Hate crimes against Hispanic and LGBTQ Americans are on the rise. Yet current federal hate crimes laws do not protect LGBTQ citizens; there are still five states with no hate crimes legislation on the books; and 23 states do not require collection of hate crimes statistics. This year, the US Congress is expected to vote on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA), legislation that would add protections for victims of attacks based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and give the federal government the power to work with local authorities to ensure that hate crimes are properly investigated and prosecuted. President Obama’s campaign platform included passing the LLEHCPA (also known as the Matthew Shepard Act), and now that’s he in office, many diverse groups are working to get this legislation through the House and Senate. Their letters, statements, and videos speak powerfully about fighting hate. Here are some links and excerpts:
April 7, 2009 - 9:00pm
April 1, 2009 - 9:00pm
On Wednesday, April 1, over 160 community members gathered at JLS Middle School in Palo Alto to watch the premiere screening of Not In Our School: Palo Alto. The film looks at Palo Alto Unified School District’s “Not In Our Schools” month, where across the district, students in elementary, middle, and high schools participate in activities centered around fostering safe school environments and ending intolerance.
March 28, 2009 - 9:00pm
March 25, 2009 - 9:00pm
Mountain View leaders are brainstorming ways to get ahead of hate crimes. More than 40 civic and community leaders met March, 25, 2009, to discuss strategies for building an inclusive community. City leaders in attendance included the mayor and vice mayor, two city council members, the police chief, and superintendent of schools. The meeting, convened by former Mountain View Human Relations Commission members Alicia Crank and Chris Burley, was planned even before recent hate incidents occurred in the community.
March 25, 2009 - 9:00pm
What are our choices when we encounter mean-spirited and hate-laden comments in response to news articles online? It’s a question we’ve been debating at the water cooler here at The Working Group, and one that’s been on my mind a lot lately as I scour the web daily for news of hate crime hot spots and stories of resistance. We wanted to open up the conversation to the NIOT community. Do we urge our newspapers to adopt more stringent comment policies? Should we join the conversation or ignore it, and if we ignore it, what message are we sending? Sadly, the examples of offensive speech and bigotry I’ve been encountering online are ample.