Can the Holocaust provide a template for understanding and confronting extremism today?
The Holocaust began with words – hateful words aimed at Jews, and others. Words can encourage and compliment, but words also can startle and wound people personally and in public ways. Words can poison an atmosphere. Words matter. When a world-famous rapper, an NBA star, and other prominent people spread anti-Jewish vitriol on social media sites, they add to fears that public figures are normalizing hate and ramping up the risk of violence in America, a country already experiencing a sharp increase in antisemitism. More dangerous than Nazis with torches chanting, ‘Jews will not replace us,’ are political leaders and others espousing those same conspiracy theories in increasingly normalized ways. Can the Holocaust provide a template for understanding and confronting extremism today?
WVIA, in partnership with Misericordia University, presents a multi-part project with world-renowned scholars that will help to educate our regional audience about the importance and weight of words in civil discourse. We want to shine our powerful spotlight on this growing problem and bring our community together to educate and influence change.
We believe a small number of people working together can create big change. The rising vitriol and divisiveness across our country compel us to act. Here in our region, we want to highlight this issue, facilitate a community dialogue, and create educational content all with the goal of bringing our community together to understand how hurtful words and unchallenged hatred can lead to violence against others.
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Thank you to these generous individuals, foundations, and community partners who helped to make Holocaust Warnings possible. Together we are standing against hate speech, extremism, and antisemitism in our region.