A persistent purveyor of hate

Southern Poverty Law Center offers Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide:

A presidential candidate wins election after denigrating Muslims, Latinos, women and people with disabilities. A young white man opens fire and kills nine African Americans who welcomed him into Bible study at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, telling his victims, “I have to do it.” A Muslim woman is seated on a bench in front of a coffee shop in Washington, D.C., when a woman begins screaming anti-Muslim epithets. A swastika and other anti-Semitic graffiti appear at an elementary school in Stapleton, Colorado. A lone gunman carrying an assault rifle and a handgun storms a well-known gay club in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others.


​Bias is a human condition, and American history is rife with prejudice against groups and individuals because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. As a nation, we’ve made a lot of progress, but stereotyping and unequal treatment persist.


When bias motivates an unlawful act, it is considered a hate crime. Most hate crimes are inspired by race and religion, but hate today wears many faces. Bias incidents (eruptions of hate where no crime is committed) also tear communities apart and can escalate into actual crimes.


Since 2010, law enforcement agencies have reported an average of about 6,000 hate crime incidents per year to the FBI. But government studies show that the real number is far higher — an estimated 260,000 per year. Many hate crimes never get reported, in large part because the victims are reluctant to go to the police. In addition, many law enforcement agencies are not fully trained to recognize or investigate hate crimes, and many simply do not collect or report hate crime data to the FBI.


The good news is, all over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices.


This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community.

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A persistent purveyor of hate
still stands at the helm of our fate
but he’s reckoned too soon
that his acts are immune
to the karma that’s lying in wait.

‘Cause the karma that’s lying in wait
will come calling before it’s too late;
we can fix what he broke
while refusing to stoke
all the fears that keep fueling the hate.

Susan Eckenrode, 12/1/17



“Hate is contagious. A few seconds after Donald Trump has told me something hateful, somebody else repeats it. He has legitimized what people only dare say in their kitchens and bedrooms.” – Jorge Ramos

When there’s hatred unraveling threads
encircling love, it embeds
in the heart and the mind;
there, entirely entwined,
like a virulent virus, it spreads.

I do believe that we have to make resisting our own creeping feelings of hatred a part of the resistance.

Susan Eckenrode, 5/9/17

Anchoring the Rancor (4-link limerick chain)

“Maybe the rest of us need to get with the program. Maybe we all need to stop complaining. Maybe we all need to shut up and embrace America’s present, glorious greatness.


All we need to do now, is to all become wealthy, white, straight, Christian Republican Congressmen—and we’ll be set.”


– John Pavlovitz, Hey America, are We “Great” yet?


Voters ushered him in on a bet
he would anchor a nation beset
by a turbulent squall
that would stop at the wall.
Is America great again yet?

© 2017 Mary Boren

Is America great again yet?”
she inquires of a Dreamer she met.
“No, not when it’s hate
that’s driving our fate
to erecting a wall of regret.”

© 2017 Susan E. Eckenrode

“We’re erecting a wall of regret.”
sighed a wounded American vet
who had barely come back
from a tour in Iraq
where he’d witnessed what hate can beget.

© 2017 Lily Beth Baker

Here we witness what hate can beget
and we vow we will never forget!
As we each raise a fist,
we proclaim we’ll resist
’til we right this egregious upset!

© 2017 Susan E. Eckenrode


If fear and hate torpedo love

“We have a word for people who are dominated by fear. We call them cowards. Trump was not a coward in the business or campaign worlds. He could take on enormous debt and had the audacity to appear at televised national debates with no clue what he was talking about. But as president his is a policy of cowardice. On every front, he wants to shrink the country into a shell.” – David Brooks

If fear and hate torpedo love,
this ship is going down
and everybody still on board
will very likely drown.
Then while we slowly sink, we’ll hear
the captain and his crew,
absconding with the life boats shout,
“The Donald takes his due!”

© Susan Elizabeth, 2017