Bard Center for the Study of Hate Releases New Community Guide for Opposing Hate Cowritten by Western States Center and Montana Human Rights Network
“Hate may be manifested by different means (rallies, posters, social media postings, crimes, etc.) and may have a variety of targets (people of different ethnicity or religion, gender or sexual identity, even different politics),” the guide notes. “But we make a huge mistake when we ignore hateful acts against anyone . . . [H]ate threatens democratic norms and institutions . . . [H]ate imbedded as a noble idea can inspire individuals to acts of violence.”
“It’s been an honor to create this toolkit along with colleagues from the Western States Center and the Montana Human Rights Network,” said Kenneth S. Stern, the director of BCSH. “We have many decades of experience organizing efforts to oppose hate and hate groups, and we were eager to share the best practices and pitfalls that will help others improve our communities and our democracy.”
Too often when a hate incident happens, people want to do something but don’t know what to do, and the desire to make a difference fades until the cycle repeats, notes Stern. This guide has detailed instructions on how to set up groups to oppose hate that can succeed and be sustained—from how and where a first meeting should be convened, to what type of initial event should be planned, how to structure the organization, and even what day of the week is best to hold board meetings.
The 103-page guide also has detailed sections on messaging, traditional and social media strategies, and working with politicians, schools, and academics. Hate crimes, security, and research, among other topics are also covered. Importantly, it includes a section on the importance of protecting free speech rights while exposing hate speech and making the hater’s exercise in free speech backfire.
The guide also stresses thinking through various scenarios that a community might face, such as threats from hateful leaflets, speakers, politicians, and others vilifying any group in the community. Thirteen different scenarios are provided for groups to contemplate and prepare for within their communities.
To read The Community Guide for Opposing Hate, click here.
A webinar discussing the guide, hosted by BCSH, will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 3pm ET. Registration link here.
Post Date: 05-11-2022