Not too long ago I was surfing the web and found an unusual link. It was for a site named ‘HateWatch’ http://www.hatewatch.org. I arrived at the site and was bowled over at the number of links to ‘Hate Groups.’ There was a veritable plethora of web pages that the subject dealt with hating someone. I would like to discuss my thoughts as I travelled these sites, but first let me mention ‘HateWatch.’
‘HateWatch’ has spent long hours and resources to uncover some of the most ‘hated’ sites on the Internet. Their exhaustive research shines through the words on their pages. Each site is cataloged according to type of hatred and there are many categories left to fill. The individual viewpoint of the pages are described with a short synopsis and a logo or picture from the site. Not only are there links to the ‘hate’ pages, but also other groups that are monitoring the progress of the offenders. After exploring ‘HateWatch’ a little bit, I followed some of the available links.
There were several of these ‘hate’ sites that were well designed and thoughtfully written. It was obvious that someone had taken time to create a showcase of writings and laid them out so they were pleasing to look at. They had graphics that an artist definitely spent some time creating.
Despite these beautiful headers and nice backgrounds, you can still feel the hatred oozing out of these articles. These men and women were writing words that would make most people feel compelled to come to blows. They believe strongly in their cause and some of them are willing to lay down their lives in the struggle. Some articles claimed the holocaust never happened, and believe that the Jewish community is out to rule the world. Others think that anyone of Arab descent is subhuman, while others think that homosexuals are responsible for all child pornography.
Many of the leaders of these groups rightfully attest that the Internet has become their foremost medium for conveying the message of hate. The sheer number of sites is staggering. If sites like HateWatch are supported and created, the citizens of the Internet should band together to learn from each other. As easily as the ‘hate groups’ have proliferated, understanding can also be shown. The Internet is but a tool, that we can do with as we please.
These ‘hate groups’ provide a service to society. They give us a reason to grow as people. To learn that hate is not something that we want the future to hold. Naturally, we can’t hope to create a perfect utopia, the natural traits of the human species stop that. What we can do is help someone to realize that everyone has an opportunity to realize their potential.
The Internet links many countries around the world. People from many different races congregate every day in cyberspace. They make business deals, talk to friends and loved ones, make travel plans, and just surf for fun. Many times you can meet people and not even realize that they are not of the your race. Ask yourself when the last time you asked someone what nationality they were via e-mail. Chances are you never have. Through the anonymous nature of computers we are all equal. No one race is better than another. Every Internet citizen has an equal chance to be heard through the writings in their e-mail, on their web site, in the newsgroups, or in internet relay chat.
Since we are all equal, and everyone has a chance to speak, a cacophony of voices has been raised. Any viewpoint, despite how strange, has turned up. Anyone who has a message that is important to them has and will get it across. This gives us the chance to test our understanding of civil rights.
By allowing those that hate to speak, we accomplish two things. We are able to learn tolerance, and we don’t allow censorship. Both of these things are vital to the evolution of man as a whole. The talents of all the world’s citizens can be utilized in a way that can be beneficial to everyone.
We can not afford to ignore these sites. Their lesson is a powerful one. We must take what they have said, and learn from it. Learn that if we want to become better, we have to lay down our swords.
When you teach someone to be more tolerant of others, you help everyone. By not caring what someone’s race is, you show the world that we can improve. It’s doubtful that we will ever reach perfection, but we certainly can move the ‘maturity-meter’ up a couple of notches.