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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 24, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

ColumnsIn Other News

Media ignores rise in hate groups

Why is it that the front page of Al Jazeera had a story on the rise of hate groups in the United States on its online edition Feb. 23, but The New York Times buried the story deep in its U.S. section just a week before?

The focus of this column is usually on news that happens elsewhere, but when there is an increase of 133 hate groups since 2014 in the U.S. and no one seems to be concerned, someone should address it.

Many people do not realize that groups like these are spread out throughout the country, tackle various subjects and can even exist near liberal towns. Just about an hour away from Ithaca is a Holocaust Denial group called Deir Yassin Remembered, whose intent is to call attention to the massacre at Deir Yassin, a Palestinian Arab village, by a Jewish militia. There is also a high concentration of hate groups in New York City ranging from general hate to Black Separatists groups.

Left-wing mainstream media does not cover the rise in hate groups because it would tarnish their argument that “America was already great.” Right-wing media ignores these groups to validate their argument that only the left has violent protesters with no leaderships; they only decide to play the card when Black Separatists groups act out.

International news sites like Al Jazeera have nothing to lose. They put journalistic integrity over propaganda and understand that the sociopolitical landscape of the U.S. is changing and taking a very dangerous turn.

This pinhole view of the U.S. allows hate groups like these to keep growing because they are so underestimated. That, and the turbulent election cycle that does nothing but spew hate and discourse.

For example, since 2015, there has been a 197 percent increase in the total number of anti-Muslim hate groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. This probably has a direct correlation to the rhetoric President Donald Trump used throughout his campaign. There has not been this drastic of an increase in anti-Muslim groups since 9/11. If right-wing media admitted to something like this, it would validate the fact that Trump’s words instill violent thoughts in many people in the U.S.

The growth of these groups should not be taken for granted because they could ultimately change the social landscape and interactions of the U.S., making this country more dangerous and discombobulated than it already is.

Isabella Grullón Paz can be reached at igrullon@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @isagp23