New York, NY, September 15, 2017 …
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and a broad coalition of civil rights, religious, education, and professional organizations today sent the Department of Justice (DOJ) a letter with specific policy, program, and funding recommendations to counter hate and bigotry following a documented increase in hate crimes and the proposed a detailed action agenda to counter hate, prevent hate violence, and improve hate crime reporting for DOJ and the Trump Administration.
“We have a government of, for, and by the people, and the American people reject hate and bigotry,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “That’s why it is critical that our government lead the way in tracking, preventing, and prosecuting hate crimes. We at ADL stand ready with the more than 85 other organizations who signed this letter to work with the Administration to counter hate and bigotry. We will be pressing for progress on every front outlined in our letter.
“It is not enough for this administration to commit to addressing hate crimes while at the same time implementing policies that discriminate against and target communities of color, further marginalizing communities and promoting hate,” Mr. Greenblatt added. “Tackling hate must be done comprehensively.”
The letter emphasizes the critical importance of the President, Cabinet officials and all civic leaders using their “bully pulpit” to speak out against hate and implement policies that protect the civil and human rights of everyone in the United States. Highlights of the recommendations to DOJ include:
- Hosting periodic interagency hate crime meetings with members of the hate crime coalition to promote cross-agency collaboration and to address prevention of and response to hate violence;
- Creation of a website – similar to the extraordinarily helpful www.stopbullying.gov – to serve as a one-stop portal for the general public, law enforcement officials, educators, public officials, media, and other key stakeholders;
- Incentivize participation in the FBI’s hate crime data collection program with certain funds only available to agencies that are demonstrating credible participation in the HCSA program;
- Taking steps to ensure safety for all hate crime victims to contact the police. If marginalized or targeted community members cannot report, or do not feel safe reporting, law enforcement cannot effectively address these crimes, thereby jeopardizing the safety of all.
Along with ADL, signatories of the letter included the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; NAACP; Human Rights Campaign; National Center for Transgender Equality; Muslim Advocates; American Association of University Women; Southern Poverty Law Center; ACLU; Urban League; UNIDOS US; National Disability Rights Network; Asian; Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, and the Union for Reform Judaism.
Last month, ADL and the U.S. Conference of Mayors launched an initiative to confront prejudice, bigotry, and hate crimes nationwide. In June, ADL representatives participated in a DOJ all-day hate crime summit along with other front-line civil rights, religious, education, and law enforcement organizations with programs to combat hate violence.