Monday, March 24, 2008

It's all about hate
Husband and I are long-time supporters of The Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the most under-rated and yet most important organizations in the US. Their cause? Ending hate. Hate in all its forms: racism, Nazism, anti-gay movements -- in short, if it's based in hate due to someone's skin color, religion, politics, ethnicity, country of origin, sexual orientation, or gender -- they're there to fight it.

I urge everyone to read their magazine, The Intelligence Report for a bone-chilling, frequently terrifying reality check. The current issue is entitled "The Year in Hate" and it's a eye-opener for those of us who feel safely cushioned from such things here in the beautifully multi-cultural Bay Area of San Francisco. You'll be stunned at how many klan groups there are (155!) (and yes, even in California. There are 7 in the state.) There are 207 neo-Nazi groups in the country (13 in California). And in the "general hate" category, California has 24 -- including groups that are anti-gay, anti-immigrant, Holocaust deniers, radical traditional Catholic, and others.

Many have seemingly innocent sounding names. One of the Holocaust denier groups is called "the Institute for Historical Review." Sounds harmless enough, doesn't it? One of the anti-immigrant groups goes by the name of "Rescue without Borders," which pisses me off as it steals from the wonderful organization "Doctors Without Borders" and sounds like a relief organization.

Other groups don't even bother to deny their affiliations. In the list of active websites we find such distasteful URLs as "" "" and "" Just typing those leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

So why am I telling you all this? Because I think it's important to remember that hate exists. And that organizations like the SPLC also exist, dedicated to making sure that groups like the klan don't win. As part of an interracial couple, I take this kind of hatred personally and refuse to accept it. If you're looking for a great cause to send a check to, you might want to consider the SPLC. In the meantime, teach love.

1 comment:

mama d said...

Thank you. Lately, what with my mom entering the Catholic church, I've been thinking a lot about intolerance.

As the mom in a multi-racial family, I'm frequently made aware of others' assumptions about my children's race. Even when the assumptions seem harmless ("oh, they're all so smart!"), they're not.

I supported SPLC for years, and stopped when my list of charities became rather large. It's time to reassess the list.