Hate Breaking Out All Over

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project for the Southern Poverty Law Center and Karen Boykin-Towns, president of the NAACP Brooklyn branch and member of the national board of directors, talk about the outbreak of noose and swastika placements since Jena.


Karen Boykin-Towns and Mark Potok

Comments [9]

Charu from Hudson Valley

It is just so painful to experience that the Swastika, which has been a Hindu symbol of luck for over 5000 years, is now merely known as a symbol for hate and malice because someone chose it to abuse. Ironically, the very word Swastika originated from amalgamation of 2 Sanskrit words- ‘su’ (means good’) and asati (means ‘exists’). For Hindus this symbol is used to ward off evil spirits and is present in shrines, on doorsteps and in temples. As a NY resident, I have not been able to display it in front of my home because bypassers may overreact, might not be aware of the significance the symbol holds for a Hindu home owner. There are approximately 1 billion Hindus in the world. This is the third largest religion (14% of the world population). It is time that people, especially in the west, are also made aware of the ‘actual’ symbolic meaning of swastika- ‘let good prevail’. Please use discretion next time you react on a swastika on someone’s front door, there might peace loving Hindu kids growing up behind them!

Oct. 23 2007 02:17 PM
Kaye from Brooklyn

To Steve, RE:

"Get real. Nobody is the victim of a crime if a rope has been left where their precious eyes can see it. Stop complaining and get a life."

I don't think its an issue of being aesthetically displeasing i.e.: "hurting someone's precious eyes." These items have powerful symbolic value, that the perpetrator is using to make sure the victim feels "less than" based on his/her race, sexual orientation and/or religious affiliation. That in itself is a form of harassment and intimidation, that make someone feel psychologically and physically threatened.

An inverted pink triangle is no longer "just a pink triangle", but a symbol for gay rights struggles. To deny well established symbolism of certain objects and the context of their appearance on certain people's property (i.e.: a noose on a black person's door) is naive at best, and suspect of ignorance and possible disdain for the victims at worst.
Try this scenario and context on for size:

If you were dropped into some country in the middle east, and found a picture of Osama Bin Laden on a door, with no other words or written information, would you knock on that door and ask for help? Probably not, because you know what Bin Laden represents to you and other US citizens.

Oct. 23 2007 01:01 PM

Nooses, swastikas, ghetto fabulous parties.... It's bigoted and insensitive to suggest that victims simply "get over it." Instead, why not question why these events occur in the first place? Brushing up on history wouldn't hurt either.

Oct. 23 2007 12:00 PM
Mickey Bitsko from Lower Manhattan (2 blocks from your studio)

The use of the word "conversation" is overdone. Just once I'd like to hear just what that would entail. The next time one of your guests brings up the word, please ask them for details.

Oct. 23 2007 11:46 AM

Oh and BTW, I think that swastikas and nooses, whatever the underlying motivation, should be dealt with as strongly as possible. Anyone who says that they're just a prank needs to wake up. In light of history, they are explicit threats of violence. Kids who don't understand that need it explained to them. Strongly.

Oct. 23 2007 11:44 AM
Steve from Queens

Get real. Nobody is the victim of a crime if a rope has been left where their precious eyes can see it. Stop complaining and get a life.

Oct. 23 2007 11:42 AM
J Van Meter from westchester

ALL crimes are hate crimes. If I get mugged and a lesbian gets mugged should my attackers be prosecuted any less vigorously than hers?

Oct. 23 2007 11:38 AM
Erin from Brooklyn

I agree with TM but it's pretty disturbing that these insects are crawling out of the woodwork like this...

Oct. 23 2007 11:34 AM

I think this is more about provocation than real intolerance. Idiots and sickos see that these acts get big reactions.

Oct. 23 2007 11:32 AM

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