Republicans weaponize hate speech
Hate is a deadly political strategy.
Henry Berg-Brousseau, who had supported transgender rights since he was in high school, died by suicide at 24. “This hate building across the country weighed on him,” said his mother, Dr. Berg, a Kentucky state senator and a radiologist. “This hate building across the country weighed on him,” and implored people to “practice tolerance and grace.” – NYT
Where has hate speech and racism resulted in mass shootings? What role do FOX, Facebook and Twitter play in amplifying hate speech? Which groups are helping support communities and advocate for tolerance? What lessons does Pastor Niemöller offer from his experience during the Holocaust?
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Hate as a political strategy
“Intimidation and violence against gay and transgender Americans has exploded in recent years, driven by an increasingly vitriolic political conversation. Just this year, members of the Proud Boys and other extremist groups have converged on drag events and participated in anti-L.G.B.T.Q. rallies. Last month, five people were killed — two were transgender, a third was gay — in a shooting at an L.G.B.T.Q. club in Colorado Springs.
Across the country, Republican state lawmakers have focused attention on transgender people and other L.G.B.T.Q. issues by introducing bills that aim to limit what doctors call gender-affirming care, restrict what students are taught in the classroom about gender and sexuality, bar some transgender students from participating in school sports and require students to use restrooms for the gender listed on their original birth certificates.” – NY Times
There are dozens of examples of hate inspired incidents of violence. We limited this story to four incidents along with the groups that are helping support victims and advocate for tolerance. The StoryMap includes links to more information and how readers can support these nonprofit groups. This GIF was created using the free iMovie app with cartoons licensed from Political Cartoons.
“First they came…”
There’s an important lesson from the Holocaust in which the Nazis targeted violence against vulnerable groups.
“First they came …” is the poetic form of a 1946 post-war confessional prose by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). It is about the silence of German intellectuals and certain clergy—including, by his own admission, Niemöller himself—following the Nazis‘ rise to power and subsequent incremental purging of their chosen targets, group after group.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
This poem was paraphrased and converted into a GIF with the free BigStage Teleprompter app.
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TakeAway: Speak up against politicized hate speech. “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” – John Stuart Mill
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