is an excellent time to give a closer look at the rising escalation
of hate crimes in America - its origin and its legacy.
origin of hate crimes can be traced with the treatment of Native
Americans and how America celebrates Thanksgiving. For many Native
Americans, Thanksgiving is not a cause of celebration, but rather a
National Day of Mourning.
Pilgrims, who sought refuge here in America from religious
persecution in their homeland, were right in their dogged pursuit of
religious liberty. But their actual practice of religious liberty
came at the expense of the civil rights of Native Americans.
Pilgrims' fervor for religious liberty was devoid of an ethic of
accountability, and their actions did not set up the conditions
requisite for moral liability and legal justice. But instead, their
actions brought about the genocide of a people, a historical amnesia
of the event, and an annual national celebration of Thanksgiving for
1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Coles Hill in
Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning of this U.S.
holiday. And for the Wampanoag nation of New England whose name means
“people of the dawn,” this national holiday is a reminder
of the real significance of the first Thanksgiving in 1621 as a
symbol of persecution and genocide of their ancestral nation and
culture as well as their long history of bloodshed with European
is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest
of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to
experience,” reads the text of the plaque on Coles Hill that
overlooks Plymouth Rock, the mythic symbol of where the Pilgrims
United American Indians of New England (UAINE), a Native-led
organization of Native people supporting Indigenous struggles in New
England and throughout the Americas, as well as the struggles of
communities of color, LGBTQ communities, and people of various faith
traditions and practices.
pilgrims would have died during the harsh winter had it not been for
the open arms of the Native Americans,” Taylor Bell wrote in
“The Hypocrisy Of Refusing Refugees at Thanksgiving.”
legacy of hate crimes today is the consequence since the genocide of
FBI, this month, released its annual hate crime statistics report.
Last year, in 2017, 7,175 incidents of hate crimes occurred. Sadly
it’s a 17 percent jump from the year before.
folks who lived through the Black Civil Rights era say this era of
Trump is as horrific if not worse than when unabashed Southern
segregationists like Alabama’s Bull Conner, South Carolina’s
Strum Thurmond, and Alabama’s George Wallace were alive.
Brian Levin, Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and
Extremism stated in an interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center
that back in that era “there was a line that wouldn’t be
crossed with regards to over-the-top bigotry.”
lack of leadership from Trump and the Republican party have assisted
in an indifference in not calling out bigotry. The Charlottesville
mayhem that took place last summer is an example. The false
equivalence of Trump’s remark blaming “many sides”
rendered the perpetrators as victims, too. And, by condemning
counter protesters similarly as white supremacists and
swastika-wielding neo-Nazis at the rally, Trump suggests both groups
are at fault, and one is equally in the wrong as the other.
hyperpolarized time we’re in- both socially and politically
-where the truth competes with revisionist history contributes to the
escalation of hate crimes. For example, Americans have not stopped
fighting the Civil War. Boston-born White House chief of staff John
Kelly sounded like a die-hard Lost Cause apologist when he told
Laura Ingraham on her Fox News show that he viewed Confederate
general Robert E. Lee as “an honorable man” and that “the
lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War.” Kelly
’s false equivalence minimizes the moral turpitude of the
Confederacy’s continuation of chattel slavery as a central
pillar to their Southern way of life.
any would argue, is embedded in the very fabric of what makes
America, America. The fissures and cracks targeting people because
of gender, race, nationality, religious, sexual orientation, and
gender identity, and party affiliation, to name a few, must stop.
went this weekend to see the movie “The Hate U Give (THUG).”
Deceased rapper Tupac said that Thug Life stood for “The Hate U
Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody.”
are the legacy of centuries of hate, violence, and discrimination.
Thanksgiving should be a reminder of that.
is in the spirit of our connected struggles for life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness that we not solely focus on the story of
Plymouth Rock, but instead, as Americans we focus on creating this
nation as a solid rock that rests on a multicultural and inclusive
in so doing, it helps us to remember and respect the struggles that
not only this nation’s foremothers and forefathers endured, but
it also helps us to remember and respect the present-day struggle
Syrian refugees face as well as the ongoing struggle our Native