Sunday, April 3, 2016

"Know your neighbors."

 "Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet."
- Maya Angelou

        Hatred is an extremely strong emotion against objects, groups, individuals or even behaviors. Stop for a moment and really contemplate a person, place or thing you dislike. Why do you hate this person, place or thing? How did you learn to dislike this person, place or thing? We aren't born with complex, deeply rooted or irrational hatred. So where does rage or fevered ferocity come from? Anger that raises your blood pressure or makes your heart beat faster -where does that anger come from? Imagine if you were a child exposed to rage, fear and hateful ideology on a daily basis. It's a fact, children raised on junk food with little or no nutritional value are more likely to become unhealthy or ill. So if fear and anger is all you've been fed your entire life, fear and anger becomes you. Unresolved or uncontrolled anger increases the possibility of violence including self-mutilation, property damage, child abuse, physical assault or even homicide. For many of us trying to comprehend constant unconstrained anger is overwhelming. Empathy, education, understanding why people are frustrated or hate each other may be the only solution to bring about real long term resolution or change. Believe it or not, right now within the United States there are over 892 established hates groups. Domestic terrorism is one of the greatest threats to American personal safety and security. Hate crimes are committed for reasons of race, gender, gender identity, religion or disability. Hate crimes are tracked by local law enforcement and the FBI and can be monitored at websites such as the Southern Poverty Law Center which continuously updates their United States hate map located here- 

       Personal stories, books, conversations, exposure to diversity helps us become more aware of the origins and history of hatred and fear. "Welcome to Leith " is a 2015 Sundance Film Festival nominated, UK East End Film Festival, Florida Film Festival and Hot Docs Canadian  International Documentary Film Festival award winning documentary written and directed by Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker. The feature archives the attempted take over of  Leith, a small sparsely populated town located in North Dakota. In 2012 white supremacist, Craig Cobb began purchasing property including over twelve plots of land to build homes and compounds. Cobb's ultimate plan was to move in his Aryan army of white separatists to overtake Leith's fragile government. The town consists of under a hundred ranching and farming families with generational ties to the area.

         The documentary will be featured in full  Monday, April 4th at 10PM EST. on televisions largest showcase of independent films, PBS Independent Lens   A preview of "Welcome to Leith" can be seen above (courtesy