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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Press Release - Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund

Civil Rights Coalition Releases New Report: Nearly One Hate Crime Occurs Every Hour of Every Day in America
Report Highlights Key Recommendations for Combating Hate Violence

For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Simpson, 202.466.2061, simpson@civilrights.org
June 16, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund held a press conference call to release a new report, "Confronting the New Faces of Hate: Hate Crimes in America," analyzing hate crimes in America and highlighting recommendations for preventing hate violence.

The report release follows the recent shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, and occurs on the eve of the sentencing for the teens charged with the beating death of Luis Ramirez, a 25-year-old father of two in Shenandoah, PA. 

The Senate is expected to pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA) soon.

"In an increasingly diverse America, there is no civil right more fundamental to the working of American Democracy than protecting individuals from acts of violence because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or disability," said Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR).

The report:

  • Analyzes federal hate crime data, which show a marked increase in hate crimes committed against Hispanics and those perceived to be immigrants.
  • Documents how this trend correlates closely with the increasingly heated debate over immigration reform and an escalation in the level of anti-immigrant vitriol on radio, television, and the Internet – heightening a sense of fear among minority communities.
  • Investigates how extremists have harnessed the Internet and new technologies to recruit new members and promote their bigoted ideology.
  • Shows how anti-immigrant groups have inflamed the immigration debate by using the rhetoric of hate groups in stereotyping immigrants. 
  • Demonstrates how the economic downturn and the election of the first African-American president has stoked hate group activity.

Recommendations of the report:

  • Set the tone for a civil national discourse on comprehensive immigration reform through civic leaders and law enforcement officials.
  • Ensure a strong law enforcement response to confront violent bigotry with the passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
  • Complement tough laws and enforcement with education initiatives to reduce prejudice and prevent hate crimes.

"We cannot outlaw bigotry," said Michael Lieberman, Washington Counsel for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and co-author of the report.  "But we can send an unmistakable message that these crimes matter, that our society takes them very seriously.  And we can – and must – equip federal, state, and local law enforcement officials with the very best tools to enable them to confront violent, bias-motivated criminal activity."

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