Fight This Hate: A Weekly Roundup

White Supremacy Group You Need to Know About

“During the past five years, white supremacists, some of them members of gangs or organized political groups, have murdered at least 22 people, according to the Global Terrorism Database and news reports.” This is a quote from a ProPublica article about the white supremacy group called Rise Above Movement (RAM). RAM is based in Southern California, and is made up of about fifty members who train in street fighting, martial arts, and other violent methods. They pride themselves on using their tactics against counter protestors.

Two dozen RAM members were in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, where they battled with a handful of counter protestors, many of them African American, at about ten in the morning. One white man in particular was said to dive into the melee, using his fists and feet to attack one person after another. ProPublica spent weeks examining the RAM group after the Charlottesville attack.

The group has boasted publicly about their violence in protests in Huntington Beach, San Bernardino, and Berkeley, California. Many of the group’s members, including the man described above in Charlottesville, Ben Daly, have criminal backgrounds. RAM functions as a white supremacist street fighting club. Many of their actions have been videotaped.

Although groups such as RAM are known to law enforcement, little has been done to stop them. Read ProPublica’s article to learn more.

White supremacists open fire on counter protestors

In Florida, three white supremacists have been arrested for shooting into a crowd of anti-racism protestors. White nationalist Richard Spencer spoke at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

According to Gainesville police, “… the trio stopped by the group of protesters shortly before 5:30 pm on Thursday, allegedly threatening the protesters, doing Nazi salutes, and shouting chants about Hitler. [28-year-old Tyler] Tenbrink then reportedly pulled out a firearm, and the Fears brothers told him to shoot it at the protesters. He fired once, but missed (no one was hurt).” The three men arrested are Tenbrink, 30-year-old William Fears, and 28-year-old Colton Fears, all from Texas, and all are now being held on charges of attempted homicide for shooting at the group of protesters.

The Fears brothers have a history of racism. Tenbrink was reportedly a member of the white lives matter group in Houston, Texas.

Fight Back

Read this article for five ways white people can fight white supremacy.

Support Southern Law Poverty Center.

Support ACLU.

A Dog’s Life?

You’ve probably heard about Lulu, the dog who simply wouldn’t take to bomb sniffing as her life’s work. She was destined to go to the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia. She was not interested. The training lasts six weeks, seven days a week, and prepares dogs to then spend their lives (seven or eight years at least) working sixty hours a week sniffing for bombs. When dogs lose interested, the trainers try to entice them back with food and treats. But if they won’t come around, they are dismissed from the CIA program.

In regular life, working dog breeds, such as herding dogs, seem to enjoy working, and they work alongside their human companions to manage sheep, cattle, horses, etc. They get exercise, spend time outdoors, and are well cared for as valuable members of the team. When the humans knock off for the day, the dogs do too.

Lulu was lucky enough to be adopted by her handler, and now spends her life as a pet, not a bomb-sniffer. Not all dropouts are so lucky. The CIA did not reveal what happens to them.

As an animal activist, I am interested in the welfare of all animals, including trained worker dogs. I’m glad Lulu has a home and a regular dog’s life. I wonder whether sixty hours a week is too much for dogs that have to sniff for bombs.

Fat Phobia Destroys

Jane E. Brody has been the personal health columnist at the New York Times since 1976. I’ve been reading her work since at least 1977. She writes books about good nutrition, good food, how to fight allergies, how to fight cancer, and more. She covers all manner of subjects about the health of human beings.

Recently, she wrote about how fat bias starts early in life, and the serious toll it takes on people. Brody quotes from well-researched and well-regarded studies, as well as her “very slender friend” who admitted to her own bias. Brody says, “Whether explicit or implicit, weight-based bias can be counterproductive, impairing the ability of overweight people to lose weight and keep it off. Studies by Rebecca M. Puhl and colleagues at the University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, among others, have found that overweight and obese people who experience weight-based bias and who manage to lose weight are less able to maintain their weight loss.”

As a person who has been fat since my late twenties, I know from personal experience most of the biases that fat people face. By doctors’ standards, I am obese. Many people say to me, “I don’t consider you fat.” Or, “You’re not fat.” But those statements are reflective of our society’s standards. Fat is so shameful and abhorrent [to many people] that we don’t want our friends or family to say they are fat, even if their doctors say they are. Personally, I believe we need to call ourselves fat and change the language in order to help destroy the biases. Overweight and underweight are terms that imply there is a normal weight, versus a range of weights.

The myth of an “obesity epidemic” and its costs to society contribute to fat phobia and fat bias. If you believe in these things, I urge you to read harder, challenge these beliefs. Everything fat people die from, thin people die from.

Jane Brody writes, “Even people who simply think they’re overweight – regardless of what they weigh – may be ‘at increased risk for weight gain and eating more in response to social threats,’ Dr. Puhl wrote. Three long-term studies involving more than 14,000 adults in the United States and Britain showed that adults who thought of themselves as overweight were more likely to gain weight over time, regardless of what they originally weighed and whether their self-perception of being overweight was accurate.” This statement itself includes bias in the language, but Brody is trying to show how important it is to drop the bias.

Fight the Hate

Arm yourself with knowledge about how weight bullying damages children and others, and do what you can to make it stop. Here are some ways.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *