University of North Dakota students protest offensive T-shirts American Indian students at the University of North Dakota came together in mid-May to protest offensive T-shirts worn by their peers, according to the Native Sun News. Students photographed themselves wearing T-shirts that depict an American Indian drinking from a beer bong with the words “Siouxper Drunk” emblazoned on the front. The “Fighting Sioux” logo was retired in 2012 due to impending NCAA sanctions over its controversial depiction of American Indian, according to ESPN. “The ‘drunken Indian’ caricature is one of the worst stereotypes about Native people that there is,” said Ruth Hopkins, a writer for LastRealIndians.com.
Westboro Baptist Church
By Liz Welch, Fair is Fair MontanaHate is not a Montana value. Montana families are open and inclusive. Bozeman churches do not want to be associated with hate and negativity. Why then did the Westboro Baptist Church chose Bozeman to show their unique and highly offensive brand of free speech and anti-gay sentiment?
This summer, a comment arrived in response to our video “Lowell Students Dance Away the Hate,” a short film featuring an inspiring student response to a visit from the hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church. “This is so sweet,” the commenter wrote, “I found out about this video after I read the book Miss Fortune Cookie! It incorporated this event in the book and included the link to this video at the end. It's so cheerful and happy. =)” Miss Fortune Cookie is a young adult novel penned by Lauren Bjorkman, an author who attended high school in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives with her family in Taos, New Mexico. We connected via email about her interest in the video and how she fictionalized it in her book.
Vassar students stand up to hate group Students at Vassar College have raised more than $84,000 for The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT youth, in response to a visit from a hate group. According to college newspaper The Miscellany News, students started to organize their counterprotest immediately after hearing that the Westboro Baptist Church were planning to picket the college on Feb. 28. The fundraiser was intended to raise $4,500, $100 for every minute the hate group intended to picket the college. Instead, they raised twice that amount in under twelve hours.
Slate: "Productive" Response to Kansas Hate Group When the Westboro Baptist Church hate group announced that it would picket the funerals of the Newtown, CT shooting victims, many people were filled with outrage. In response, the cyberhacking group Anonymous hacked the website and Twitter pages of the WBC in a form of revenge. Slate writer Will Oremus states that there have been more productive responses to the Westboro Baptist Church, particularly the pro-tolerance counter protest of Gunn High School. This counter protest was effective because it worked to empower the students and strengthen the school’s values of acceptance and tolerance. Slate also featured our video, “Gunn High School Sings Away Hate Group,” below. Talking to Your Kids About Newtown
From Oak Creek Patch: About 100 people attended a candlelight vigil Sunday night at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin for victims of the Newtown school shootings. Credit: Mark Schaaf Oak Creek Stands for NewtownMass shootings are happening all too often across the country, and no one knows this better than the residents of those communities affected. The residents of Oak Creek, WI, understand the pain these shootings cause—just four months ago, a white supremacist shot and killed six people at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. That’s why Oak Creek stood with Newtown, CT, on Sunday, holding a vigil to remember the 26 people killed in a shooting rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. Read the full story about the vigil on Oak Creek Patch.
Today we uploaded three new files to the Not In Our Town Action Kit: Materials from West Virginia's successful multi-pronged action campaign titled, West Virginia: No Place for Hate. Though this counter-protest occured in 2010, we believe these resources remain relevant and inspiring today. West Virginia leaders came together after Fred Phelps' Westboro hate group announced it would picket Catholic and Jewish institutions in the two towns, a local university, and a mine where more than a dozen miners had recently lost their lives. The Not In Our Town Action Kit is a hidden gem on NIOT.org, compiling resources from communities standing up to hate and intolerance. In addition to these materials from West Virginia, you will find:
The hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church has put Olympia High School on its picketing schedule, arriving tomorrow morning with its messages of hate. When OHS Principal Matt Grant received the news, he began conversations with the school district and police. He met with students that wanted to craft a non-confrontational response. He also reached out to his colleagues through Not In Our School, receiving support and advice from successful counter-action organizers, such as educator Daisy Renazco, who supported her students when the WBC visited Gunn High School several years ago. The Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), a Topeka, KS-based hate group known for their anti-gay ideologies, begin their protests at the state capitol today, which is the deadline for opponents of marriage equality to turn in the signatures needed to put Washington’s marriage equality law up for a vote. Olympia Unity in the Community organizes a community response.
From SacBee.com. See original article. After the trauma of last week's tornado—the deadliest on record—Joplin, Mo. will now be descended upon by a hate group. The Westboro Baptist Church will protest President Barack Obama's visit to the town on Sunday. News of the hate group's visit traveled quickly, sparking people to action. Amid the rubble, people are standing up in support of this town of 50,000, including the 125 dead and the more than 900 injured.
"Who is this group that's coming? And I realized ... it's Fred Phelps and my heart just dropped. I can't believe they're coming. Why us? Out of all the schools, why us?" —Daisy Renazco, Gunn High School teacher02/2011—Above is one of NIOT.org's most popular videos, "Gunn High School Sings Away Hate Group," which has garnered more than 225,000 views on our YouTube channel. Ellen DeGeneres, in a Tweet, said she was "so unbelievably proud of Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA for demonstrating love & acceptance in a peaceful way."What's significant about this video is that it showcases how a community can stand up to hate in a peaceful and constructive way. The video was shot in 2010, when the Kansas hate group known as the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps' family) announced they would picket Bay Area schools and Jewish institutions. The students of Gunn High School, located in Palo Alto, Calif., decided they could not sit quietly.