Last night, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College hosted a lecture by Northeastern U. professor, Jack Levin.
Levin, who has a shock of white hair, and a wild mustache, started off his lecture with a light-hearted look at all the ways he has been mistaken for other people--from Albert Einstein to Captain Kangaroo. Unfortunately, once he launched into his topic, hate and violence, the laughter subsided. It is deeply disturbing to hear a catalog of hate crimes that have recently occurred in the United States and elsewhere around the world. When Levin told us that hate crimes against Muslim people increased more than 1,600 percent after 9/11, we were stunned.
Want to look at the statistics on hate crimes? The FBI has statistics up the whazoo, click here. Of course, these statistics rely upon agencies reporting crimes, and the reporting is voluntary, so you'll find statistics like this for 2006: in the state of Alabama, only 1 hate crime was reported. In the state of New Hampshire, 34 were reported. Is NH a more hate-filled state than Alabama? I doubt it.
It would be nice if we, as civilized people, could do something to counteract hate and violence. Levin left us with this word: empathy.
We have these books in our collection, which would be especially good for those who work with, or raise children:
Starting Small: Beginning a Program of Anti-Bias Education [370.117 STA].
Stern-LaRosa, Caryl and Ellen Hofheimer Bettmann. The Anti-Defamation League's Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice [303.3 STE].
Thomson, Barbara J. Words Can Hurt You: Beginning a Program of Anti-Bias Education [372 THO].
If you want to "Stand Strong against Hate," click here and add your name.