Hate Is to Be Stopped

Hate Is to Be Stopped
illustration by J. Acosta
Cyndee Loryang of the Fresno Center during the recent Stop the Hate town hall in Fresno. Photo by Peter Maiden

On Jan. 25, the Community Alliance newspaper and the San Joaquin Valley Media Alliance held their second “stop the hate” town hall at Central East High School in Fresno. Expert panelists and representatives from state and federal jurisdictions, including a U.S. attorney, spoke about how hate can be confronted and overcome in our community.

The town hall focused on hate motivated by biases against groups of people in protected categories that ends in crimes. The gathering highlighted California’s “Stop the Hate” initiative.

Federally protected categories or groups of people are race/color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender/sex, gender identity and disability. When a crime occurs that targets people in these groups, it is a hate crime.

“Hate crimes target the community—not just the individual—that’s why they’re so bad and why we place such a high priority on them,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert at the town hall.

“Many times, hate crimes are committed by individuals against people they don’t even know,” he explained. “And, it’s not the victim who they are trying to target, it’s the group, whatever that group is, whether it’s based on religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin—whatever it is.

“And the message is, ‘You don’t belong here.’ Well, that’s just not the case in the United States because we all belong here and we all need to stand up against this.”

Panelist Jess Fitzpatrick, community outreach educator at the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission’s LGBTQ+ Resource Center, added that “what I’ve committed myself to has been about dealing with the anger, the grief and the righteous fury of the injustices that I have seen in Fresno when it comes to the disrespect and the disregard of my community.”

Local Pastor D.J. Criner, another community panelist, said, “I truly believe that, in order for hate to be eliminated—and I do believe hate can be eliminated because good is present—but it has to be done only when people come together across different varieties, not just of communities but of backgrounds, ethnicities, and so on and so on.

“So the beauty about what you’re seeing tonight is that you have for once, different communities, different individuals, different genders, different representations that are coming together for one sole purpose and that’s the elimination of hate. For those that think that it cannot be done, the door is open for you to exit out.”

On Feb. 8, another California group committed to eradicating hate, the Act Against Hate Alliance, held a virtual roundtable briefing with law enforcement to discuss hate crimes.

State Senator Josh Newman (D–Fullerton) set the stage with this introductory message: “According to a 2021 report from the Attorney General’s office, since 2012, the number of reported hate crimes in California has increased by 89.6%.

“It’s incumbent upon each of us to take an active role in denouncing hate. That we all take steps to be better citizens, both as advocates and as bystanders, when reporting incidents, supporting victims and intervening when it is safe to do so.” 

The core mission of the Act Against Hate Alliance is to “identify the root causes behind hate crimes and propose solutions to stop them.”

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, a panelist in the briefing, explained the importance of such a mission: “When a hate crime occurs, it truly rocks the community. The credibility of the government, of policing agencies, is really rocked, and the sense of safety for all in the community is badly damaged.”

“The term ‘tolerance’ is used quite a bit,” notes McDonnell, “but I’ve always been bothered by that since ‘tolerance’ is ‘putting up’ with a group of people. To me, it should be ‘respect.’ We should move from any kind of talk of ‘tolerance’ to ‘respect’ for everybody in our communities.”

Essentially, this means focusing on our fundamental unalienable American values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—all which engender a culture of mutual respect. When we stand united in mutual respect, hate will no longer have a home in our community.

But until that day is finally realized, the Federal Bureau of Investigation wants you to know that it is serious about protecting the public from hate crimes and holding hate crime perpetrators accountable.

Special Agent in Charge Brian T. Gilhooly of the FBI Criminal Investigations Division, Los Angeles Field Office, another panelist on the Act Against Hate Alliance briefing, made it clear: “For us, hate crimes—it’s not only an attack on a victim—it has a huge impact on the entire community…and it really causes a problem for the community, which is why it’s a priority for the FBI. We dedicate a ton of resources to hate crimes—we have an entire squad dedicated to investigating hate crimes.”

Yet, the FBI can’t do it alone. Your help is needed to stop hate.

Special Agent Gilhooly made a special appeal at the briefing: “What we are trying to do is encourage the reporting of hate crimes. Many hate crimes go unreported.

“Most people set the bar relatively high with reaching out to law enforcement, thinking that they might need to actually have some physical violence.

“Harassment and other forms of hate crimes should also be reported to law enforcement. That way, we can better understand what’s going on in the community and target our investigation.”

If hate is to be stopped, it can no longer be allowed to fester within our community. We can no longer passively enable it by letting it just be. We must nip it in the bud and shine a strong light on it by reporting incidents to the authorities. The FBI, which encourages simultaneous dual reporting to itself and local authorities, has the resources to help win this fight.

Together, we can “Stop the Hate.”



  1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3ldvpDbBnY
  2. fresnoalliance.com/hate-is-in-the-air/
  3. youtu.be/TLv4HPyU4ec
  4. www.fbi.gov/contact-us


  • I. smiley G. Calderon

    I. smiley G. Calderon is a Gen X Southern California Chicano now living in the Central Valley. A lifelong educator who spent a career in academia, he believes in building individual and collective human capital through the accessible application of education. Contact him at smileygcalderon@gmail.com.

2 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x