Responses to Hate Speech

In the past few years, electronic hate speech has increased due to the proliferation of shock jocks on network radio. This vitriol enters the homes of millions of Americans via the distribution networks of the highly consolidated radio industry.  Meanwhile, in communities across the nation, the targets of hate speech are bravely responding but their voices don’t get much play on mainstream airwaves. The Media Justice History Project started to document these responses in 2008 and hopes to continue sharing information about responses to hate speech in the future. Watch the clips below – then check out the resources in the side-bar to get ideas about how you can respond!

San Francisco Bay Area, California

The Hispanic / Latino Anti-Defamation Coalition formed in 2007 to protest comments made by shock jock Michael Savage on ClearChannel station, KNEW AM. These clips feature two of the coalition’s organizers, Marcos Gutierrez and Aurora Grajeda. Subsequent to this organizing Savage’s show was discontinued in San Francisco!

Los Angeles, CA

In 2006, elementary school, Academia Semillas del Pueblo, became the target of Disney KABC shock jock, Doug McIntyre. In these clips, parents and staff describe what happened and the status of the school’s court case. To learn more, watch Pathology of a Hate Crime.

Tucson, Arizona

Kathryn Rodriguez, the Coordinator of  the Coalición de Derechos Humanos explains “piñata-gate” and why hate speech should concern everybody.

New York City, New York

This clip features Leonard M. Baynes, Professor of Law and Director of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development at St. Johns University Law School. Baynes argues that indecency standards should be expanded to include certain forms of hate speech.

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    Counteracting Hate Radio

    A dossier on the impact of hate radio in Rwanda and other parts of the world.

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    GLBTQ Response to Media Defamation

    Use this resource kit to improve media coverage of incidents motivated by anti-LGBT bias.

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    Hate Hurts America Coalition

    Information about the campaign to get advertisers to drop their support for shock-jock, Michael Savage and the real story behind the anti-Muslim dvd Obsession.

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    Latinos Against Hate Speech

    Find tools for letter writing to advertisers, network executives, the FCC/Federal Communications Commission and Congress. Provided by the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

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    Shock Jocks : Hate Speech and Talk Radio

    America’s 10 worst hate talkers and the progressive alternatives. Rory O’Connor with Aaron Cutler. San Francisco: AlterNet Books, 2008. Laura Flanders interviews the author on GRITtv.

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    Stand Strong Against Hate

    Part of the Southern Poverty Law Center site which is a great resource on how to combat hate crimes.

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    Teaching Tolerance: The Power of Words

    Lesson plans exploring the language of ethnic, gender and sexual orientation bias.

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    Additional Resources

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    Anti-Defamation League: Confronting Anti-Semitism

    and Hate on Display

    A visual database of extremist symbols, logos and tattoos.

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    Bill Moyers Journal:

    Rage on the Radio

    includes a segment on the shooting in Knoxville, TN in the summer of 2008. Watch it online.

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    Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Unmasks the Smearcasters

    How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation.

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    The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio

    This report documents the domination of the airwaves by conservative commentators and explores the reasons why, including a lack of diversity in media ownership.

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