Outraged by the recent events in Charlottesville and by the U.S. President’s inability to address the bigotry properly?
Don’t just post something on Facebook. Do something about it.
Commenting on social media only goes so far when seeking to counter hatred and intolerance. It may make you feel good. It may reinforce your opinions.
But it often won’t go much further than that. In that light, sensible legal action is a much better tactic.
Among the options: supporting, with time and/or money, organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which research and fight anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice. These are very powerful groups that battle against bias on a daily basis. Giving resources to them will augment their abilities. It’s a good idea.
Another idea: writing to U.S. congressmen and congresswomen to urge them to propose bills that would approach bigotry and demonstrations of it in more productive ways. For example: stiffer sentences for supporters of domestic terrorism. Punitive measures for dissemination of hate speech.
Such outreach can be done, folks. It’s not just a pipe dream.
A third strategy: reporting incidents of hate speech on Facebook and other social media to the appropriate authorities, and speaking out in public forums against intolerance. Facebook will often ban commenters from posting on the site for a number of days if the company finds they have generated offensive content. This mitigates their capacity to produce harmful text. It’s a viable legal weapon.
Maybe complaining about the neo-Nazis on one’s Facebook wall is cathartic. It could be. Yet it doesn’t do much but help one let off steam. A much better solution is taking action by using the right legal paths to combat hate speech and other forms of bigotry.
We can do it. And if everyone addresses this issue thusly, won’t that be something?