A little over a century ago, some parts of the country were inhabited with active, vocal and sometimes respected groups that held racist and anti-Semitic views. Though these were some of the most violent and terrible times for the propagation of hate in America, one could easily identify the evil doers.
Just as one who opposes these groups preaches the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” the same concept must be applied to the propagandists. Openly hateful views, support of racial/anti-Semitic violence and vandalism are no longer `en vogue’ for bigoted groups who understand the mentality of contemporary America.
The reason for this transformation is a growing trend of mediocrity and acceptance under the guise of `political correctness’, which is equally positive and negative towards the cause of extinguishing hatred. This mode of thinking can be seen as a positive because restrained or invisible hate groups lessen the possibility of violence or trouble for the short term. The problem occurs when the ideas of hate groups are accepted as valid and reasonable.
It is no surprise that recently hate speech has become watered down and some group’s true intentions have been placed in the ammunition storehouse for future use-to fire after the ideological cornerstone is set. Leaders of hate organizations are by no means stupid; often they are quite intelligent. It is the views they hold which seem ridiculous.
These leaders understand in order to maximize membership and propaganda outlets they must change with popular culture. The result of this continuous change is the adoption of ideas that the greatest number of people can identify or agree with.
Although, to a certain extent this appears to sacrifice organizations’ true intentions. As stated before, this is only for the short term.
This mode of operation is not a product of hate groups rather than an adaptation of it. Numerous leaders of hate organizations understand how the system, exemplified by politics and religion, works in U.S. culture. It is no coincidence or conspiracy that this year the two main presidential candidates have also been the most moderate, and in some people’s view `the same anyway.’
In order to receive maximum support, they must appeal to as many people as possible, which means abandoning any extreme or seamless views- an attempt not to alienate anyone who holds opposing views.
Ironically, as the majority of hate groups persecute individuals of certain religious affiliation, some hate groups are founded as churches or are rooted in religion. Religion gives hate organizations an excuse for extremist and bigoted action and beliefs.
This is, by no means, meant to insinuate that these groups need their first amendment rights revoked. However, the outcries of a freethinking democratic citizen who will not allow bigoted propaganda to go unchallenged is as much an invocation of the First Amendment as a march sponsored by a hate group. What is troubling is that more people are viewing bigoted ideology as vile but valid.
But I have faith that the average citizen will not fall for the fallacy of bigotry