FBI Director Christopher Wray recently told Congress the following about hate groups: “A majority of the racially motivated violent extremist domestic terrorism is at the hands of white supremacists.”
Hate crimes increased by nearly 20% in 2017, according to the latest FBI data. The actual numbers are likely larger because many hate crimes go unreported or are misclassified for various reasons.
Another study on hate crimes among 30 big cities nationwide, by The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, states the following: “Hate crimes rose 9 percent in major U.S. cities in 2018, for a fifth consecutive increase, to decade highs, as cities with increases outnumbered those with declines two to one. In contrast, crime overall in major cities has declined in both of the last two years.”
The persistent problem of hate crimes by white supremacist groups appears to be getting worse, not better. This should be a cause of concern for all law abiding citizens and people of goodwill.
That’s why a new book extensively examining the issue is a must read: When Hate Groups March Down Main Street: Engaging a Community Response (Roman & Littlefield).
Co-authors Deborah J. Levine and Marc Brenman present a disturbingly vivid account of the historical evolution of hate groups and their radical racist ideology. The book includes key statistics, case studies, legal and anecdotal evidence, as well as practical leadership lessons for a new generation of young people and people of all ages.
This is a critically important book at a critically important time. The authors also provide smart citizen engagement strategies for communities to embrace. Levine and Brenman are nationally-recognized experts in the fields of diversity and inclusion, cultural competence, social justice, as well as civil rights and human rights.
“Our goal is to utilize the Big Data of this new environment by organizing the information, tracking trends, reporting on community responses, and recommending strategies that are practical and implementable,” the authors write.
“By learning what others have done and from scholarly and academic studies, we hope to equip communities to protect themselves and preserve democratic values and the American Dream of social equity and fairness.”
In addition to 15 comprehensive chapters and a postscript, the book contains 11 appendices to help foster effective community engagement to halt the spread of hate groups and subdue their draconian discourse. The appendices include:
- Example of Anti-Nazi Resolution
- Sample Hate Crimes Policy
- Sample Bias Incident Response Protocol
- Bomb Threat Check List.
Levine and Brenman point out: “Neo-Nazis and related hate groups desire a country or a state reserved only for whites who practices their perverted form of Christianity. The racism promoted by these groups is intended to generate fear and hatred of immigrants and people of color. They want to revert to a time of segregated schools and housing.”
Remember that hate groups thrive on spreading lies, conspiracy theories, distortions and misinformation to their cult-like followers. They also use surreptitious methods to recruit young people online via social media, internet chat rooms and the so-called dark web.
You should be on the lookout and avoid falling prey to the reprehensible rhetoric and racist tactics of radical white supremacist groups, both online and off.
How would you react if neo-Nazis, the KKK or racist skinheads demonstrated in your town? Worse yet, what if these hatemongers marched down the street where you live?
As the authors suggest, ask yourself the following question about white supremacist hate groups:
“Are you prepared to handle their intimidation, threats and actions? No locale is too big or too small to be a target for their message.”
Note: A longer version of this article is also available on the digital media platform Medium at https://democracyguardian.com/when-hate-comes-to-your-town-7dbf42614a9b
Editor’s Note: PURCHASING LINKS
ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD Publishers
OR.. Signed Copy (in U.S.)
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