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Say No to Hate: Sara T. Cushing

I think the most important problem is the splintering of people into different tribes and factions, aided and abetted by actors (domestic and foreign) for whom it is profitable to emphasize and encourage this trend. This includes corporations, the media, and government — not all, of course, but whenever institutions get to the point where their leaders forget the institution’s mission and focus more on its survival and growth, this is a danger. One major issue is the growing inequality of wealth and opportunity between a few people at the top who are getting wealthier and the majority of people who face serious obstacles to getting ahead. Racism and misogyny are other manifestations of this problem. 

Sara T. Cushing is a professor of Applied Linguistics at Georgia State University and active in many social causes around Atlanta.

Say No To Hate 1

Sara T. Cushing: : I think the most important problem is the splintering of people into different tribes and factions, aided and abetted by actors (domestic and foreign) for whom it is profitable to emphasize and encourage this trend. This includes corporations, the media, and government — not all, of course, but whenever institutions get to the point where their leaders forget the institution’s mission and focus more on its survival and growth, this is a danger. One major issue is the growing inequality of wealth and opportunity between a few people at the top who are getting wealthier and the majority of people who face serious obstacles to getting ahead. Racism and misogyny are other manifestations of this problem.

Say No To Hate 2

Sara T. Cushing: As my father used to say, if you think you have a simple solution, you haven’t understood the problem! I think the solutions have to be both local and national at the same time. On an individual level, we have to create opportunities and time to listen to people whose views differ from our own, so we can rediscover what we all have in common. Local organizations (churches, civic groups, etc.) can provide infrastructure for these efforts. Community leaders need to inspire people to get involved. And ultimately, we have to elect leaders who will shore up our institutions and regain people’s trust.

Say No To Hate 3

Sara T. Cushing: We live in a culture that is dependent on visual media, so protesting in the streets is essential. The protests at the airport (which I participated in) following Trump’s original travel ban stand out as a particularly effective tool to draw attention to an important issue of justice.

Say No To Hate 4

Sara T. Cushing: Social media has both positive and negative impacts. On the positive side, people can share information quickly that might not make it onto a news broadcast or into the newspaper. Of course, false information is spread just as quickly, or even more quickly with the help of Russian bot farms. One danger with social media (especially Facebook where you are only sharing information with your friends) is that sharing the latest outrage from the Trump administration and ranting about it may make you feel like you’ve taken action, but unless you are actually doing something more (calling or writing letters to Congress, for example) it’s not a good way to effect change. I find that Twitter can be a good source of information, provided that one uses discretion and critical thinking to find trustworthy people to follow.

Say No To Hate 5

Sara T. Cushing: Local progressive groups (in person or organized through social media); my church; like-minded friends and co-workers.

Say No To Hate 6

Sara T. Cushing: Volunteer. Walk around the city and talk to people. Take a walk on the Beltline. Visit a church or other institution full of people who don’t look like you. Write to the AJC when they pay more attention to the deaths of white people than to the deaths of people of color. Get a small group together on a regular basis and commit to studying an issue in detail. Work on voter registration drives and convince your friends and neighbors to vote in November.




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Monday August 27, 2018 05:43 pm EDT
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Monday August 27, 2018 06:10 pm EDT
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Tuesday August 28, 2018 08:27 am EDT
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Tuesday August 28, 2018 08:38 am EDT
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Tuesday August 28, 2018 02:38 pm EDT
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Tuesday August 28, 2018 02:50 pm EDT
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Tuesday August 28, 2018 03:53 pm EDT
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Tuesday August 28, 2018 04:50 pm EDT
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Tuesday August 28, 2018 05:06 pm EDT
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Tuesday August 28, 2018 05:24 pm EDT
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Wednesday August 29, 2018 08:40 am EDT
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Wednesday August 29, 2018 09:21 am EDT
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Wednesday August 29, 2018 02:45 pm EDT
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Wednesday August 29, 2018 04:40 pm EDT
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