The Southern Poverty Law Center gave its assessment of the current state of hate and extremism at an international human rights conference in Warsaw, Poland, a city that’s no stranger to the horror of violent extremism due to its occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II.
The presentation at the Human Dimension Conference was given by Lisa Borden, the SPLC’s senior policy counsel for international advocacy, Thursday. The 10-day conference is the work of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
In addition to explaining the SPLC’s history of fighting against hate, Borden outlined the challenges in today’s increasingly volatile political landscape and, most importantly, provided policy recommendations to help fight the spread of extremism.
For more than 50 years, the SPLC has fought hate and extremism in all forms. From the racism and violence of the Ku Klux Klan to the efforts of political leaders to marginalize communities of color, limiting their access to polling places, education, equal justice and economic security, the SPLC has led the fight for justice and equality for all people.
But Borden pointed out that the battle lines are not as clear as they were previously. Social media have given a platform for those espousing extremist views to establish a beachhead from which they have invaded the core of society, moving once fringe theories and concepts into the heart of public discourse.
One of the missions of the SPLC is to turn that tide, pushing back on the hate so that it is exposed, and then promoting educational initiatives and policy prescriptions to help address it.
Read Borden’s remarks below or watch the video of the presentation.
Photo at top: Lisa Borden, the SPLC’s senior policy counsel for international advocacy, makes her remarks at the Human Dimension Conference in Warsaw, Poland. (Courtesy of OSCE)