“Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength” - Dalai Lama.
A hate crime (aka bias-motivated crime) is violence which targets a victim because of his or her gender, race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation. According to the FBI’s uniform crime report there were 7,624 hate crime incidents in 2007 in the U.S. and it is thought that there were more that went unreported.
In the U.S. and around the world, hate crimes and membership in hate groups has markedly increased according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In the report it released earlier this hear, the SPLC stated that the number of hate groups has grown by 54 percent since 2000. The study identified 926 hate groups (i.e., groups with beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people) that were active in 2008 in the U.S. alone.
Anecdotally, membership in such groups has exploded since the fall of 2008, which has been attributed to the election of the first African-American President, Barack Obama, illegal immigration and difficult economic conditions. Certainly, there has been a confluence of events that has made “scapegoating” of others attractive to some humans. A way of coping with their own fears and vulnerabilities.
It is all too easy to fall into the trap of scapegoating others for our problems or the problems of the society at large. Indeed certain media figures hype their ratings...and thus their own financial gain...by ginning up these prejudices and ideas that “the other” is hateable. These media figures with their hatespeak tell their listeners that some person, group, race, gender is not to be tolerated. Intolerance allows a person to feel that it is acceptable to target the victim for violence. Thus, there is a link between hatespeak and hate crime.
Confucius Cat says if someone is telling you to hate...if someone is telling you to fear...that someone is the one you should fear and from whom you must run at the fastest rate possible. We cannot have peace in this world while humans continue to hate people they don’t even know.
Week 12 of Purrs 4 Peace details are as follows:
- Week twelve’s appointed time is Sunday, August 30, 2009.
- Participants should purr for three minutes commencing at 9:00 a.m. EDT (U.S.) which is 2:00 p.m. (14:00 hrs.) BST in the U.K.
- The cat’s human staff should assist their cats with the project by stroking and nuzzling the cat at the appointed time.
- Please post your cat name and the country you purr in at www.confuciuscat.blogspot.com as a COMMENT if you are participating in this historic project. (posting a link to your own website-if you have one-is encouraged.) Or let me know by message on twitter or facebook.
- Posting purrs on facebook ( Acolytes of Confucius Cat or as friend to Alley Mason) and twitter (@ConfuciusCat) is encouraged, since it inspires purring in others, but not required. On twitter please use #purrs4peace in your tweets.