Post submitted by Jordan Dashow, former Federal Policy Manager
Today, HRC joined 155 other civil and human rights organizations in calling on the Trump Administration to more strongly respond to bias-motivated acts of violence and intimidation. The letter, which begins by affirming that “our diversity is part of what makes America great, and incidents motivated by hate are an affront to the values we share,” cited recent examples of hate incidents, including the murder of seven transgender women of color, the February shooting targeting two Indian Hindu Americans in Kansas, and the numerous bomb threats against Jewish organizations and houses of worship, among others.
In the letter, the organizations call out President Trump for his slow response to hate incidents and emphasizes that 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 letter specifically requests that:
- The President, his staff and Cabinet members condemn hate incidents when they occur
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemn acts of hate and pledge that the Department of Justice will engage in support and outreach in the wake of hate incidents
- The President continue the White House interagency hate crime task force
- The President make available all of the federal government resources needed to track and report hate crimes, investigate and prosecute perpetrators of hate crimes, and aid communities affected by hate crimes.
HRC played a leading role in organizing this letter and recently urged law enforcement officials, lawmakers and policy makers to do more to address anti-trans violence as the number of trans people murdered in 2017 continued to rise. For more than a decade, HRC advocated for the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (HCPA), which added hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity bias, among other biases, to the federal hate crimes statute. HRC continues to press for improved efforts to prevent and respond to hate crimes, including amending the HCPA to mandate reporting, passage of state laws to protect LGBTQ people from the crimes, and expanding education and training initiatives. To view whether your state’s hate crime statute includes crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity, explore our state hate crimes page here.