Hate is dangerous mental exercise and leads people to engage in inappropriate behaviors. The people who relish in hate don't realize that its not always the target that gets hurt but the collateral damage to their children and their communities. I have seen the unremorseful activities of those who hate and realize you cannot appease people bent on being destructive but you can take the wind out of their sails (So they don't hurt themselves and others).
It would be a wonderful world if we all self-reflected and had the strength to choose our own beliefs. There are a lot of people in this world who are unable to examine themselves and their world in a critical way.
We saw this play out in our capital and we see this in our hometown communities. People build themselves into a frenzy and resort to violence and/or intimidation when they don't get what they want (not that they really know what they want😕).
Some of my readers probably know I was a target of a group engaging in hate based coordinated harassment (if we define it that way). Their behavior has shed light on some ways in which we can thwart such hate behavior (at a minimum we should be able to agree to this) in the future.
Group culture dictates that "outsiders" and those with differences are not welcome in their community. Behavior by group members quickly escalated because the target(s) do not immediately relinquish personal power. In other words, "backbone" and integrity can really threaten identities (the more distorted the identity the more the need for control).
Standing up to distorted beliefs is not a hobby for the faint hearted. People are not always happy to receive push back for inappropriate behavior. This becomes more of problem when the group has become accustomed to using aggressive tools to deal with other people in the community.
Think about how handling conflict is a learned behavior. We learn from what we see in the world and how effective it was when successfully used power inappropriately. It takes time to learn a new tool and wielding it effectively (this is why we should avoid turning a blind eye.).
Radicalizing followers to engage in criminal activity requires distorting the truth. People don't get angry unless people they feel the target has done something wrong and violated some moral principle (i.e. the chants of the protestors at the capital and the threatening behavior of group members).
The problem is that few people have first hand knowledge of facts leading to social construction of an inappropriate reality. The information they provided was distorted and designed to insight frenzied anger. The perpetrator knows why they are doing it and they know who will act without thinking (manipulation).
The next time someone volunteers you information with half the truth, partial information, or doesn't appear to be logically consistent, you might want to ask yourself "Why?" If that person has a history of doing similar behavior or has some vested interested in the information then discard it as mostly useless.
What is most shocking is the breakdown of good moral conscious and lack of critical thinking of multiple people within that group. They gave all the power to decide for themselves who they are and what they believe to others who didn't have their best interest in mind.
Members were purposely used and they don't see it! Their ability to be manipulated turned them into something resembling a hate group.
It may be hard to stand up to groups of people engaged in dangerous and intimidating behaviors. Some of them I knew in childhood but most I don't. In turn, those people know nothing of me or my children to make any sort of accurate judgement...but that was an insignificant fact.
They acted because someone told them to act! Racial, religious, and distorted sports culture is easily exploited for someone else's personal and financial gain (This is why we must investigate the whole crime in its appropriate context to understand fully.)
As the smoke clears from our sacked national capital we now see how NOT dealing with these behaviors in school, parents, extended family members and and mental health providers leads to a certain kind of outcome. We give signals to our society to let them know what things are important and what isn't. People then act on those signals (this is called social learning).
I had hoped that over time this group would learn that not all people who are different are "evil" (i.e. Blacks, Asians, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, etc.. ) and worthy of their coordinated harassment (intention was stated). I'm a rational optimist and very much desired for truth to sort of leak out of those who started the problem and better judgement would percolate to light.
What I found is that some members will never end their behavior or come to a greater level of maturity because they don't have that capacity. They are chained to their misperceptions for the rest of their lives and will not be stung by the light of wisdom and reason. Another way of saying their identities are pre-defined by their social groups and in turn their misperception of "superiority" can be easily challenged (a long term risk).
I still think some good can come out of any situation. While my children were at an event one of the group members yelled out to them that their father was a "bitch". This was the same event an Arab school teacher was harassed and a local law enforcement member demanded to know if my cell phone was a gun (Using Markov modeling is it possible to figure out what the final outcome could be?).
Most people would be frightened by this attempt to ethnic cleanse their community and leave. I'm not intimidated because I know my greater responsibilities help them help themselves. Without effectively learning to deal with hate and difference we as a nation will not be able to grow and transition into something else (a better version of ourselves).
Its important to challenge distorted beliefs when you can. I wonder if that person would be willing to do a live stream charity MMA match to raise money for abused children? Perhaps with appropriate legal and medical releases a gym to the north would agree (50/50 proceed split between charity and gym equipment). Such charity events could be a lot of fun, be a learning diversion to the group, and helps keep me on my fitness goals (just an idea 🤷)
I doubt very much the person will pick up the thrown glove because that would require personal accountability. Walk the talk! Most have no clue what they are saying or the impact it can have on children and other people in the community. In other words, bullies talk without facts because of their need to be liked by others (low self-esteem).
The lesson you can take from this is that hate isn't rational and it won't end without strong law enforcement. They are part of the path forward! That law enforcement must be diligent to uphold our most cherished principles as an American people and maintain allegiance to the Constitution in which many of these essential values are rooted. Blind violence is not acceptable and we will need to learn as a nation to balance wisdom with power to turn a bad situation into a good one.
My goal is to keep learning and sharing. My children may have learned some new lessons about race relations in this country and the depravity of those who spread ignorance and hate. What would be nice is if there was a way to help these individuals critically think before resorting to violence, learn about the inherent value of human life, create healthier group dynamics so they do not pass their distorted beliefs from one generation to the next.
I wonder what their children learned? What did the community learn? This might be a good time to review our state hate crime laws to ensure they are in alignment with Federal and UN standards. If we can muster something a little better we might send a signal that Michigan is the place where a very diverse new generation can live, invest, and grow to improve their lot in life (this means they and the government can grow). Sometimes dealing with problems early and at a local level helps resolve these problems before they become a problem somewhere else (i.e. capital). 👀
We can always hope something will be learned!