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10 Ways to Fight Hate: Educate Yourself

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This is the fifth in a series of 10 programs on fighting hate in your community. Liz Waid and Colin Lowther look at the fifth way to fight hatred – learning about hate groups.

Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

Voice 2 

And I’m Colin Lowther. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Click here to follow along with this program on YouTube.
Voice 1 

Paris, France. In April 2017, a man invaded the home of Sarah Halimi. He called her hateful names and attacked her. He threw her from a window. She died after this attack. The man wanted to hurt Halimi because she was Jewish.

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In January 2018, an eight-year-old boy was attacked while walking to tutoring. He was wearing a kind of Jewish hat.

Voice 1 

In recent years, many Jews like Sarah Halimi and this eight-year-old boy in France have been hurt because of who they are. French government officials say that anti-Jewish beliefs are “spreading like poison” there. More and more Jewish people in France are reporting experiencing crime or hateful speech because of who they are.

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Crimes done against people because of who they are, are hate crimes. President Emmanuel Macron of France responded to these and other hate crimes. He said:

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“Every time a citizen is attacked because of their age, their appearance, or their religion, it is an attack on the whole country.”

Emmanuel Macron, President of France;
Emmanuel Macron, President of France; “Emmanuel Macron” (CC BY 2.0) by paquierjacques
Voice 1 

Why do hate crimes like these happen? How can France, and other countries, deal with them? Today’s Spotlight program is the fifth in a series of ten programs. In this series of programs we will look at ten ways to fight hate.

Voice 2 

Hate is powerful enough to destroy people and communities. So the Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC, has made this list of ten ways to fight hate in your community. On today’s Spotlight program we will look at the fifth way to fight hate in your community: Educate Yourself.

Voice 1 

How can a community understand people who do hate crimes? How can they react to such violence and hate? The SPLC says that researching the facts about hate groups and hate crimes can be one answer. They call this educating yourself. When people have the facts about a hate group, they can fight hate. Communities must know about hate groups and hate crime before they can react to them and stop them. But knowledge can also help people stop hating. Hate usually comes from fear. And understanding can defeat fear.

two women look at a computer
Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels
Voice 2 

A hate crime often starts with a bias. A bias is an opinion about someone who is different from you. A person often makes a bias because he does not understand people from another group. Often, we do not know people who belong to different religious or racial groups than ourselves. If we have never met someone from that group, we can easily form wrong opinions about them. These biases might be negative. Sometimes they encourage prejudices and hate.

Voice 1 

Every person has biases. Often, people do not even know their own biases. But they express biases in many forms. A person can express his bias in words or actions. The SPLC calls some incidents “bias incidents.” For example, a racial joke is a bias incident. Bias incidents do not involve criminal acts like beatings, starting fires, or damaging property.

Voice 2 

Hate groups try to use and encourage the biases people already feel. In fact, hate groups are usually very skilled at spreading their biases. They use propaganda. Propaganda is bias information that people use to spread a particular message. These hateful messages can appear as a painting on the side of a building, on a paper hanging in a local store, or even sometimes on television or the radio.

Voice 1 

Hate propaganda influences how people think of each other. It tries to represent groups of people as less than human. Slowly, members of a community begin to think that a particular group of people is not important or is harmful. Angry, scared individuals may attack the minority group. These criminals believe that their actions are accepted. They may even believe that they are doing good work.

Voice 2 

The SPLC says that most hate crimes are not committed by hate groups. They are committed by individuals, alone or in small groups. These individuals have listened to hate propaganda. They let their biases influence bad actions. These criminal actions are hate crimes.

Voice 1 

Any criminal act done against someone because of a bias is a hate crime. Attacking someone because of their religion, race, sexual history, sex, or disability is wrong. It is a hate crime. Many areas punish hate crimes severely. But how do we stop hate crimes from happening?

Voice 2 

First, it is important to try and understand your own biases. What do you know about people who are different to you? The first step is to learn about people who are different to you. Try to understand them. Learn about them. When we understand and listen to each other, we learn to accept our differences. Continue investigating your own biases.

Voice 1 

Second, if you observe or experience a hate crime, try to find out if a hate group was involved. You can also research facts about the particular hate group you are trying to stop. What does the group want? What signs or symbols represent the group?

Voice 2 

Experts say that members of hate groups often want to divide communities. They want to separate a community into racial, ethnic or religious groups. They may want to give particular groups in the community limited rights. Many do not respect or recognize the authority of the government. And they try to harm people who oppose them and their ideas.

Voice 1 

When you know about the hate groups in your area, you are more prepared to fight against the hate they represent. If you have children, talk to them about how they should react to hate. Share information you have learned with your community.

holding hands
Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay
Voice 2 

Information and education are powerful. When people have the facts, they can make better decisions. When people learn about other cultures, they do not feel threatened by them. Education helps people to understand the world and other people better.

Voice 1 

Hate and hate crimes cannot continue. Whole communities must join the fight against hate. We can all encourage tolerance and acceptance in our communities.

Voice 2 

This is the fifth program in a series of 10 programs on 10 ways to fight hate. This list is from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Southern Poverty Law Center is a website that tracks and reports on hate groups, especially in the Southern United States. Here are their 10 ways to fight hate.

Act, Join Forces, Support the Victims, Speak Up, Educate Yourself, Create An Alternative, Pressure Leaders, Stay Engaged, Teach Acceptance, and Dig Deeper

Voice 1 

Keep listening to Spotlight to hear the complete series. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at contact@spotlightenglish.com. You can also find us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Voice 2 

The writers of this program were Liz Waid and Amelia Berglund. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.spotlightenglish.com. This program is called “Ten Ways to Fight Hate: Educate Yourself.”

Voice 1 

Visit our website to download our free official App for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye!

Question:

Are there groups of people that you have never met? Try listening to and about someone different from you this week, and tell us what you learn

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6 comments
  • Making friends online is very normal and popular. I used to have a group online which have never met. One year ago, I enjoyed a group, there are 6 people. The purpose of the group is to learn and share the knowledge together in order to make a project. We are living in different cities. Includes people who live in Ho Chi Minh and Ha Noi. Although the distance is so far, we also connect via the screen and we can do good everything. There are some different likes the time, communication and even the way to express our point is so difficult. Luckily, All of us had overcome. I feel I am very lucky because when I was born I have a social network as well as there are some tools very helpful for me like google meet, zoom, Microsoft team, or skype. It helps me can do a lot of things. Nowadays, We are living in Covid 19. Of course, we must learn and work online. Students must make friends and create groups online for teamwork. And the worker must use the tools to create meeting and management tasks effectively. This status can lengthen if the Covid has not finished yet.

  • I have no chance to make friends with the black peoples. I know in my country that’s a strange. But I heard about them pretty much especially racist. I felt terrible when I saw that. Through this postcard, I wanna more people know how to fight against hate crime. Such as we should learn about the difference and understand it. And then when we know about the hate group we can make a right decision and fight.

  • Bias is a human condition with prejudice against groups and individuals because of their race, religion, disability, and especially sexual orientation. Deeply-embedded homophobic and transphobic attitudes, expose many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of all ages and in all regions of the world to egregious violations of their human rights. They are discriminated against in the labour market, in schools and in hospitals, mistreated and disowned by their own families. As a nation, we’ve made a lot of progress, but stereotyping and unequal treatment persist. As you respond to a LGBT hate crime, Do Not Attend a Hate Rally, search for information about it carefully, focusing on the rights of LGBT people around the world, don’t make assumptions about people’s sexual orientation or gender identity. And then, we can speak out against the use of antigay slurs, homophobia, transphobia and anti-LGBT harassment and discrimination.

  • I have never met any of the hate groups that the Spotlight program talks about, which may be a blessing in disguise, but I have met some of the victim groups, for example, some ethnic groups in my country that many people regard as being lazy, perhaps because they always receive subsidies from the government for the poor, and I never think about it, or something like that, and I am not impulsive.

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