Civil Rights Advocates Bring Groups Together to Fight Hate
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Civil rights groups are forging connections to fight the rising tide of hate crimes.
In a briefing from the Act Against Hate Alliance Wednesday, civil rights leaders explained efforts to enlist regular people, advocacy groups, governments and corporations in the fight against hate.
Laura E. Ellsworth, a partner at the Jones Day law firm, organizes the annual Eradicate Hate Global Summit in Pittsburgh, the site of the 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue.
"Whether it be against LGBT people or immigrants in El Paso or Jews again in Poway or Sikhs in Oak Creek or Asians throughout California, again and again and again we see this identity-based violence," Ellsworth observed.
Five months ago, California was scarred by a mass shooting that killed 11 Asian-Americans during the Lunar New Year celebration at two dance halls in Monterey Park. A year ago, a white supremacist gunman targeted Black shoppers, killing 10 at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
Recently Gov. Gavin Newsom announced two new ways to report hate speech and hate crimes, by logging on to the website CAvsHate.org or calling 833-8-NO-HATE.
Tamás Berecz, general manager of the International Network Against Cyber Hate in the Netherlands, said his organization responds to complaints of online hate speech and manages a database to monitor trends in cyber hate.
"Hate speech is not always followed by hate crimes, but hate crimes are very, very often or almost always preceded by hate speech," Berecz explained.
May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
Dennis Santiago, chief operating officer of the National Diversity Coalition based in Los Angeles, said his organization tries to fight the myth of the Pacific Rim cultures as a monolith.
"Each one of them has beachhead cultures in the United States," Santiago noted. "And every single one of them has different characteristics in terms of their economic integration, their cultural isolation, even from each other."
The 2021 California Hate Crime Report found hate crimes increased more than 32% in the Golden State between 2020 and 2021. Anti-Asian hate crime events increased dramatically, rising 177.5% during the same time period.
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