On Friday, HRC joined more than 80 organizations on a letter to Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore at the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division outlining steps that the DOJ should take in the wake of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville and other bias-motivated crimes across the country. The letter also highlights the coalition’s broader priorities to help inform the DOJ’s plan of action to prevent and respond to hate violence.
This letter, signed by civil rights, religious, education and professional organizations, urges the administration to take action to address hate-based incidents and crimes across the U.S., including the following:
- Restore funding cuts to key civil rights office budgets to bolster ability to address hate violence;
- Establish leadership initiatives to confront criminal activity motivated by prejudice;
- Take action to improve federal hate crime data collection;
- Pursue legislative and administrative efforts to combat hate violence;
- Improve improve training, outreach, investigations and prosecutions of hate crimes.
The recommendations were developed for the DOJ’s Hate Crimes Summit in June, attended by HRC and other allied organizations and designed to address steps the department should take to address hate crimes across the country. At the summit, HRC staff and partners stressed that the DOJ cannot adequately work to reduce hate crimes while the Trump administration continues to implement policies that discriminate against, target and incite hatred against communities of colors, Muslims, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities.
Combatting hate violence has long been a priority of HRC. For more than a decade, HRC advocated for the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, 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 and is proud to have joined this important letter.