156 Civil and Human Rights Groups Call for Stronger Response to Hate Incidents

For Immediate Release

156 Civil and Human Rights Groups Call for Stronger Response to Hate Incidents

WASHINGTON - The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 155 civil and human rights groups today called upon the Executive Branch to respond more quickly and forcefully to hate-based incidents, which have been occurring at an alarming rate in recent months.  The statement follows:

“Our diversity is part of what makes America great, and incidents motivated by hate are an affront to the values we share. No one should face acts of violence or intimidation because of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, or national origin.

Just this year, we have seen an alarming increase in accounts and reports of hate-based acts of violence and intimidation. Some recent examples include:

  • The February shooting in Olathe, Kansas, where two Indian Hindu Americans were attacked, killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla;
  • Four mosques burned in the past two months, in Texas, Washington, and Florida, and more defaced by acts of vandalism;
  • Numerous bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers, synagogues, and ADL offices around the country;
  • The recent shooting in Washington state of a Sikh American outside of his home;
  • Racist graffiti targeting African Americans in Stamford, Connecticut and at a high school in Lake Oswego, Oregon;
  • An attack on a Latino man in Daly City, California, and an attack on a Hispanic woman in Queens, New York, with both targeted because of their ethnicity;
  • The murders of seven transgender women of color, including six African Americans and one Native American.

While we welcome President Trump’s remarks to the joint session of Congress, where he noted ‘we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms,’ it was the first public acknowledgement he had made on specific recent events.  It is clear that the President has been slow to respond to hate incidents, when he has responded at all.  We strongly believe the President has a moral obligation to use his bully pulpit to speak out against acts of hatred when they occur.  

Moreover, the President and his surrogates have too frequently used rhetoric and proposed and enacted policies that have fostered a hostile environment toward many, including African Americans, Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, and immigrant and refugee communities. The President cannot condemn hate in one sentence and then in the same speech, promote falsehoods that can lead to bias and hate violence. 

We as a nation are stronger when we are inclusive. We encourage the President, his staff and members of his Cabinet to condemn hate incidents when they happen.  We appreciate Secretary of Homeland Security Kelly’s recent condemnation of these acts and his pledge for support and outreach by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Especially given the unique obligations and responsibilities of the Department of Justice, we strongly urge Attorney General Sessions to take similar actions. 

We also urge the President to continue the tradition of a White House interagency task force on hate violence, and make available the full resources of the federal government to track and report hate crimes, to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators, and to aid affected communities. Our inclusive democracy demands no less.”

Signed,

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
9to5, National Association of Working Women
The Aafia Foundation
AAUW
ACRS
The African American Policy Forum
American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity
American Constitution Society for Law & Policy
American Federation of Teachers
American Islamic Congress
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Amnesty International USA
Anti-Defamation League
Arab American Institute
Arizona Asian Chamber of Commerce
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian American Organizing Project
Asian American Psychological Association
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Chicago
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles
Asian Americans United
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote
Asian Counseling and Referral Service
Asian Law Alliance
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
Asian Pacific American Senior Coalition
Asian Pacific Development Center
Asian Services In Action
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
AZAPIAVote Table
Bend the Arc Jewish Action
Black Women's Roundtable
Black Youth Vote!
B'nai B'rith International
Center for Asian American Media
Chinese Community Center, Houston
Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
Church World Service
Coalition for Disability Health Equity
Coalition on Human Needs
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Domestic Worker Legacy Fund
Equal Justice Society
Equal Rights Advocates
Equality California
Farmworker Justice
Global Justice Institute, Metropolitan Community Churches
GLSEN
Hindu American Foundation
Hispanic Federation
Housing Choice Partners
Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights First
Institute for Science and Human Values
Interfaith Alliance
The Interfaith Center of New York
International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies
Islamic Networks Group (ING)
Japanese American Citizens League
Jewish Labor Committee
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
Lambda Legal
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
League of United Latin American Citizens
Matthew Shepard Foundation
MiNDS & the #Beyond2016 Initiative
Muslim Advocates
NAACP
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
NANAY Community Economic Development Corporation
National Action Network
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Association of Human Rights Workers
National Association of Social Workers
National Bar Association
National Black Justice Coalition
National CAPACD
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
National Collaborative for Health Equity
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
National Council of Churches
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council on independent living
National Disability Rights Network
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Education Association
National Employment Law Project
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Immigration Law Center
National Iranian American Council
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Network for Arab American Communities
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for New Americans
National Partnership for Women and Families
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
National Women's Law Center
National Youth Employment Coalition
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
New Mexico Asian Family Center
OCA
OCA Greater Houston
Ohio Council of Churches
OneAmerica
People For the American Way
PFLAG National
PolicyLink
Poligon Education Fund
Population Connection Action Fund
Presbyterian Feminist Agenda
Presbyterian USA
Pride at Work
Progressive Congress Action Fund
Project Vote
Public Advocates Inc.
Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
The Revolutionary Love Project
SABA North America
Service Employees International Union
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
The Sikh Coalition
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
South Asian Bar Association of North America
South Asian Fund For Education, Scholarship & Training (SAFEST)
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
Southern Poverty Law Center
State Innovation Exchange (SiX)
TASH
Transformative Justice Coalition
The Trevor Project
T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Union for Reform Judaism
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United Church of Christ, OC Inc.
The United Methodist Church - General Board of Church and Society
The Voter Participation Center
We Belong Together
Women's League for Conservative Judaism
Women's Voices.Women Vote Action Fund
Woodhull Freedom Foundation
YWCA USA

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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society – an America as good as its ideals.

The Leadership Conference is a 501(c)(4) organization that engages in legislative advocacy.  It was founded in 1950 and has coordinated national lobbying efforts on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.

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