WGXC-90.7 FM

Peace Talks Radio: Challenging Hate Speech

Jun 30, 2020: 7pm - 8pm
Periodically in recent years, there has appeared to be a resurgence of activity in the U.S. by white supremacist groups, the Ku Klux Klan and neo Nazis, marching openly in US cities often defending their right to assemble and spout hate speech as constitutionally protected freedom of speech. As the marches and gatherings occasionally become more frequent, tensions have risen. Counter protesters appear on the streets to stand against the divisive ideologies. Some of them are provoked to act aggressively. And skirmishes have resulted. Fractions of both groups choose violence. One of the high profile confrontations was in Charlottesville, Virginia in the summer of 2017and there have been others. Its all sparked a debate about appropriate and effective ways to demonstrate peacefully to counter hate speech and extreme ideologies. One core riddle seems to have been, whether people of good conscience and compassion should NOT show up to white supremacist rallies and just ignore the hate speech, whether they should show up and engage in comedic put downs of the extremist groups, or whether to show up and actively out-shout and out number them, or should they be even more aggressive in confronting the hate speech purveyors, as the groups that came to be known as ANTI-FA for anti-fascist, tried in chasing and harassing the white power groups. Were going to offer our own conversation on the topic today Our guests are social activist and author John Dear, Jesuit priest whos written extensively on Gandhi as well as books like Living Peace, Peace Behind Bars, and A Persistent Peace. Tonya Covington is Director of Conflict Resolution at Outcomes, Inc. in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tonya has been a trained mediator and teacher of mediation for 27 years. Tonya has expertise in Workplace and Cross-cultural conflict. Brian Levin is a professor of criminal justice and director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernadino. He is a court certified expert on extremism in both the US and the UK and has testified before both houses of Congress. He has also consulted for the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, as well as for universities and civil rights groups. We'also heard on tape from Frank Meeink, a former skinhead who now lectures on tolerance and compassion after long ago quitting is association with neo-Nazi groups.