The bad news is that stories of bigotry, prejudice, and divisiveness are sweeping the nation, as hate speech, hate crimes and recruitment for and involvement in hate-filled organizations such as the Hutaree "Christian" militia -- recently charged with conspiring to kill police officers as part of an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government are all increasing.
The good news is that there has been an even greater growth in the number of individuals and communities speaking out and acting together to counter the hatred. In the face of a rising wave of intolerance, people are taking action and taking a stand for inclusion and civility. Moreover, they are vastly increasing their reach and effectiveness through the adroit use of powerful new interactive social media and web tools that make it easier and cheaper than ever to communicate, network and respond in real time to the haters.
Case in point: the Not in Our Town movement, which for the last fifteen years has used media, including film, grassroots events, educational outreach, and interactive social networks, to provide more than one hundred different communities with helpful tools to fight bigotry and create inclusive communities and schools.