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.
The War on Immigrants
Trump promised to build a wall between the US and Mexico, and he is setting plans in motion to fulfill that promise. He signed an executive order for immediate construction. In the order, he also added language that allows him to aggressively find and deport unauthorized immigrants. And he specifically barred Syrian refugees from entering the United States.
According to Steve Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration law at Cornell University, in the New York Times: “This is the largest expansion of any president in terms of who is a priority for removal. Every administration has to prioritize who they will go after with their limited enforcement resources. This goes further than any other president. To make it simple: If someone is here illegally they are targets for removal.”
In directing the Security of Homeland Security to “make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens” the executive order creates an opportunity for targeting people, much like Hitler did with the Jewish people. In an atmosphere where people are sorted into “us” and “them” categories, it’s one more step toward creating fantasies that result in more hate crime. Trump calls for a weekly report to be published. Trump’s intention is “to better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions.” In the 1930’s a weekly tabloid published in Germany called Der Stürmer (The Stormer/Attacker/Striker) highlighted crimes committed by those of Jewish heritage and faith. We know what happened next.
Be like Madeleine Albright. When the government requires Muslims to register, step right up.
Dakota Access Pipeline
Trump issued a memorandum calling for the Army Corps of Engineers to forego the Environmental Impact Statement process and approve the pipeline. He is appointing his own people day by day, so it will be his appointees who act. Oil spills are inevitable with oil pipelines. Canada spilled 200,000 liters of oil on aboriginal land. Two days later an Iowa pipeline leaked 140,000 gallons of diesel in farm country. An oil spill from earlier in the month of 40,000 gallons crude oil into Yellowstone River in Montana has already affected the drinking water nearby.
Be like Malia Obama, and take a stand. Make your voice heard. Telephone calls to your congress people are better than email or even letters, according to Kara Waite, an activist in Massachusetts. She offers her methods to anyone interested, in a google document.
News Media Told to Shut Up
Our new president tells lies and the official “counselor to the president” Kellyann Conway says they are “alternative facts.” The press secretary says the women’s march numbers were wrong. Trump himself says it didn’t rain on him. We see with our own eyes, and the facts are documented on film, yet we are told to ignore the evidence and listen to Trump. Bannon, Chief of Staff and chief advisor, told the New York Times the media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center writes that Stephen K. Bannon is the whisperer-in-chief, that he rallied a growing white nationalist movement behind Trump, and now has the president’s ear.
We are in dangerous territory, as the nation relies on media to do the opposite of “shut up.” On Inauguration Day, six journalists and more than 200 others were arrested and faced felony rioting charges, which could result in a sentence of up to ten years in prison. Charges have been dropped against one journalist so far.
It’s hard to ROAR with your mouth shut.
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.