The Anti-Defamation League reports that hate propaganda spiked in 2020. In 1919, there were 2,724 messages advocating racism, anti-semeticism and anti-LGBTQ discrimination. In 2020, that shot up to 5,125 cases. And, the way things are starting out with the widespread hate aimed at Asians, 2021 is going to be another bad year.
“The barrage of propaganda,” the ADL reports, ”which overwhelmingly features veiled white supremacist language with a patriotic slant, is an effort to normalize white supremacists’ message and bolster recruitment efforts while targeting minority groups including Jews, Blacks, Muslims, non-white immigrants, and the LGBTQ community.”
Hate propaganda appears everywhere, of course, but the ADL reports that incidents in California are especially high. And our generally peaceful part of the planet, right here in Marin County, is by no means exempt.
The white supremecist kid from the East Bay who spread the Nazi swastikas in Fairfax was one of those cases. And let’s not forget that we have experienced disturbing cases of Marin school children voicing hate threats against other students. The angst of that hate is compounded by the refusal of authorities to fully disclose details of the hate crimes on the grounds that the haters are children.
As I’ve said before in this column, keeping the public in the dark doesn’t seem right. There has to be a better way to handle these under-age hate crimes.
In the meanwhile, stay alert and demand accountability.
THE DIGITAL DIVIDE
After a year of Zoom public meetings, can we please get back to in-person government. This digital governance puts up a blind between elected officials and the people they serve. And here’s the dirty little secret, public officials like it that way. Left to their own devices, they would just as soon hole up in their office in front of a Zoom camera rather than bump elbows with the unwashed masses.
Here’s my take: If we can safely shop at Costco, we can safely return to in-person government. Let’s get to it.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Susanna from San Anselmo told Novato not to approve a gas station for Costco: “There is a high price for cheap gas. A cheap gas station will encourage people to buy gas cars. Gas cars bought today will have little value in 5 years.”
How many people from San Anselmo will drive to Novato to save 50 cents a gallon for gas? The correct answer: “Only the sane.”
If you remain a little down after 2020, this may lift your spirits. Take a look at this video that recounts people in Novato who went above and beyond to help others. You can find it on the Marinscope website at: MarinLocalNews.com. Uplifting stuff.
A YEAR OF STAY-AT-HOME
After a year of staying at home, I think I’ve watched every British crime drama ever made. Am I the only one?
ONE MORE THING
— No one tells you how often as an adult you will whisper: “Righty-tighty, lefty-loosy.”
— The Quran and the Bible both tell us to love each other. The Kama Sutra is a little more specific.
— I switched the labels on our spice rack. I’m not in trouble yet, but the thyme is cumin.
I’ll pick up my knitting and let myself out. Be safe, be kind and mask-up for just a little bit longer.
(Sherman R. Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, a newspaper company dedicated to the preservation of community newspapers. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)