Hate incidents — motivated by intense hostility against an entire group on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, gender, sexual identity or other group membership — abound in schools.
Hate can include hate speech, hurting someone physically, taunting or hurtful teasing, leaving someone out or saying bad things so others will think less of them, or using online and mobile technology to harm someone emotionally and socially.
While most people associate hate incidents with extremist groups like the Ku Klux Klan or White Supremacists, it occurs in everyday life, such as verbal abuse or insults, slurs or ridicule, bullying or cyberbullying, or racist graffiti on the walls.
It often takes the form of beliefs in the superiority of one group over another, such as racism, sexism, nativism, homophobia, anti-Semitism Islamophobia, or other beliefs that become “normalized” unless people challenge them.
Hate often originates in insecurity or fear that other groups will overtake them, such as when white supremacists marched with torches chanting “the Jews will not replace us.” They had a right to freedom of speech under the law, but then were arrested for punching, kicking and choking anti-racism protesters at white nationalist rallies in Virginia and California.
Immediately after the last presidential election in which one of the candidates labeled white supremacists as “good people,” and expressed racist views against Mexicans — “send them back” —- and Arabs and Arab-Americans — “burn their mosques” — reported a surge of racist language, racial slurs, and the harassment of minority children. There was an increase in incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes and Confederate flags. White boys in a wealthy white suburb of Detroit made a video of themselves with swastikas on their chests.
Download the Organizing Against Hate Case Study.
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