Issue Of The Week XXVII: Significant Increase In Hate Groups In America Because Of Race And Religion

April 2, 2012
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Heidi Beirich, Ph.D. Photo Credit: otherwords.org

Each week, the White Privilege Conference and the Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion, housed at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS), hosts a half hour radio show called Intersections Radio that features an interview with a different author, scholar, and/or speaker.


In this segment, Heidi Beirich discusses the significant rise in hate groups throughout America because of race and religion. She leads one of the most highly regarded non-governmental operations monitoring hate groups and extremism in the world today. She oversees the production of SPLC's award-winning quarterly investigative journal, Intelligence Report, its Hatewatch blog and its annual hate group list. An expert on white nationalism, nativism and the racist neo-Confederate movement, Beirich also acts as a key SPLC spokeswoman for issues involving extremism. She has appeared on numerous television news programs and is regularly quoted by journalists and scholars in both the United States and abroad.

Beirich joined the SPLC staff in 1999 after earning a Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University, where she specialized in the study of white nationalism and neofascism in Europe and North America. She spent a year in Spain researching her dissertation on how the Spanish Constitutional Court helped rid that country of its fascist legacy. She also holds MA degrees in economics and political science. She earned her A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley. Beirich co-edited Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction, published by the University of Texas Press in 2008, and has been published in several academic journals. She has taught at major universities and has worked with other non-profits dedicated to combating human rights violations and poverty.

Intersections Radio is hosted by Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., founder of the White Privilege Conference (WPC), which is held annually in cities across the United States; and Daryl Miller, who works with the WPC and other programs of the Matrix Center. The WPC is an award-winning national diversity conference that serves as a yearly opportunity to examine and explore difficult issues related to white privilege, white supremacy, and oppression, and works to dismantle systems of power, prejudice, and inequality. College students from around the country participate in the conference for academic credit.
 

Comments

Its so sad to know that there is an increase of hate groups in a country that was once created by a mixer of people and is known as a melting pot. For people to have hatred towards others because of their race or religion is very disgraceful. There is no one religion or race that makes up the united students for people to reject other citizens of americans beliefs or ethinicity.I think it is important for their to be organizations to bring attention to these hate groups .by doing this is will allow people to focus their attention on the horrible things these groups are doing and end them to stop.

The United States has been through revolutions, civil rights, suffrage, and injustices. To think that this was just a mere imagination of our Country's history, is simply thinking ignorantly. Like the saying goes "History repeats itself". I believe this famous saying is America's representation of injustices. Conference groups is a way of prevailing the discourse that America was on. I think these Conference Groups are satisfying our societies needs for equality. Spreading an ample amount of awareness and searching solutions to social inequality is one step closer to obtaining peace.

We have come a long way, in terms of equality. And with good reason, too. But, unfortunately, we have not come far enough.
I understand that change and dissimilarities can make people uncomfortable. As human beings, we favor things, situations, and even people that are relatable to us, that don’t challenge us or beseech a large amount of effort from us.
Maybe we are inherently lazy or simply want to live comfortably; however, realistically, the world is made up of a mosaic of cultures and societies so brilliantly different and beautiful, they are impossible to ignore. Not only impossible, but shameful to close oneself off to the vast array of diversity. Anything who thinks differently, in my opinion, is seriously missing out.

I love your analogy of the mosaic - it is so true. All sorts of people are living together and comprise a beautiful canvas of different backgrounds. I also have to agree with you that people are often lazy and want to live comfortably when it comes to racial hatred. People who are privileged enjoy the amenities that are afforded to them, so it likely seems only logical to them that they maintain these privileges. In their minds, they think, "Why would I change my status - I like MY life." But this feeds in to a world of selfishness. If we want to put an end to discrimination, we not only need to harness the desire to do so, but also the recognition that we may lose a part of our lives in the process of equality.

Submitted by SBU-4S2012 on

Hate groups are not something that can be stopped overnight. Look how long it has taken us to get where we are today and the problem is still not solved. Anything anyone can do will make a difference we just can't expect to see results instantly.

As long as the sun is shining, racism will still exists. God bless the individuals who make endless efforts to stop racism and execute equality and peace. Then you have evil people who push their evil agendas to ensure that people are pitted against each other and for what? To make themselves feel better. People have died for standing up what they believed in and I feel like that's unfair. Why do people living in America have to accept a certain truth? Why is there increasing wealth gap among citizens in the U.S.? Evil people and their evil agendas. The people who classify themselves as the dominant group made sure they hurt, humiliate and dehumanize others anyway they can because of fear that those individuals will influence people with their ways of thinking (granted it be peaceful and positive). Things will get a whole lot worse before they can get any better.

It is really a tragedy that hate groups exist in the world. Simply put, hate groups are a conglomeration of ignorant individuals fighting an unjust cause. I feel that hate groups need to be eliminated because I recognize the domino effect they can have on a country. When hate groups are disseminating their prejudice against another individual or group of individuals, the victims undoubtedly rise up to rebel, which only creates more hatred because then the victims become the attackers. It is a vicious, cyclical process. The main problem that exists in society is that people don't appreciate the differences that exist among us. How boring would it be if everybody looked the same? What if all people had similar likes, dislikes, and interests. Our country was built by all different people, so all the different people who comprise it in modern day should be appreciated, instead of oppressed by vicious hate groups.

It is very disturbing that people have hate groups just because of race and religion. These people are clearly not open minded to the possibilities that this country has to offer. They are putting peoples dreams down. I believe these people need an eye opening experience and they should get one really quick. Its people like this that are hurting our society and keeping the country as it is now. This could be the best country in the world, but its because of ignorant people that will rid our country of that.

I would first like to state that I had no idea there was an organization dedicated to tracking and documenting hate group! It is interesting to know that individuals such as Dr. Beirich are conducting discourses on extremism. Although educating the public, specifically students, is an admirable thing, what's even more admirable would be to use extremist groups as examples not worth following.

In a place where hate drives so much discrimination, deaths etc., the notion of coming together is vital. To say that we should ALL come to a consencus and share in a kumbaya moment would be unfair. But, to say that we should have conversations based on our differences is realistic. Having conversations on the basis of differences certainly beats not having conversations at all. Allowing for isolation amongst us is thus allowing for hate groups to grow bigger and stronger.

It is absolutely disturbing to know that people are so narrow-minded that they can just hate someone because the world he/she was born into. Just because of the stereotypes people see on TV, they just assume that everyone from that group acts the same. Not all Jews are extremely concerned about money, not all African Americans are thieves and not all Muslims are terrorists as it is shown in the media. Suppressing such groups would not do any good, in fact it could lead to worse problems. As media was used to create stereotypes, the same media could be used to educate those members of hate groups. It takes tremendous amount of effort to unlock the handcuffs in minds of people but long-term plans would succeed like in most of the social scenarios.

I think that it is absolutely wrong that people in our country have formed hate groups. It is even worse that the amount of hate groups in this country has been increasing recently. This country was created based on the fact that we wanted to be free, and we were going to be accepting of many different people. Our country is known as the "melting pot," so it is absolutely wrong that we have so many hate groups in our country. Why do people have to hate on other people so much? The authorities should be trying to put an end to the bad things these groups are doing and the problems they are causing.

I find it not very surprising that there is a rise in organizations promoting hatred, and i think that religion is the root of this problem. Religion breeds a superiority complex within humans. Religion is an absolute idea, and it requires by its very nature to be believed absolutely. Religion requires a person to submit their lives to a supernatural diety, whatever it may be. This devotion to a diety and unfounded belief is the root of hatred. Religion allows for intolerance, and calls for it often. I see this as a huge divider in America, especially within the presidential race. Allowing a group to converge and spew hatred is often under the guise of religious freedoms and beliefs. There are so many hateful ideologies that are detrimental to the fabric of society, religion breeds and attempts to justify this hatred.