11th Grade Learners at IkamvaYouth Makhaza are now speaking about hate crimes. So what is a hate crime? A hate crime is when a person or group of persons targets a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a certain social group, usually defined by racial group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, etc. Our students at Makhaza are using Siyayinqoba’s workshops on addressing this issue and hopefully… beating it out of their lives!

Part I of our lesson on Hate Crime focused on defining a hate crime and to understand that it does not happen only in South Africa. Using a poem from the US, learners were able to hear tutors Christopher Fan and Ginia O’Neil speak about the history of United States after slavery and the hate crimes committed on blacks in their country in the 1930s. Students then were asked to speak about groups they feel are victims of hate crimes. Examples they provided were Somalians, immigrants, gays, lesbians, Indians, Asians, and many more. Moving beyond this, the learners agreed that hate crimes come about negative stereotyping. To make this idea clear, the tutors made the learners draw their depiction of a Somalian, a Politician, a gay person, an Indian, and an artist. The pictures drawn were of stereotypes (i.e. Somalians in grass skirts, a man wearing makeup, a woman wearing a sari). We finished Part I by having the students talk about what groups in their neighborhood could be targeted and what they can do about it. 

to be continued.