The Pennsylvania Bar Association invites you to a special symposium exploring the legal and societal consequences of one of humanity’s darkest emotions: hate. The program series will examine the causes of hate; the differences between hate, discrimination and disagreement; laws that address hate and their limitations and criminal consequences; results of hate and how they can transfer to negative consequences for those outside the hated group; and the pros and cons of different methods available to counter hate. The first session, Loathing – The History and Tolerance of Antisemitism was presented in April 2023. The remaining three sessions will be presented in this four-hour CLE program.
Hostility - Hate Directed at Religious and LGBTQ Communities, and How Courts Address Religious Liberty and Anti-Discrimination Laws
Hate crimes against Christians, Muslims, and others because of their religion are rising. (The first program in the symposium dealt with hate crimes against Jews. To view “Loathing - The History and Tolerance of Antisemitism 2023” on demand, visit: https://www.pbi.org/Meetings/Meeting.aspx?ID=44939.) Hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals are underreported because not all states include sexual orientation and gender identity in their hate crimes statutes, but the federal statistics still show a significant increase. What is driving the increase in hate crimes and how can lowering hostile rhetoric decrease hate-based illegal conduct? How do hate crimes differ from discrimination and how does discrimination differ from disagreement? When religious liberty and LGBTQ civil rights appear to conflict, can both rights be accommodated or does every case require a winner and a loser? How do the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions and anti-discrimination laws work in tandem to give the greatest protection to all while causing the least amount of harm to any individual? If you have ever asked these questions or struggle with finding answers to them, come hear our distinguished panel discuss these and other issues while they provide historical context from our pluralistic society and analyze court cases that set standards for addressing these issues.
Antagonism - Discrimination Based on Race and Ethnicity
History and social psychology can seed distrust, discrimination and/or hatred based on visible characteristics, language barriers, cultural differences, vestiges of slavery, and inequities. Miscommunication, misunderstanding, and misinterpretation can exacerbate tense situations. Hear learned colleagues discuss how past practices can still influence how people fare under today’s legal system despite changes; how the nation’s history affected immigrants differently; how current laws and court opinions related to civil rights and discrimination positively or negatively affect communities, individuals, and the system as a whole; and how hatred and discrimination can be countered or minimized. Regardless of your practice area, this discussion can help when dealing with people of different backgrounds, with recognizing potential for miscommunication before it occurs, and with avoiding unintended prejudicial practices.
Resentment - Forces Fueling Division and How to Counter Them
Our society has seen increasing polarization with politics, traditional media, and social media fueling division from many sides. Americans value free speech and freedom of the press even while abhorring messages with which they disagree. But, resentment builds up when people feel misunderstood, feel as if they are not being heard, feel as if they are being vilified for having a different belief system, and when they are ostracized or worse for merely being themselves. Hear our esteemed panelists explore ways to counter hate and division while respecting the rule of law, what happens when the rule of law is disregarded, and how the rule of law can protect victims of violence and discrimination. Leave the session thinking about how debate and civil discourse can help bridge divides and foster peaceful coexistence even when we disagree.