cover image American Hate: Survivors Speak Out

American Hate: Survivors Speak Out

Edited by Arjun Singh Sethi. New Press, $24.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-62097-371-4

Human rights lawyer Sethi brings together 13 stories of “people whose lives have been impacted by hate” during and after the American presidential election of 2016 in this affecting anthology. Avid followers of the news are likely to be familiar with some of these cases, such as that of Taylor Dumpson, an African-American university student whose election as student government president was met with displays of nooses and bananas, and of Tanya Gersh, a Jewish businesswoman whose contact information was published by neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, spurring a storm of harassment and threats, and rumors of an armed march against the presence of Jews in her town. Other testimonies include those of black teenagers Destinee Mangum and Walia Mohamed, who survived a white supremacist’s deadly attack on a commuter train, and Native American attorney Ruth Hopkins, who participated in the oil pipeline resistance movement on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and experienced firsthand the violence with which law enforcement treated unarmed protestors. This book makes for troublesome reading, as many of the subjects report that their situations have become more difficult in the past two years—like Syrian refugee Asmaa Albukaie, who found a welcoming community in Idaho in 2014, but now fears for her and her children’s safety because “this country is changing” under Trump—but Sethi ends on a tentatively optimistic note about finding ways to resist hate. This angry yet hopeful work is an important document of what the United States looks like to “the most vulnerable” among its people in 2018. (Aug.)