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29 December 2019

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How Mental Health Education Can Impact Hate Crimes

The irony of this news after our last post abt the positive changes in society, as shown by the pics of Europe’s largest menorah, in Germany.

 

Crimes of hate are unacceptable, & at the same time, a reality in our world. Anti-semitism, Racism, Terrorism, it’s all awful, & yet here’s what we hear from elected officials: “I condemn the attacks. Thoughts & prayers go out to the victims.” Nothing is DONE.

 

Let’s take it a step further – when politicians talk abt doing something when these crimes happen, whether hate fueled like last night, or others, immediately the conversation turns to gun control/reform as the answer. While I agree our country needs gun reform, what would gun reform have done in the case of a machete stabbing of 5 last nt? Or a man beaten in Manhattan in the face coming out of a store, just bc of how he looked?

 

It’s time we got real. I’m not an elected official, & I don’t have a short term answer to curtail these acts (other than punishments so intense they make others think 2x). But what I do know is, beneath crimes of hate, MH is at play. It’s the elephant in the room, & the largest orgs in our country deny the connection.

 

What are the 2 most common ways ppl come to hate others 1) being taught hate at home, 2) feeling ostracized by their fam/friends/community & finding a group that finally accepts them, even if it’s an idealogical group rooted in hate (fear) of others. BOTH of these cases are rooted in MH. In 1, it’s verbal/emotional abuse & learned non-acceptance, & in 2, it’s feelings of isolation looking for acceptance anywhere.

 

While I don’t have the short term answer, the long term answer is MH education – yet NO one talks abt this. We have debates where it’s not even discussed. Politicians on both sides of the aisle call these perpetrators “sickos” as if ppl are just born that way.

 

Let’s get our heads out of our asses. MH DOES underly these acts. Saying that does NOT mean we’re condemning mentally ill ppl, who are 99.99% no harm to others. But teaching ppl are ppl, we all have issues/trauma, #5in5 struggle #SameHere…maybe, just maybe, will combat the hate bred from abuse, & will teach our society more acceptance & compassion.

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