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Exposing Hate: Prejudice, Hatred, and Violence in Action

Exposing Hate: Prejudice, Hatred, and Violence in Action

Автор Michael Miller

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Exposing Hate: Prejudice, Hatred, and Violence in Action

Автор Michael Miller

202 страницы
2 часа
1 янв. 2019 г.


  • 5KN: Traditional Nonfiction
  • Diverse Books: Social Justice
1 янв. 2019 г.

Об авторе

Michael Miller is a prolific and best-selling writer. He has written more than 200 books over the past three decades on a variety of nonfiction topics. He graduated from Indiana University and worked in the publishing business. He lives in Minnesota with his wife Sherry.

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Exposing Hate - Michael Miller


To my precious grandchildren, who I hope can grow up in a world with a little less hate in it

Text copyright © 2019 by Lerner Publishing Group

All rights reserved. International copyright secured. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the prior written permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc., except for the inclusion of brief quotations in an acknowledged review.

Twenty-First Century Books

A division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

241 First Avenue North

Minneapolis, MN 55401 USA

For reading levels and more information, look up this title at www.lernerbooks.com.

Main body text set in Adobe Garamond Pro Regular 11/15.

Typeface provided by provided by Adobe Systems.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Miller, Michael, 1958– author.

Title: Exposing hate : prejudice, hatred, and violence in action / Michael Miller.

Description: Minneapolis : Twenty-First Century Books, [2019] | Audience: Age: 13–18. | Audience: Grade 9 to 12. | Includes bibliographical references and index. |

Identifiers: LCCN 2018021233 (print) | LCCN 2018026644 (ebook) | ISBN 9781541543911 (eb pdf) | ISBN 9781541539259 (lb : alk. paper)

Subjects: LCSH: Right-wing extremists. | Hate groups. | Hate speech. | Hate.

Classification: LCC HN49.R33 (ebook) | LCC HN49.R33 M555 2019 (print) | DDC 305.5/68—dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018021233

Manufactured in the United States of America

1 - 45127 - 35942 - 10/10/2018


Chapter 1

Violence Erupts: Extremism Turning to Hate

Chapter 2

A Long History: Hate in the United States

Chapter 3

Organizing Hate: Hate Groups

Chapter 4

Enacting Hate: Hate Crimes

Chapter 5

Promoting Hate: Hate Speech

Chapter 6

Drawn In: Why Some Choose Hate

Chapter 7

Resist: Combating Hate


Source Notes

Selected Bibliography

Further Information


Chapter 1

Violence Erupts:

Extremism Turning to Hate

In the early morning of August 12, 2017, the usually quiet college town of Charlottesville, Virginia, was anything but quiet. A large group was gathering to protest the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, the famous leader of Southern troops during the American Civil War (1861–1865). The Unite the Right rally attracted a number of extreme alt-right, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist groups, all of whom stand against removing Confederate symbols from the American South. These protesters support Confederate symbols as a part of southern culture. They also support the Confederate belief in the superiority of the white race over other minorities, particularly blacks. (In this book, white refers to people who can trace their ancestral roots to Europe.) They view removing Confederate symbols—such as flags and statues—as attacks on the white race. On this day, they wanted to use the Charlottesville rally to take a public stand in support of their racial views.

The night before the official Unite the Right rally on August 12, 2017, protesters met at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The group carried torches and chanted white power slogans as they marched through campus. A small clash with a group of counterprotesters hinted at what was to come the next day.

The rally was scheduled to kick off at noon on Saturday. But rallygoers started arriving at Emancipation Park around eight in the morning. The crowd included a wide variety of extremist groups and militias, or citizen groups organized as a military force. In response, hundreds of counterprotesters gathered. Tensions flared from the very beginning, and rallygoers and counterprotesters yelled insults and chants. Small fights started up and died down. Eventually, a large-scale fight broke out as rally marchers and counterprotesters attacked each other, punching, swinging wooden clubs, and spraying chemical irritants into the crowd. As fighting grew more out of hand, police stepped in to break up the fights and turn people away. The police declared an unlawful assembly, saying it was illegal for individuals to continue to gather because of the threat to public safety and peace. The crowds started to split up, and the Unite the Right rally was canceled before it officially began.

But the violence of the day was not over. One of the rallygoers was a twenty-year-old man from Ohio named James Fields Jr. Fields had a history of violence. As a teen, he had attacked his wheelchair-bound mother several times, once with a knife. He was a Nazi sympathizer and a member of Vanguard America, a white supremacist group that believes the United States should be an exclusively white nation.

At 1:14 p.m. that Saturday afternoon, Fields turned his car toward a crowded intersection where counterprotesters had gathered. Fields plowed into the crowd, sending bodies flying through the air. He threw his car into reverse and backed into more people before speeding away.

Nineteen counterprotesters were injured in the attack. One of them, Heather Heyer, died at the scene. Heyer was a thirty-two-year-old Charlottesville resident and a paralegal with a local law firm. She was also an activist, speaking out against inequality and encouraging her coworkers to be more active in their community to fight for social justice. She died from blunt-force injury to the chest after Fields’s car hit her.

The police arrested Fields about 1 mile (1.6 km) away from the incident. They took him into custody and charged him with second-degree murder, five counts of malicious wounding, three counts of aggravated malicious wounding, and one count of hit and run. Heyer’s ashes were buried in an unmarked, undisclosed location. In October 2018, four alleged members of the California-based Rise Above Movement hate group were arrested and charged with attending the Unite the Right rally and actively promoting violent rioting there.

Mourners and fellow activists set up an informal memorial to Heather Heyer, placing flowers and tributes of love in the place where she was struck by Fields’s car following the Unite the Right rally.

What Is a Hate Group?

Many of the Unite the Right rallygoers, including Fields, were members of organized hate groups. Hate groups advocate hatred and violence toward members of a specific race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. The hate groups represented in Charlottesville were primarily white supremacists, neo-Confederates, and neo-Nazis. Members of these types of groups believe that whites are by nature superior to blacks and other minority races. They oppose removing statues that memorialize Confederate leaders who played an important role in defending this belief.

Hate groups, however, are not all pro-Confederate or antiblack—they come in all shapes and sizes. The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Alabama, is a leader in monitoring hate groups across the United States. It defines a hate group as an organization that—based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities—has beliefs or practices that attack or malign [harm] an entire class of people, typically for their immutable [unchangeable] characteristics.

In other words, a hate group is an organization that attacks or harms an entire group of people for characteristics they cannot change. This type of organized hate exists across the United States and around the world—and it’s growing. In 1999 the Southern Poverty Law Center officially recognized 457 hate groups in the United States. By 2017 (the most recent year for which data is available), that number had grown to 954 active hate groups.

Hate groups practice discrimination and hatred. They pinpoint specific groups and individuals and often commit violent actions against them. Members of hate groups typically target minority groups. Over the years, various hate groups have persecuted blacks; Asians; Muslims; Jews; Catholics; women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals; immigrants; foreigners; and others. Some minority hate groups, though far fewer, target the white majority in the United States.

Symbols of Hate

The Charlottesville Unite the Right rally took place more than 150 years after the end of the Civil War. In this conflict, the South (also known as the Confederate States of America) fought for its right to exist as a separate nation where slavery would remain legal. The North fought to end slavery and to keep the United States one united nation.

Racism remains a reality in the twenty-first-century United States, and Confederate symbols are controversial. Some southerners claim the Confederate flag and symbolic depictions of famous Confederate generals are an important representation of the South. They feel that removing Confederate monuments undermines the South’s history and culture. In some states, it is illegal to take them down. Other Americans believe Confederate symbols emphasize an offensive and violent history of oppression based in slavery, racial discrimination, and prejudice. Since the election of Barack Obama in 2008 as the nation’s first black president and with the election of conservative Donald Trump as president in 2016, the debate has intensified.

Violent attacks against black Americans have demonstrated the power of symbols related to race relations in the United States. One prominent example is the 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a gunman killed nine black Americans attending a bible study session. The gunman was twenty-one-year-old self-described white supremacist Dylann Roof. He chose the church for its historical significance as one of the oldest black congregations in the South. The church had also played a meaningful role in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. After the shooting, pictures of Roof posing with a Confederate flag surfaced online. Many Americans were outraged by the connection to acts of violence directly associated with ideologies (belief systems) from Confederate history. In response, many states and cities across the South removed the Confederate flag and other symbols of the Confederacy from public lands and buildings. The tragedy forced the nation to take a closer look at the continued presence of a glorified history of the Confederacy and what it means for all citizens in the South—and of the larger United States.

Extremist Views

The spectrum of political beliefs in the United States is diverse. Generally, political scientists use the term right wing to describe conservative politicians who tend to hold traditional views about marriage, religion, family, gender, and patriotism. The term left wing usually refers to liberal Americans who tend to have flexible views about marriage, family, religion, and other social norms. Of the two main political parties in the United States, Republicans are generally more conservative than Democrats are. And within each party are differences of opinion, with some members holding more extreme views than others hold.

Hate groups do not represent mainstream thoughts. They promote extremist views. The hate groups at the Charlottesville rally were from the far right of the political spectrum. Their views are so extreme that they do not represent mainstream conservative thinking. The average conservative is not a racist or a neo-Nazi and does not belong to a hate group. Some experts reject the hate group label as biased, preferring the term extremist group. Many hate groups themselves also dismiss the hate label in favor of something less negative—for example, Chris Barker, a prominent Ku Klux Klan leader calls his group more of a civil rights organization.

Chapter 2

A Long History:

Hate in the United States

White European peoples began arriving in North America in the fifteenth century. They brought a variety of languages, customs, and religions with them. For example, in the early eighteenth century, Protestant Baptists were beginning to settle in the Mid-Atlantic colonies, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New York as well as the southern colonies of Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. In these regions, the Church of England (whose members are known as Anglicans) was already established. Baptists, who also originally came from England, faced open hostility from Anglicans.

The religious differences

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