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Question of the day

Monday, Jan 31, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* ABC 7

Illinois politicians held a meeting to discuss Asian hate Sunday in Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood as rallies against Asian hate happened across the country.

Local groups in Chicago said they want to honor the legacies of victims of anti-Asian hate crimes through positive actions. […]

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Attorney General Kwame Raoul and state Rep. Theresa Mah all spoke Sunday about the importance of raising awareness of and putting an end to Asian hate.

“For Asian Americans, these two years have been a stark reminder that racism and violence against us remains an unresolved issue in our country. And it is not a new issue,” Mah said. “The idea that Asians are foreign don’t belong and cannot be incorporated as full Americans has existed since the founding of this country.”

* Mayor Lori Lightfoot…

I am deeply upset to learn that a local synagogue, a school, and businesses were vandalized over the weekend—some with symbols of hate and anti-Semitism. These crimes are undoubtedly a part of the troubling rise in anti-Semitism that we’ve seen both in our city and across the country. Make no mistake: this attack, as well as the deep hatred and bigotry that drives other anti-Semitic acts like it, is an attack on our city’s Jewish community and social fabric. Those responsible must be held accountable. An arrest has been made and the police are working diligently to gather evidence to support charges. As Chicagoans and as Americans, it is our responsibility to call hate speech and acts out and protect our Jewish brothers and sisters who endure this hatred year after year. Without our determined and collective action, anti-Semitism will continue to thrive. That’s why we must renew our commitment to building a community built with love and purpose and excise the bigots that cause and benefit from hate

* The Question: What actions can state government take to help reduce these sorts of crimes? Explain.


  1. - Commisar Gritty - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:11 pm:

    The ADL tracks & investigate antisemetic as well as other hate crimes around the country. They have a link for reporting hate crimes that allows them to keep great data & investigate trends. If you see anything, you can report at

    As far as what state governments can do, I want to give a shout out to Rep. Gong-Gershowitz’ TEACH Act as a great step in the right direction. It’s been thoroughly demonstrated that education is the best tool to defeat ignorance and bigotry.

    My gut reflex also said increased penalties for perpetrators but I think that there are problems with selective enforcement and I don’t believe there is data to support that harsher punishments act as an effective deterrent. Maybe someone has data to contradict that though?

  2. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:23 pm:

    The multiple attacks on the Jewish community strongly suggest coordination by a group. Don’t know what exactly it would look like, but recognizing that these acts are coordinated and driven by hate organizations is a good start. Look at the Motive series at WBEZ. There have been hate groups in Chicago historically.

  3. - H-W - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 3:31 pm:

    Because hate almost always exist and occur at the local and individual levels, I am not sure states can accomplish a lot in terms of strategies to reduce racism and hate crimes. Certainly they can desegregate schools and integrate communities. This is perhaps most pressing with regard to education. In Illinois, school districts are clearly drawn to isolate others, and to protect resources from being shared with others. But short of rejecting racism and hate crimes openly, enforcing existing laws, penalizing those who perpetrate or justify hate crimes, and working to integrate our communities (which is unlikely), states have little power to prevent hate crimes or race discrimination.

    I am convinced reducing racism and hate crimes requires community-level actions, not state regulation. Encouraging and creating opportunities for social contact across diverse groups; celebrating diversity; acting affirmatively where local inequalities manifest themselves in the presence of rules and regulations; enhancing efforts to equalize opportunities regardless of class background, including investing in the poorer areas of our communities; integrating work spaces, schools, and classrooms; act affirmatively to create equal access to valuable social resources; etc.; these are local remedies that must take place. WHen people are able to come together as equals to achieve shared goals, racism and hate tend to subside at the individual and group levels. If localities become intolerant regarding isolation, segregation, differential access, etc., and if localities choose to become communities, perhaps then racism and hate can be reduced.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 4:15 pm:

    I’d like to see more of a penal aspect where a hate crime, and being found guilty of such a crime is something that has more of a lingering aspect, where it could follow the guilty for a greater period, and in background checks a quicker, brighter flagging occurs.

    If one feels empowered and emboldened, let’s see how that empowering and emboldening is with a conviction seen brighter going forward.

  5. - sal-says - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 4:56 pm:

    Stiff sentences for hate crime/racist perps ?

  6. - Poor Miller - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 4:57 pm:

    I’m not sure if the primary goal should be to reduce these crimes. There has always been, and always will be hate. The goal should be to keep people safe and ensure they feel safe. You should not have to fear for your safety because of your appearance (ethnic or religious). That is a much more practical and realistic goal in my opinion.

  7. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 6:12 pm:

    Legislating stiffer minimum fines and jail sentences on those convicted of hate crimes may be a start.
    But I think legislating more education in schools on what racism is and how bad it is may also need to be done.

  8. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 8:13 pm:

    Southern Poverty Law Center has great data on hate groups:

    They also have fantastic resources and support for teachers:

  9. - Yooper in Diaspora - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 9:53 pm:

    Having heard of anti-Muslim sentiments against a Muslim teacher in a rural Illinois area–young people being creatively and startlingly disrespectful in many microaggressive ways–I wonder how a sense of shame can be cultivated about bigotry where it is proudly rationalized in the minds of so many. Even with more lingering penalties for vandalism with a hate crime dimension, I’m not sure how to interrupt a culture of feeling empowered by belittling those seen as other–especially among those who don’t respect state authority to begin with. Holding open the Q for now –

  10. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, Feb 1, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    Link to SPLC teacher and classroom resources:

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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