You might think, “another post about Stop the Hate?” YES! Another post to remind you that hate and bias incidents are ongoing issues and they are really important. In order to help reduce and stop hate acts we need to be educated about them!!
Today we talked specifically about the attraction of hate and hate motivators. Misinformation, lack of education, and peer pressure, promote unquestioning acceptance of propaganda and motivate people to commit hate crimes. There are four types of hate motivators that we learned about at this session. The motivators are thrill-seeking, reactive, retaliatory, and mission driven. Thrill-seeking as a motivator likely causes a group of people looking for excitement to act. They choose a vulnerable member of any group different from their own and purposefully start an altercation. This commonly happens through peer pressure and the largest group to participate in this behavior is teen boys between the ages of 16 and 25. Offenders commonly say, “it was a joke”. Reaction often motivates an individual or a smaller group of people who feel their territory has been violated. The perpetrators try to defend and define the territory and common phrases you could hear from them are, “they don’t belong here” or “I’m protecting my interests from undesirables”. Thirdly, we have Retaliatory. People in this category are often swept up in a mob or riot situation. A random member of the group thought to have caused some injustice gets caught in the middle and ends up getting hurt. A phrase you could here from someone motivated this way is “we have to take matters into our own hands”. Mission is the final motivator we learned about today. A mission is often carried out by an individual who may have documented history of mental illness. They target as many members of the opposing group as possible and they generally have a sense of urgency about the mission and a widespread belief in minority conspiracy. A person on a mission might think or say “I am ridding the world of evil”.
Everyone can help stop the hate! “It is as simple as calling your uncle/brother/aunt/sister or whoever out for a racist joke or comment at the dinner table during thanksgiving dinner”, said Val Wetzel, who ran the session this evening. Little kids aren’t born knowing how to hate others. They learn it from somewhere. Even comments around a dinner table can be absorbed by young ears. Think about what you say and do and who you will affect if you are questioning saying or doing something !
We saw a few of your faces at tonight’s session and hope to see more of you at the next. Have a good night!
Amanda and Jesse