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After Wisconsin terror strike: Civil rights Orgs call for senate hearing on hate crimes-hate groups

August 23, 2012 | By

Ludhiana, Punjab (August 23, 2012): According to information released by Mr. Rajdeep Singh, director of law and policy at the Sikh Coalition, in response to the shootings at a Sikh Gurudwara in Wisconsin and other recent incidents, the Japanese American Citizens League joined more than 150 community organizations in urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to conduct a hearing on hate crimes and hate groups.

The request was sent Aug. 21 to the committee’s chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and ranking minority member, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). It reads as follows:

“We, the undersigned organizations, representing millions of diverse constituents around the nation, respectfully request that the Senate Judiciary Committee urgently conduct a hearing next month on the need to address hate crimes and the proliferation of hate groups in the United States.

“This is not a theoretical concern: According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups in our country (currently numbering over a thousand) has grown by almost 60% since 2000. In 2010, more than 47% of hate crimes were racially motivated; 20% were motivated by the religion of the victim; 19% were based on sexual orientation and almost 13% of all hate crimes were based on ethnicity or national origin.

“During the last month alone, six worshipers at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin were massacred by an attacker with known ties to hate groups, and approximately ten Islamic institutions and Muslim communities in seven states have experienced attacks including vandalism, a suspicious burning, shootings, and the desecration of religious sanctuaries.

“The Jewish community continues to experience persistent bias attacks, accounting for 65% of all religiously motivated hate crimes documented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2010.

“Hate crimes based on anti-Hispanic bias accounted for nearly 67% of ethnically motivated crimes in 2010.

“Although African Americans made up only 12.4% of the U.S. population in 2010, they accounted for 70% of all racially motivated hate crimes that year.

“Thousands of other individuals in our nation continue to be affected by hate violence due to their race, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, or immigration status.

“According to hate crime statistics published by the FBI, there were at least 6,628 hate crimes reported in the United States in 2010. These incidents understate the problem of hate crimes in the United States, partly because of underreporting by victims, and partly because hate crime reporting by law enforcement agencies is voluntary.

“A 2005 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics suggested that the true number of hate crimes in the United States may be 15 times higher than that which is currently reported. Underreporting may be compounded by policies and political rhetoric (in support of broad-scale racial profiling, for example) that could make hate crime victims apprehensive about immigration and law enforcement authorities.

“Given the persistence of hate crimes and the proliferation of hate groups, we believe that a hearing is both timely and necessary. We are especially interested in examining the status of the implementation of the Matthew Shepard Act; improvements to hate crime reporting and data collection; and the need for more robust hate crime prevention measures, consistent with protections for First Amendment rights and civil liberties.

The following organizations endorsed this message:

  • National Asian American PAC – Central Ohio Chapter
  • National Asian American PAC – Southwest Ohio Chapter
  • ACUDIR (Alameda County United in Defense of Immigrant Rights)
  • Adhikaar
  • Afghan American Bar Association
  • African American Ministers Leadership Council
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
  • American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • American Association of University Women
  • American Ethical Union
  • American Jewish Committee
  • American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA)
  • Anti-Defamation League
  • API Chaya, Seattle
  • API Equality – LA
  • Arab American Action Network (AAAN) – Chicago
  • Arab American Association of New York
  • Arab American Institute
  • Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
  • Arab Muslim American Federation
  • Asian American Council – Dayton, Ohio
  • Asian American Federation
  • Asian American Institute
  • Asian American Justice Center, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
  • Asian Americans for Community Involvement
  • Asian Immigrant Women Advocates
  • Asian Law Alliance
  • Asian Law Caucus, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
  • Asian Pacific American Legal Center, a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
  • Asian Pacific Community in Action
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
  • Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA)
  • Association of Muslim American Lawyers (AMAL)
  • Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA)
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • Blacks in Law Enforcement of America
  • The Center for APA Women
  • Center for Social Inclusion
  • CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
  • Church Women United
  • Club of Indian Women
  • Community to Community Development
  • Cordoba Initiative
  • Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC)
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations Council on American Islamic Relations – California (CAIR-CA)
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations – New York Chapter (CAIR-NY)
  • Council on American Islamic Relations – Texas, Dallas Fort Worth Chapter (CAIR-DFW)
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations – Washington (CAIR-WA)
  • Counselors Helping (South) Asians/Indians, Inc. (CHAI)
  • Dignity Campaign
  • DRUM – Desis Rising Up & Moving
  • The Episcopal Church
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Equal Rights Center
  • Family Equality Council
  • Fellowship of Reconciliation
  • FICA (Federation of India Community Associations of NE Ohio, Cleveland)
  • Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ)
  • Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
  • Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
  • Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV)
  • Groundswell – Auburn Theological Seminary
  • Hindu American Foundation
  • Hmong National Development
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Human Rights First
  • Human Rights Litigation and International Advocacy Clinic, University of Minnesota Law School
  • Immigration Equality
  • Interfaith Alliance Interfaith Center of New York
  • International Human Rights Clinic, NYU School of Law
  • Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
  • Islamic Networks Group (ING)
  • Japanese American Citizens League
  • Jewish Council for Public Affairs
  • Jewish Labor Committee
  • Jews Against Islamophobia (JAI)
  • Jews For Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ)
  • Karamah: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights
  • LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • MAI Family Services
  • Manavi
  • MIRA! Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance
  • Mujeres Unidas y Activas
  • Muslim Advocates
  • Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition (MACLC)
  • Muslim Bar Association of Chicago
  • Muslim Bar Association of New York (MuBANY)
  • Muslim Consultative Network
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council – New York Chapter
  • NAFSA: Association of International Educators
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
  • National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse
  • National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
  • National Center for Transgender Equality
  • National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
  • National Congress of American Indians
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Council of La Raza
  • National Disability Rights Network
  • National Fair Housing Alliance
  • National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  • National Immigration Law Center
  • Network of Arab American Professionals (NAAP)
  • National Minority AIDS Council
  • National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC)
  • National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
  • National Organization for Women
  • National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
  • OneAmerica
  • Open Society Foundations
  • Organization of Chinese Americans, Silicon Valley Chapter
  • The Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee
  • People For the American Way Foundation
  • PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
  • Priority Africa Network
  • Raksha
  • Rights Working Group
  • Sakhi for South Asian Women
  • San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium
  • Secular Coalition for America
  • Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund (SALDEF)
  • The Sikh Coalition
  • Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team
  • Social Justice Guild of the First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta
  • South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI)
  • South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
  • South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY)
  • South Asian Bar Association of Northern California (SABA-NC)
  • South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia
  • South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
  • South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C. (SABA-DC)
  • South Asian Network
  • Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
  • Southern Poverty Law Center
  • South Asian Progressive Action Collective
  • South Asian Youth Action (SAYA)
  • Trikone-Chicago
  • Turning Point for Women and Families
  • Union for Reform Judaism
  • Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
  • The United Church of Christ/Justice and Witness Ministries
  • United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
  • United Sikhs
  • The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
  • USPAK Foundation
  • Women in Islam Inc.
  • Young People For

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