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Ask Michelle

Fight HATEby MICHELLE CAVALERI, LCSW-R,
Wedding Officiant in all 50 US States and Certified NYS Divorce Mediator

Hate in America is a dreadful, daily constant. Bias is a human condition, and American history is rife with prejudice against groups and individuals because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or other differences.

TEN WAYS TO FIGHT HATE –

ACT -
Do something. In the face of hatred, apathy will be interpreted as acceptance – by the perpetrators, the public and, worse, the victims. Decent people must take action; if we don’t, hate persists.
UNITE –
Call a friend or co-worker. Organize allies from churches, schools, clubs and other civic groups. Create a diverse coalition. Include children, police and the media. Gather ideas from everyone involved.
SUPPORT THE VICTIMS –
Hate-crime victims are especially vulnerable, fearful and alone. If you’re a victim, report every incident – in detail – and ask for help. If you learn about a hate-crime victim in your community, show support. Let victims know you care. Surround them with comfort and protection.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK –
Do not attend a hate rally. Find another outlet for anger and frustration and for people’s desire to do something. Hold a unity rally or parade to draw media attention away from hate.
SPEAK UP –
Hate must be exposed and denounced. Help news organizations achieve balance and depth. Do not debate hate-group members in conflict-driven forums. Instead, speak up in ways that draw attention away from hate, toward unity.
LOBBY LEADERS –
Elected officials and other community leaders can be important allies in the fight against hate. But some must overcome reluctance – and others, their own bias – before they’re able to take a stand.
LOOK LONG RANGE –
Promote tolerance and address bias before another hate crime can occur. Expand your community’s comfort zones so you can learn and live together.
TEACH TOLERANCE –
Bias is learned early, usually at home. Schools can offer lessons of tolerance and acceptance. Sponsor an “I Have a Dream” contest. Reach out to young people who may be susceptible to hate-group propaganda and prejudice.
DIG DEEP –
Look inside yourself for prejudices and stereotypes. Build your own cultural competency, then keep working to expose discrimination wherever it happens – in housing, employment, education and more.
(Reproduced from The Southern Poverty Law Center Publications)

South Shore Counseling & Mediation Center is a full service mental health agency, offering CBT counseling, EFT modalities – (tapping), therapeutic counseling, a variety of behavioral and psycho-educational programs and divorce mediation. To speak with one of our therapists please call 631-286-8282, e-mail us at SSCounseling1@optonline.net or visit our website, Southshorecounselingcenter.net.

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