What's the best thing your community has done to deal with hatred and violence?
March 26, 2004 4:51 PM   Subscribe

What's the best thing your community (interpret this as widely or narrowly as you like) has done to deal with hatred and violence?

Over the last couple of months, Toronto has witnessed what seems like an exceptionally bad bout of internecine violence within "the black community" (problematic phrase, yada yada), a spate of vandalism and grave desecration directed at Jews, and a reaction against Arabs. I don't want to talk about specifics here (there's a certain notorious MeFi thread for that). I'm interested to know how other communities have dealt with this - whether it's jonmc burying the hatchet with skallas, or or the U.S. helping Europe via the Marshall plan.
posted by stonerose to Human Relations (8 answers total)
Ok, you said interpreted widely, I live in a small podunk Georgia town. When I drive through the subdivisions here (most less than 5 years old), I see maybe one minority family (black, hispanic, asian, or indian) per twenty houses.

I can only guess that this place is far enough from metro Atlanta to escape the redlining scandals that Atlanta banks incurred a few years back. I also note that many of the banks in this area are small and regional.

Hmm, in review, this is not the BEST thing by any means, however when you look at the crime tally sheet for this county, hate crimes are at the bottom.
posted by mischief at 5:37 PM on March 26, 2004

We have all that stuff here (all big cities do)--it's a natural(?) result of all different sorts of people in close proximity.

You can't eliminate it, but: making sure that schools are very mixed, community and ethnicity-wise; holding tons of interfaith and intercommunity events and outreach; and leading by example--from the top down, can help. Is the city administration/city council responsive and representative of all the diverse communities and their issues? Are any groups being officially slighted or feel slighted--through racism or country of origin or anything like that? Can anything be done to prevent the appearance of favoritism, even if none is really there? etc...

Is this a new problem for Toronto? Or has it been coming to a head lately?
posted by amberglow at 6:14 PM on March 26, 2004

Response by poster: It's not entirely new, but it seems to have hit new highs lately. We've had a bunch of shootings where not just innocent people, but actively good people: nursing students, community workers - have been killed... and now, the Israel-Palestine conflict seems to be knocking on oursdoors, with 27 Jewish gravestones being knocked over, and then the episode at York U. where Jewish and Palestinian groups have both misbehaved... I feel as though this is the start of something huge and horrible: Canadians (particularly Torontonians) have always drawn strength from immigration, and now I get this vibe that seems to say "don't bring that shit here, Jamaican/Israeli/Saudi..." So I'm afraid we're going to become xenophobic and Swiss about things, and what is a limited-scale problem will grow to something of a higher order.
posted by stonerose at 7:24 PM on March 26, 2004

Response by poster: oursdoors = our doors, of course.
posted by stonerose at 7:24 PM on March 26, 2004

Well, we have synagogue desecrations and tombstones overturned and swastika'd (houses too, sometimes) every single year at this time and in the fall (close to Passover, and again around Rosh Hashanah)--it's (sadly) expected, at least here. It's always teens being assholes.
The people doing good being killed is weird--are they being targetted because of their jobs tho, or for their color or religion or just an unlucky coincidence?
And college political problems are nothing new either--the I/P conflict has been raging at campuses here for a while now.

As long as people are together everyday, on the subway and at work and at school, and not isolated in strictly segregated communities or workplaces, it won't get too bad--look at us. There's a base level of civility that comes with unavoidable proximity.
horrific as the thought may be to you guys--could Toronto be becoming more like here? ; >
posted by amberglow at 7:44 PM on March 26, 2004

Birmingham is a big city, with many ethnic minorities - but we get along by being British; either minding our own business, or hating each other quietly.
posted by Pericles at 11:26 AM on March 27, 2004

...which works very well (and is something i miss terribly - try living in a country where everyone thinks you're provided for their entertainment because you're "different").

however, given some comments in other threads recently, i wonder if the uk is sweeping problems under the carpet (perhaps by minding their own business too much?) (i should add that three years ago i was living in leicester - best place i've ever lived in, imho, better than cambridge, edinburgh, santiago, or la serena. a really excellent town/city).
posted by andrew cooke at 6:55 AM on March 28, 2004

(i should add that three years ago i was living in leicester - best place i've ever lived in, imho, better than cambridge, edinburgh, santiago, or la serena. a really excellent town/city

I work there....it's certainly multicultural, and a very friendly community (in my own experience). Big Asian community (as in UK definition of Asian - subcontinent), and also a big Chinese community. I call Leicester the start of the north, and I like the north. How long were you there for Andrew?
posted by SpaceCadet at 3:36 PM on March 28, 2004

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