An Open Letter to Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Why Black Lives Matter Isn’t a Hate Group

Dear Ms. Hasselbeck,

It must pain you to sit around each day wondering just why America isn’t classifying the Black Lives Matter movement as a hate group. With all of their anti-establishment ideologies and actions lately, they’re certainly terrorists in the making, correct?

Wrong.

Perhaps you should be reminded of the definition of a hate group. According to the FBI, a hate group is one in which its members practice “bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.” Those who are a part of the Black Lives Matter movement are not attacking people who are different than them; rather, they are working for the rights of black men and women, who have been repeatedly overlooked and mistreated in this country by authorities. This group includes people of different races, cultures, and ethnicities—not just black people—and they are all fighting for one thing: true equality amongst all people.

Yes, the movement may have begun as a response to the increasing amount of violence against black people by authorities in the United States, but Black Lives Matter has become so much more than that. While its primary mission it to fight for the rights of black citizens, it also exists to fight for equality in other minority groups that experience discrimination and hatred.

Now, if you want an example of a true hate group, look towards those such as the Ku Klux Klan or the Westboro Baptist Church, who make it their life’s mission to frighten and push away anyone who isn’t white. Consider the acts they have carried out before. The KKK has burned crosses near the homes of people they seek to intimidate, and the Westboro Baptist Church has led antisemitic and homophobic protests near Jewish and LGBT establishments.

A hate group is one that fights against people’s right due to personal or religious beliefs. They seek to restrain when, where, and how people live. But the Black Lives Matter movement is fighting for people’s rights despite personal or religious beliefs. They seek to bring everyone together in one community. They are not a hate group.

Did that help clarify things, Ms. Hasselbeck?