While city officials, state agencies, white liberals, and sober-minded Negroes stand idly by, a group of Negro dissenters is taking to street-corner step ladders, church pulpits, sports arenas, and ballroom platforms across the United States, to preach a gospel of hate that would set off a federal investigation if it were preached by Southern whites.
During the course of the program, Wallace told viewers more about the Nation of Islam, which he described as "the most powerful of the Black supremacist groups". The documentary included footage of the University of Islam, a school run by the Nation, where, according to Wallace, "Muslim children are taught to hate the white man". It also showed portions of a large Nation of Islam rally, while Wallace told viewers that the organization had 250,000 members, a tremendously inflated number.
The Hate That Hate Produced included interviews between Lomax and Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam. When Lomax asked him whether he was preaching hate, Muhammad answered that he was just teaching truth. Muhammad said he believed Black people were divine and white people were devils. He also said that Allah was a Black man.
The program also included Lomax's interviews with Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam's charismatic spokesman. Lomax asked him if all white people were evil, and Malcolm X explained that white people collectively were evil: "History is best qualified to reward all research, and we don't have any historic example where we have found that they have, collectively, as a people, done good." When he was asked about the Nation's schools, such as the University of Islam, Malcolm X denied that they taught Black children to hate; he said they were being taught the same things white students were taught, "minus the little Black Sambo story and things that were taught to you and me when we were coming up, to breed that inferiority complex in us."
One of the first things Wallace said about Muhammad and Malcolm X was that they had served time in prison, a statement that seemed designed to call their leadership credentials into question and suggest the organization itself was criminal. Wallace referred to "this disturbing story" and used phrases such as "Black supremacy", "Black racism", and "gospel of hate" to frighten the white audience, critics say, and no effort was made to balance the presentation.
Most state hate crime laws include crimes committed on the basis of race, color, and religion; many also include crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability.
The "crime" in hate crime is often a violent crime, such as assault, murder, arson, vandalism, or threats to commit such crimes. It may also cover conspiring or asking another person to commit such crimes, even if the crime was never carried out.
In 2009, Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, expanding the federal definition of hate crimes, enhancing the legal toolkit available to prosecutors, and increasing the ability of federal law enforcement to support our state and local partners. This law removed then existing jurisdictional obstacles to prosecutions of certain race- and religion-motivated violence, and added new federal protections against crimes based on gender, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Before the Civil Rights Division prosecutes a hate crime, the Attorney General or someone the Attorney General designates must certify, in writing, that (1) the state does not have jurisdiction; (2) the state has requested that the federal government assume jurisdiction; (3) the verdict or sentence obtained pursuant to state charges did not demonstratively vindicate the federal interest in eradicating bias-motivated violence; or (4) a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.
When bias motivates an unlawful act, it is considered a hate crime. Most hate crimes are inspired by race and religion, but hate today wears many faces. Bias incidents (eruptions of hate where no crime is committed) also tear communities apart and can escalate into actual crimes.
Also call on local law enforcement officials. Work to create a healthy relationship with local police; working together, human rights groups and law enforcement officials can track early warning signs of hate brewing in a community, allowing for a rapid and unified response.
Often, hate attacks include vicious symbols: a burning cross, a noose, a swastika. Such symbols evoke a history of hatred. They also reverberate beyond individual victims, leaving entire communities vulnerable and afraid.
We urge victims of hate crime to report it to police. If you are a victim of a hate crime, only you can decide whether to reveal your identity. But many victims have found the courage to lend their names to fighting hate. You can, too!
Report every incident. If you are a member of a targeted group, harassment could continue. What began as egg-throwing at five black families in rural Selbrook, Alabama, escalated for 18 months until hate mail made it a federal offense. The story made the news, police patrolled and harassment declined.
You can spread tolerance through social media and websites, church bulletins, door-to-door fliers, letters to the editor, and print advertisements. Hate shrivels under strong light. Beneath their neo-Nazi exteriors, hatemongers are cowards and are surprisingly subject to public pressure and ostracism.
Educate reporters, editors, and publishers about hate groups, their symbols, and their impact on victims and communities. Put them in touch with hate experts like the Southern Poverty Law Center. Urge editorial writers and columnists to take a stand against hate.
Do not debate hate group members on conflict-driven talk shows or public forums. Your presence lends them legitimacy and publicity. They use code words to cover their beliefs. And they misinterpret history and Bible verses in a manner that may be difficult to counter during a live forum.
Most hate crimes, however, are not committed by members of hate groups; the Southern Poverty Law Center estimates fewer than 5 percent. Many hate crimes are committed by young males acting alone or in small groups, often for thrills. While these perpetrators may act independently, they are sometimes influenced by the dehumanizing rhetoric and propaganda of hate groups.
A hate crime must meet two criteria: A crime must happen, such as physical assault, intimidation, arson, or vandalism; and the crime must be motivated, in whole or in part, by bias. The list of biases included in state or federal hate crime statutes varies. Most include race, ethnicity, and religion. Some also include sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and/or disability. As you respond to a hate crime, check specific statutes in your area, then consider working to add missing categories, to protect vulnerable community members.
Hate has a First Amendment right. Courts have routinely upheld the constitutional right of the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups to hold rallies and say whatever they want. Communities can restrict group movements to avoid conflicts with other citizens, but hate rallies will continue. Your efforts should focus on channeling people away from hate rallies.
Do not attend a hate rally. As much as you might like to physically show your opposition to hate, confrontations serve only the perpetrators. They also burden law enforcement with protecting hatemongers from otherwise law-abiding citizens. If an event featuring a hate group, avowed separatist or extremist is coming to your college campus, hold a unity rally on a different part of campus. Invite campus clubs, sororities, fraternities and athletic organizations to support your efforts.
The fight against hate needs community leaders willing to take an active role. The support of mayors, police chiefs, college presidents, school principals, local clergy, business leaders, and others can help your community address the root causes of hate and help turn bias incidents into experiences from which your community can learn and heal.
Too often, the fear of negative publicity, a lack of partnerships with affected communities, and a failure to fully understand hate and bias can prevent leaders from stepping up. Their silence creates a vacuum in which rumors spread, victims feel ignored, and perpetrators find tacit acceptance.
Form relationships with community leaders before a hate incident occurs. If your community group already has a relationship with the mayor, for example, you will be better positioned to ask for a public statement in the event of a hate crime.
Demand a quick, serious police response. The vigorous investigation and prosecution of hate crimes attract media attention to issues of tolerance and encourage the public to stand up against hate.
Demand a strong public statement by political leaders. When elected officials issue proclamations against hate, it helps promote tolerance and can unify communities. Silence, on the other hand, can be interpreted as the acceptance of hate.
Encourage leaders to name the problem. Local leaders sometimes try to minimize incidents fueled by hate or bias by not calling them hate crimes. As a result, victims and their communities can feel silenced, and national hate crime statistics become inaccurate.
A Connecticut-based group, Everyday Democracy, helps communities look long-range by creating dialogue groups in which residents discuss issues of inclusion before tensions can boil over into bias incidents and hate crimes.
People victimized by violent hate crimes are more likely to experience more psychological distress than victims of other violent crimes.ii Specifically, victims of crimes that are bias-motivated are more likely to experience post-traumatic stress, safety concerns, depression, anxiety and anger than victims of crimes that are not motivated by bias.iii,iv,v 2b1af7f3a8