Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: PA one of the nation's leaders in hate groups

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 4, 2015 7:00 AM

Three Ku Klux Klan members standing beside automobile driven by Klan members at a Ku Klux Klan parade through counties in Northern Virginia bordering on the District of Columbia in 1922.

What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, May 4, 2015:

Ask many Central Pennsylvanians why they live here and often the answer is "It's a great place to raise a family."  And while that is true, there are some activities going on behind the scenes and sometimes right out in the open that are not very family friendly.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's annual report earlier this year said Pennsylvania has 38 hate groups -- the fifth most in the nation.

The groups range from white racists and black seperatists to anti-immigration and anti gay groups.

The SPLC defines hate groups as having beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people.

The groups may or may not be violent but have engaged in hate speech or published hate material.

Hate Groups 5.4.2015.jpg

Geoff Biringer, Josh Bartash, and Ann Van Dyke

Monday's Smart Talk focuses on hate groups and hate crimes.  Guests include Ann Van Dyke, consultant with the YWCA's Community Respondent's Network and formerly 33 years with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) dealing with bias and hate crimes; Josh Bartash, investigator with the PHRC and formerly with the Anti-Defamation League, and Geoff Biringer, Director of Education and Community Services (PHRC) and formerly with MidPenn Legal Services.

For information on how to file a complaint with the PHRC, please visit

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-04 08:20

    Manuel emails:

    As we see groups on both sides of the same-sex marriage cause malign each other, i.e. Christians become maligned as being bigoted, and same-sex marriage proponents become maligned as “sinners”, when do these groups cross the line from religious or social conviction, and into being “hate groups”?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-04 08:41

    Matt emails:

    It seems to me that there is a common example of hate speech, used by millions of Americans on a regular basis, that is at least an indirect incitement to violence and that has in fact incited many acts of terrible violence, and yet this particular example is almost never condemned in the media, rarely opposed by neutral parties, and is generally considered off-limits in terms of being judged to be hate speech. The example is this: "Abortion is murder." And the direct implication that follows: those who support or seek legal abortions are MURDERERS. It seems to me that that's pretty hateful, and that it's a direct incitement to violence (what do we do to murderers, after all?!). I would be curious to hear your guests' thoughts about what seems to me like a widely condoned, widely ignored form of hate speech.

  • Kevin Skipper Jr. img 2015-05-04 14:09

    Nobody is naturally hateful. It always takes a structured, intentional campaign to apply and instill bigoted resentful values. The first element, has little to do with hate. It's just simple division. The ability to regard some people as other. Otherness. Other groups, other cultures, other communities, other identities.

    Do these features actually exist or are they themselves constructs intended to shift the focus from the REAL causes of hate ? What do you think hate groups really are? What allows these groups and individuals to gain such notoriety? These groups, in my opinion, represent a strategic element of thought and behavioral control. It's obvious that minorities and the marginalized suffer. Not as recognized that they often suffer at the hands of the suffering. Hate groups are more that just gathering places for the addicted and mentally ill. 'Triggering conditions' are not passive or coincidental. They are strategies formulated by the ruling class. Designating groups of angry whites as hate groups does nothing to expose the fact that members of hate groups have also been victimized. Southerners are cheated out of their land supposedly on favor of emancipation? LIE! Rural labor jobs being given to black workers? Mexican workers being kept out or departed to protect jobs for Americans? LIE! Same sex marriage rights in favor of equality and fairness? LIE! They have reasons to be frustrated, but not the freedom to point out those parties who are using them to conceal a global culture of disenfranchisement and slavery. They are effectively enslaved cornered and shackled by the illusions of white privilege. Universally limiting factors intended to deactivate the whole human race.

    I strongly disagree with Ms Van Dyke. She seems to see the root of hate groups in the decisions and conditions faced by the members of hate groups. Hate groups DO adjust. Hate groups do refine. Black scholars refer to this stage of racial discrimination as the refinement stage. Outright hateful or violent actions and speech give way to a more subtle denial of the mere question or racism or discrimination.

    Mr. Bartash seems to believe that criticism of a Zionist world government is somehow anti-semetic. It's anything but! As a descendant of the actual African Hebrews and the 12 tribes of a GLOBAL UNIVERSAL ISRAEL, I find it crucial to point out that affiliation with Hebrew ritual does not a Jew make. Nor does adaptation of Jewish or Kabbalistic scripture to the effect of widespread coersion. Zionism today, is signified by the cooptation of "Jewish" identity, struggle and most importantly, prophecy to pursue the same imperialistic, racist, genocidal policies historically attributed to fascist megalomaniacal European monarchy. There's nothing actually Jewish about it.

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