In December 2005, Public Good Project — an organization for which I’ve served as administrative director since 1994 — co-sponsored On the Border, a national human rights conference to explore patterns of violence associated with hate campaigns, and to discuss the recurrence of vigilantes as a political pressure group. Our research director Paul de Armond’s report presented at the conference, The Racist Origins of Border Militias, recounted the history of organized anti-immigrant violence over the last half century. On our website, other documents and reports examine hateful ideologies associated with this violence, and trace how they are transmitted throughout our society.
Writing recently in Indian Country Today, Devon G. Pena examines the ideologically hostile climate produced by exaggerated right-wing grievances in the United States. As a scholar of the ecology of fear and the climate of hatred it generates, Pena observes that learning peacefulness can transform our culture of violence, but it must begin with socializing our children in ways that value caring and sharing rather than glorifying violence. While this may be easier said than done in a society that exudes violence in all its ramifications as a virtue, discussing our disease of dominion is a good place to begin.