Forum: Racism and anti-Semitism on rise

Unitarian Universalists event outlines school-to-prison pipeline
June 26, 2019

A public forum on racism and anti-Semitism sponsored by the Unitarian Universalists June 6 featured Robin Bernstein of the Anti-Defamation League, representative for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Speaking to a group of about 50 people at the UU church in Lewes, Bernstein discussed what she called the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ which targets racial minorities, those with disabilities, and people who identify in the LGBTQ+ community. She said people in any of these categories are three times more likely than whites to not attend college, be punished more severely than their white peers, and end up disproportionately in the criminal justice system.

“We cannot end hate by talking about just one group,” Bernstein said. The end of hate can only be achieved by making certain all groups who are attacked are heard, she said.

2018 had the second-highest number of anti-Semitic incidents since the ADL began recording them. Bernstein said 201 incidents occurred in universities, including two at the University of Delaware. Luckily, she said, “responses by universities have been very good.”

In 2017, Bernstein said, there were more than 4.2 million anti-Semitic posts on Twitter alone, not taking into account all of the other social media platforms. “ADL has been tracking the online hate ever since the start of the internet,” said Bernstein.

The league has been in existence since 1913, pursuing a mission to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and securing justice and fair treatment to all.” ADL actively tracks and opposes hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups.

The event was the second part in a three-part series of forums. The first, “No Place for Hate,” was held back in April of this year. The third and final part of this forum series will be held in September. The specific date and location have not yet been announced.

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