So how has society responded? One of the most recent and popular initiatives is the promotion of tolerance. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 400,000 educators receive the “Teaching Tolerance” magazine every year. And yet, over the past decade while tolerance programs have blossomed, there has been a dramatic 56% increase (not decrease) in active hate groups.
How can this be? According to Dr. Scott Hampton, violence prevention expert and author of the new book, “Tolerant oppression: Why promoting tolerance undermines our quest for equality and what we should do instead,” tolerance conveys a condescending attitude (i.e., “I don’t like you, but I guess I’ll just have to tolerate you.”). As he explains in his book, it is difficult to acknowledge equality while you are looking down on someone.
So why has tolerance become so popular? According to Dr. Hampton, a primary reason is that people understandably, though mistakenly, believe tolerance to be the opposite of intolerance and therefore the solution to hatred. He debunks this and related myths through logical analysis, research data, quotations from civic and religious leaders as well as members of oppressed groups, and through entertaining metaphors, stories and exercises. “Tolerance does not require that you give up your hatred. It just tells you how to act when you hate. Not good enough. It is time that we teach people how not to hate. No one wants to be tolerated, but everyone wants to be accepted. That is the path to equality.”
Written for advocates, educators and for use in civil rights and gender studies classes, the book applies the concepts and analysis to a wide range of social issues including abortion, bullying, conflict resolution, domestic and sexual violence, disabilities, drug addiction, prostitution and human trafficking, homophobia, religious discrimination, terrorism, war and violence in sports and the media.
For more information about the book, the groundbreaking research study the book is based on, or to schedule a speaking engagement, contact Dr. Hampton at endingviolence@
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Founded in August of 2000, Ending The Violence is a violence prevention agency headquartered in Dover, NH. It offers educational classes to perpetrators of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and hate crimes both in the community and in the local jail.
in addition, it offers training and consultation to other professionals including advocates, child protective workers, probation and parole officers, judges, attorneys, medical professionals, clergy, teachers and law enforcement. Ending the Violence creates educational materials and offers expert witness testimony in both civil and criminal cases.