Here’s why you should join us!
by No to Hate Politics
Why are you even talking about extremist and populist parties? You want to make them even more popular than they already are? We should ignore them and cram them in the garbage bin! You are partly right, however, I will give you two arguments why we should still talk about these things. In the end I will tell you what I think we should do more concretely besides just speaking about extremists and populists.
The first argument has to do with an article I read called “The good side of homophobia”. It was a personal story of a gay BBC journalist covering the frontlines of Russian homophobia. His name was Henley. Henley did his job of reporting from the field and in a separate piece he put his own personal story about how he felt when doing interviews and what was like to be hated by people who didn’t even know why they hate him for. Where is the wisdom in this story? Well, the fact that he could broadcast his sexuality to the 180 million people who listen to BBC and make many feel proud of him means that in some countries, at least, we have come a very long way in the right direction. The good side of homophobia is its vanishing side was the conclusion of the article I want to emphasize here. Now let’s face it: if you were born and educated in a society that was hostile to minorities and you ended up on the other side of the barricade you might have come to this conclusion because you listened to people, entered into conversations and were emphatic. Talking about these issues and not excluding even the opinions of radicals can turn productive.
Here’s a more philosophical argument for you if you are into that. Let’s say you are on one of the two sides: either think speech harms others or that it doesn’t. If you think it does than one could argue for limiting freedom of speech for the safe of allegedly protecting others and I doubt we are 100% in for that. A counter speech that would advocate for those harmed would come more handy. If on the other hand you think speech can’t harm that I have something to ask you who are you and where did you come from?
Who’s the enemy in my backyard again? In short the enemies are the far-right political parties and similar narratives, politicians and public figures who talk the politics of hate around the EU. What happens is that they got more popular with the beginning and prolongation of the financial crisis and are expected to earn three to four times more seats in this year’s European Parliament elections. In the same time politics became less open and less representative for LGBT people, immigrants, Roma, youth or poor and minorities in general. Extreme positions against these groups have risen and have been picked up by the media. Nevertheless media can be biased and it is likely to produce a conflict instead of objectively inform and include multiple positions. It so happens that an extreme position – far right in our case – in the public sphere is not always counterbalanced with the same intensity by its progressive opposite.
More concretely what I propose is to voice a “No” to hate politics. NoToHatePolitics is such a movement that does not represent a political party but it intends to denounce the far-right political radicalism within the EU and of those who speak the politics of hate. We aim at taming the dispersion of hate speech and challenge the recent fascist and racist features of politics. This will help us know better each country through a direct conversation and not solely through news scraps of their position.
NoToHatePolitics is meeting online, does online sit-ins, talks about recent news and analysis about far-right parties, movements and activists. We would also like mobilize on different occasions and connect to other groups that fight hate politics around EU and the world.
What you can do? Find and follow us on https://notohatepolitics.wordpress.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/notohatepolitics and write us about the radical party in your country. Talk to your friends, relatives and peers and ask them not to vote for radicals. We can’t afford to turn back the clock and waste time on hate speech and hate politics!