or should we understand hate and the people that hold onto it so we can eliminate it’s darkest expressions from the source?
Here’s the questions I’m asking in the meantime.
Why are people racist?
#1 cause of racism = self-interest.
Guess what we’re trained to be in American Society? Self-Interested. Hmm!
How might we create economic and social conditions that foster intercultural connection, not racism?