Student Resources

Ten Ways to Fight Hate on Campus

A response guide for college activists from Tolerance.org

1. Rise Up
Inaction in the face of hate will be viewed as apathy or, worse yet, as support for bigotry itself. Do something. Don't let hate go unchallenged.

2. Pull Together
Bias incidents and hate crimes can divide communities. Don't let hate tear people apart on your campus; pull together instead.

3. Speak Out
When hate strikes, don't remain silent. Join with others; use your voices to denounce bigotry. Also, help guide the administration in its role.

4. Support the Victims
Make sure that nay planned response to a hate crime or bias incident takes into account the victims' needs and wishes. Too often, decisions are made on behalf of victims, but without their actual input.

5. Name It, Know It
Are you dealing with a hate crime or a bias incident? Hate crimes are a matter for the criminal justice system; bias incidents are governed by campus policy.

6. Understand the Media
What happens if the media descend on your campus during a bias crisis? And what happens if they don't? Prepare yourself to understand and work with the media.

7. Know Your Campus
Before, during, and after a bias crisis, examine institutional racism and bigotry on your campus. Be prepared to negotiate your way through these problem areas for effective change.

8. Teach Tolerance
Bias crises often bring pain, anger, and distrust to campus. They also present an opportunity for learning. Don't miss the chance to eradicate ignorance.

9. Maintain Momentum
The immediate crisis has passed. You've got two papers due and a midterm coming up. No one seems interested in followup meetings. What happens now?

10. Pass the Torch
What happens when you leave campus? Will you leave behind a record of activism that will inspire incoming students to pick up the fight? Make sure you do.

How to Handle Hate Preachers

Hate preachers thrive on attention and publicity. They use provocative language in an attempt to 'hook' people. They frequently press charges and fund their homophobic/misogynistic/racist (etc.) campaign by winning lawsuits.

Therefore, the best response strategy is non-engagement.

Some effective strategies that others have used:

  • Ignore the haters completely. Do not give them any media attention.
  • Do NOT touch any of the haters. Some of these groups fund themselves by claiming they were 'touched'.
  • Conduct a positive campaign of ribbons, buttons, banners and fliers - 'Hate is Not an MSU Value!'
  • Form a 'moving circle of love' surround haters. Hide them!
  • Counter-schedule another 'unity' event at the same time.
  • Create a fundraiser for a local pro-equality, anti-hate charity such as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). Every time the hate preacher(s) use words like 'fag' or 'nigger', have pledges donate $1.

Source: UC Santa Cruz Hate/Bias Peer Response Team and The Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education.