Fight this Hate shows a small selection of hate crimes and/or harassment that has taken place recently in the United States. Southern Poverty Law Center keeps detailed accounts of hate crimes. Colorlines tracks all manner of topics related to race and publishes them daily. The following incidents are only a small sample, and each includes a form of direct action.
Women’s March on Washington and Sister Marches
On January 21, 2017, hundreds of thousands of women and their allies will march in cities across the United States. Women are marching in solidarity against hate. November 2016 gave us another election in which the popular vote for the presidential candidate did not result in that candidate’s installation into office. The election resulted in an immediate plan for a women’s march on Washington.
There are now marches organized in fifty states as well as some marches in other countries. There has been a certain amount of movement within the organized marches. In Washington the name of the march was changed. In Portland, Oregon there was enough discussion on the Facebook page to cause a reorganization. There were instances of questions and comments from people of color being ignored, and even deleted. The newly appointed Margaret Jacobsen says she welcomes discussion because it results in more inclusion. She posts: “Intersectional feminism is the next wave.”
The New York City group promises to be diverse. Its mission statement is simply: “To provide a safe and accepting platform for supporters of equality to rally and march in promotion of civil rights for every human regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, religion or creed.” In Los Angeles, the women’s march organizers say “The march is open to everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties, tolerance of diversity, and compassion for our shared humanity.”
San Diego Women’s March offers a Facebook Event page only. The organizers say the march there is a diverse group united “in our respect for all people and we resist the marginalization of anyone…. We stand firm in agreement that women’s rights are human rights.”
The St. Louis Women’s March states: “Everyone supporting women’s rights is welcome to attend this free event.”
The national march, where twelve hundred buses have registered to deliver participants and 200,000 are expected to attend, has a website with a well-articulated mission that unites us all in standing for the rights, justice, and dignity of us all. Marchers can anticipate reaction from groups who support Trump. In DC for example, Bikers for Trump is expecting 5,000 people to gather to celebrate at the John Marshall Park across from the National Gallery of Art on Constitution Avenue in Washington. According to its initial application with the Park Service, the group will be in Washington on Jan. 20 and 21.
PROTECT YOUR PROTEST:
- Prepare ahead of time: Wear weather appropriate clothing. Wear protective and comfortable shoes. Wear a scarf around your neck in case of tear gas.
- Take care of yourself and fellow marchers: Be aware of the particular needs of those around you, especially children, older people, and people with disabilities.
- Be aware of counter-protestors.
- Be aware of police presence, including those in plain clothes.
- Your primary job is to get back safely.
In recent weeks threats have been made against both Muslim and Jewish people.
Mosques in several cities in seven states received identical letters stating “there’s a new sheriff in town” Donald Trump and “he will do to you what Hitler did to the Jews.”
The letter was sent to Muslim faith centers in Providence, Rhode Island; Savannah, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cleveland, Ohio; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Miami Gardens, Florida; and San Jose, Fresno, Pomona, Granada Hills, Signal Hill, and Los Angeles, California. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called for a federal investigation.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports police and the FBI are looking into a series of bomb threats that were made to Jewish Community Centers in Tenafly, New Jersey; Rockville, Maryland; Miami Beach, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Columbia, South Carolina; and Nashville, Tennessee.
All the bomb threats were made on the same day, and in all cases there were no bombs found.
Be aware. Listen, listen, and listen. Step up and step in when you see a person under attack.
This comic may help you know what to do if you see someone under attack.
The New York State Police have a website on how to stop hate crime.
Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia, has created a website of resources, including how to report a hate crime, resources for victims, statistics, and much more.
Sandra de Helen, author of the lesbian thriller Till Darkness Comes also pens the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson series. She is a poet, journalist, and a playwright. Her plays have been produced in the Philippines, Ireland and Canada, Chicago, New York City, and in thirteen states. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dramatists Guild. Her books are available online, at Another Read Through Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, and Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego. Samples of her work are available on her website.