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.
Violence against Women
“Women’s rights are the fundamental human rights that were enshrined by the United Nations for every human being on the planet nearly 70 years ago. These rights include the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn a fair and equal wage.
As the now-famous saying goes, “women’s rights are human rights.” That is to say, women are entitled to all of these rights. Yet almost everywhere around the world, women and girls are still denied them, often simply because of their gender.” The quote is from The Global Fund for Women.
March is Women’s History Month. Historically, women have been oppressed. Many women have fought back. One such group consisted of the women in the Black Panther Party. An article about them includes one women who says that President Trump’s win might actually be good for women. Not all the women agreed. Several BPP women are spotlighted.
While simultaneously cutting funds to reduce violence against women, President Trump ordered tracking of so-called “honor killings” of women as part of his Muslim ban.
Women’s oppression takes many forms. One man noticed a different reaction than usual to one of his email messages (to a client), and saw he had accidentally sent the message using his subordinate’s names. He and she then embarked on a two-week experiment of switching their names on email messages. He was shocked to see how much harder he had to work to convince his clients his suggestions were correct. She was thrilled to learn how much more work she could get done when she didn’t have to constantly defend her expert advice.
Another form of oppression of women is so intrusive (and pervasive) it is being called violence. Bitch Media quotes from seven studies that show how often men interrupt women compared to how often they interrupt men. This phenomenon is known colloquially as “Mansplaining.” Mansplaining is so common an app has been developed to track it.
More serious are rapes, murder, stalking, and beatings of women by men. While “honor killings” are relatively rare in the United States, other forms of violence are common. More than 600 women per day are reported raped or assaulted in this country. More than a thousand women are murdered by their boyfriends or husbands every year. Domestic violence figures are nearly 5 million cases every year. The National Organization for Women says, “When we consider race, we see that African-American women face higher rates of domestic violence than white women, and American-Indian women are victimized at a rate more than double that of women of other races.”
Education and awareness are key. Learn self-defense techniques so you can literally fight back. Be aware of your rights. Report assaults, rape, sexual harassment to the authorities. Call the domestic violence hotline if you need help. Know that domestic violence crosses all income levels, all races, and is perpetrated by all genders.
More than 4,000 cases of sex slavery have been reported in the United States. But not all cases are reported, as part of the enslavement is the silencing of the victims. According to the FBI, more than 100,000 children are sold for sex in the US every year.
One woman was pulled into sex slavery at the age of 17 by a pimp. Her story is told in The Atlantic. Most victims are sold via the Internet. Most also have access to a cell phone, but are too scared to call for help.
More than 100,000 cases of children being sold for sex in the United States per year, means thousands of adults are buying them. Men in your city, your block, your neighborhood are exploiting these kids.
If you know or suspect a case of sex trafficking, call the national hotline. The US Department of State lists 15 ways you can fight back against human trafficking. They include calling the hotline above, learning the signs, raising awareness, raising funds, and more.
A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling allowing New Orleans to remove three Confederate monuments in the city – likely resolving the case in which the Southern Poverty Law Center and others filed a legal brief that urged the monuments’ removal and documented their connections to the Confederacy’s legacy of white supremacy.
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.