BERKELEY, Calif. - As many nations' leaders gather at San Francisco's Asia-Pacific-Economic Cooperation summit to discuss improving the world's economic outlook, the specter of hate both here and worldwide remains a concern even in this advanced age. But some people are waging war against hate.
United Against Hate Week began in Berkeley six years ago after white supremacists rallied in San Francisco and Berkeley in 2017. Since then, related anti-hate groups have sprung up in hundreds of California cities and now, across the nation.
The problem persists. "Reported hate crimes in California are at their highest levels since 2001. They jumped 20% from 2021 to 2022," said Becky Monroe of the California Civil Rights Department. "Hate crimes in Berkeley, for example, doubled since the pandemic, especially targeting our API (Asian Pacific Islander) community," said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín.
FILE - Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Va., USA on Aug. 11, 2017. (Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Sooner or later, any minority group can and will be repeated targets." It's so important, now more than ever, with the rise of Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism and other hate crimes happening throughout our country," said Mayor Arreguin.
Non-profit, Oakland-based Not In Our Town used video, new media, and organizing to stop hate and bullying to build all inclusive communities. "We are so honored to partner with, California Versus Hate, with L.A. Versus Hate and to see that our state is developing the kind of policies we need to really make a difference," said Not In Our Town Founder Patrice O'Neill.
"I got involved with Not In Our Town as a hate crime touched our community. At the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin at Oak Creek, seven people were murdered, including my father and Temple President," said Pardeep Singh Kaleka.
You can't fight hate without widespread organization. "We are proud to serve Los Angeles County and pioneered a new way to serve and protect it residents, outside of law enforcement," said Yolie Anguilan of the Los Angeles agency called 2-1-1 L.A. vs. Hate Program. " And I want to thank the California Civil Rights Department for standing with us; for standing with the community and for standing against hate," said Rich Callenderm President of the/California & Hawaii NAACP.
The fact that there are agencies to report hate and to and get some action is good, but until we get a true handle on monitoring social media and all the hate it can spread, this may be something we cannot resolve.
A Council on Foreign Relations study in 2015 showed that online hate speech is linked to a global increase of violence against minorities, including mass shootings, lynchings, and ethnic cleansing.
"There's no place for that in Berkeley. There's no place for that in California. There's no place for that in this world," said Assemblyman Phil Ting, (D) San Francisco.