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Urge Congress to Address Rising Hate and Xenophobia

At a time of fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, we have seen a spike in the spread of disinformation about and harassment of Asian-Americans, immigrants, and others. In Los Angeles, fake flyers were posted with the World Health Organization seal advising residents to avoid Asian-American businesses, thereby spreading the stigma surrounding the virus’ origin in China. In this toxic environment where harassment and vitriolic rhetoric is on the rise, we cannot allow crimes motivated by hatred towards a victim’s real or perceived race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability to go unchecked and uncounted. Yet our nation’s ability to address this increase is hindered by a lack of information about these crimes. In 2018, Birmingham, Newark, Syracuse and more than 80 other cities with a population over 100,000 failed to report hate crimes to the FBI.

Join the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, co-convened by AJC and the Islamic Society of North America, in standing up for the civil rights of all Americans. Together we are advocating for legislation to improve FBI hate crimes reporting.

Add your name and information to take action.

 

A person holding up a sign that says "Erase Hate" at a rally with the MJAC Logo underneath
Email Your U.S. Senators
Your Message
Support Legislation to Address Rising Hate and Xenophobia
Dear (recipient name),

As your constituent, I write today to urge you to support the National Opposition to Hate, Assaults, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act (H.R.3545/S.2043), introduced by Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA) and Pete Olson (R-TX), and by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The bill will improve hate crime reporting through law enforcement trainings, the creation of reporting hotlines, increasing resources to liaise with affected communities, and public educational forums on hate crimes.

Hate crimes divide American society, terrorize communities, and ultimately threaten the rights, security, and lives of all Americans. In 1990, Congress passed the Hate Crimes Statistics Act, which requires the Attorney General to collect data on “race, gender and gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” For more than two decades, thousands of city, county, college and university, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies have voluntarily submitted hate crimes data to the FBI. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 is the first statute allowing federal authorities to understand, investigate, and prosecute hate crimes. However, due to inaccurate and incomplete hate crime reporting, we lack a complete understanding of the national problem posed by these crimes. At a time of rising fear and uncertainty with xenophobic rhetoric on the rise, we cannot allow crimes motivated by hatred to go unchecked and uncounted.

More than 85 cities of over 100,000 residents report zero incidents or do not report hate crimes at all to the FBI. Birmingham, Newark, and Syracuse are among the cities on this list.

Managed through the Department of Justice (DOJ), this bill will issue grants to empower State and local governments to improve hate crimes reporting. In exchange for receiving grants, State and local governments must provide additional information pertaining to hate crimes in their jurisdiction. If they fail to do so, they must repay the grants in full. It also amends the penalties for hate crimes to allow courts to require that offenders engage in education about or service to the affected communities as a condition of their release from prison.

Please consider cosponsoring and supporting this important legislation. These measures will allow law enforcement agencies to more accurately assess and ultimately reduce bias-motivated crime across the United States. Thank you for considering my views on this matter.
Sincerely,

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]