Thursday, February 11, 2021

Standing Up to Hate: Michigan Could Use Track and Solve Strategy

Groups that have difficulty self regulating are often the same groups that feel they are above the law. There is a sense of self-entitlement among group members but at the same time one gets the feeling that they are not truly independent to be their full better selves while still associated with group norms. Groups that engage in hate based behavior maintain central incorrect premises and are unable to allow for dissenting viewpoints. Michigan is struggling to deal with these issues as riots, threats, supremacy beliefs, and other hate oriented behaviors are not understood well and there isn't an effective plan put together. There are options to dealing with these issues and the state should consider a track and solve strategy.

Healthy Debate: 

The ability of groups to self-correct and avoid hate based behavior requires healthy internal debate and mechanics. When this self correcting mechanics through internal debate are absent, the loudest voice wins. That means members are no longer able to choose their own paths without punishment. Such groups pose a long term risk from their inability to engage in healthy debate.

Living by a False Narrative:

Groups often live by a social narrative that helps them define their existence and purpose. When the narrative is false or misguided the group begins to define themselves as different than, better than, and more entitled to certain benefits. When such narratives lower the rights of others or encourage hate actions against others they pose a risk to society.

Social Learning

It is difficult to change because their beliefs and behaviors are acceptable to the social networks they associate with. The group lacks healthy internal dialogue and has an inflated sense of importance leading to internal and external distortion. Many times such groups are led by a person(s) who projects his/her own internal dysfunctional to overly trusting group members. Without addressing these issues quickly the group helps other to engage in hate as well.

Why is Justice Important?

Michigan doesn't really know the extent of hate based behaviors and its ultimate impact on society. We can say from economic theory nearly half of the society's skills have not been fully maximized. We may talk about individual hate based events that were grotesque enough to warrant Federal attention but we don't understand the vast majority of cases due to incorrect coding and prosecution. What we can't say with any clarity is how did these groups form, what behaviors did they exhibit, and how many other victims (children and adult) are out there because we don't have appropriate measures (If we don't track we don't really know). This is why I advocate for accountability at various levels mental health, misdemeanor, and felony options leads to greater tracking and flexibility when dealing with issues. As effective options are explored and new research realized we can formalize them into a coherent response to hate. We now know that not dealing with these issues when they first rise on a local level means risking the stability of the republic down the road.

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