Impact of the Cumulative

It may be difficult for the colour-blind to spot the red…

What jumps out is the message that hate does not need much to grow.

The goal of IWitness is to motivate students, through the use of testimonies from the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive to act responsibly and ultimately to help them uphold important values. These include justice, equality, diversity, tolerance and how best to counter attitudes and acts of hatred. And we’ve seen through our evaluation efforts that the power of first person audiovisual resources does have tremendous impact on students. In this current political climate, it’s so important to remember that hate, unlike other feelings or dispositions, does not need much to grow; something that we are learning too well in every locale we are working.

Ignorance, fear and opportunity provide marvelous conditions for it to take root and spread. In the 30s in Germany, the Communists and the Socialists were so busy fighting each other that they missed the real threat that the rise of the Nazis posed. One might suggest that a similar dynamic is taking shape as our political leaders vie for power, oblivious to—or even exploitive of—the growing resentment between groups of people on the ground. In both cases, the result was and is a proliferation of fear, hate and a loss of democracy and decency. We are in danger of falling into the same trap when we set up a dynamic of “us” and “them.”

Interview with Kori Street
Vigilance: the action or state of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.
Cumulative: increasing or increased in quantity, degree, or force by successive additions.

And so for day 2034