Fear can be dangerous on its own. However, when such fear is combined with ignorance and a lack of tolerance, it can distill into hate. We all have fears that are holding us back. And while we all want to conquer some fears so that we can reach our own potential and make the most out of our lives, the ones that we most need to address are those that can negatively effect others.
The next time you catch yourself making a snap judgement or feeling prejudice towards another person, ask yourself where that thought is coming from. It is likely a defence mechanism that is more related to your own fear and lack of understanding rather than something true.
While crimes fueled by prejudice and hate have been on the rise in recent years, it seems to be increasingly difficult to prosecute them as hate crimes. Between 2011 and 2016, about 6,000-10,000 hate crimes were filed with the FBI. But, the US Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in the same period, as many as 260,000 crimes were committed that could be labeled under this category. (Vox)
Studies have shown that there is a significant connection between prejudice and hateful social media groups, hate speech and violent acts fueled by hate. In a survey done by the Anti-Defamation League in the USA, one third of those surveyed said that they had experienced hate speech online. Twenty-two percent said that they felt less safe because of online hate and harassment. (CFR)
Question: How do we combat hate in modern society?
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