No One is Born a Racist

Somewhere in America … every hour someone commits a hate crime. Every day at least eight blacks, four gays or lesbians, two jews, two whites and one Latino become hate crime victims. Every week, a cross is burned.

There are things that you can do to stop hate. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) suggests:

1  Act
Do something. In the face of hatred, apathy will be interpreted as acceptance — by the perpetrators, the public and, worse, the victims. Decent people must take action; if we don’t, hate persists.

2  Unite
Call a friend or co-worker. Organize allies from churches, schools, clubs and other civic groups. Create a diverse coalition. Include children, police and the media. Gather ideas from
everyone, and get everyone involved.

3  Support the Victims
Hate-crime victims are especially vulnerable, fearful and alone. If you’re a victim, report every
incident — in detail — and ask for help. If you learn about a hate-crime victim in your community, show support. Let victims know you care. Surround them with comfort and protection.

4  Do Your Homework
An informed campaign improves its effectiveness. Determine if a hate group is involved, and research its symbols and agenda. Understand the difference between a hate crime and a bias

5  Create an Alternative
Do not attend a hate rally. Find another outlet for anger and frustration and for people’s desire
to do something. Hold a unity rally or parade to draw media attention away from hate.

6  Speak Up
Hate must be exposed and denounced. Help news organizations achieve balance and depth. Do
not debate hate-group members in conflict-driven forums. Instead, speak up in ways that draw attention away from hate, toward unity.

7  Lobby Leaders
Elected officials and other community leaders can be important allies in the fight against hate. But some must overcome reluctance — and others, their own biases — before they’re able to
take a stand.

8  Look Long Range
Promote tolerance and address bias before another hate crime can occur. Expand your community’s comfort zones so you can learn and live together.

9  Teach Tolerance
Bias is learned early, usually at home. Schools can offer lessons of tolerance and acceptance.
Sponsor an “I Have a Dream” contest. Reach out to young people who may be susceptible to
hate-group propaganda and prejudice.

10  Dig Deeper
Look inside yourself for prejudices and stereotypes. Build your own cultural competency, then keep working to expose discrimination wherever it happens — in housing, employment,
education and more.

For more information, check out Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide made available by the SPLC .