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Establishing a White House Task Force to Prevent and Respond to Hate Violence Targeting Arab, Hindu, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian Communities

Hate violence has long persisted in the United States, posing a threat to numerous individuals and entire communities at different times. Since the events of September 11, 2001, we have witnessed an unprecedented wave of bias, discrimination, and acts of hate, primarily targeting Arab, Hindu, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian communities. The impact of hate violence is exacerbated in these communities due to a range of factors including a climate of fear and distrust of law enforcement authorities, immigration status restrictions and enforcement measures, misunderstanding or lack of understanding about local and federal laws and rights afforded under them, limited English proficiency, increased proclivity to hide the impact of hate violence due to taboos and stigmas, and concerns about being targeted or singled out by government authorities.

 

There are various federal laws and agencies addressing hate crimes and its impact on communities. However, the rise in hate groups and hate crimes targeting Arab, Hindu, Middle Eastern, Sikh and South Asian communities over the past 13 years calls for a more rigorous and robust response. Building on existing enforcement and outreach efforts, we must strengthen, address and provide institutions with additional resources and tools to respond to, as well as prevent, hate violence.

 

The establishment of a White House Task Force to Prevent and Respond to Hate Violence Targeting Arab, Hindu, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian Communities would serve the purpose of (1) prioritizing hate violence as an unacceptable occurrence within our society; (2) creating preventative tools and resources through coordinated efforts at local, state, and national levels, including outreach, relationship-building with communities, training of government officials who would respond to hate violence and rapid response mechanisms to address hate violence; and, (3) coordinating a comprehensive response to hate violence, including investigation and prosecution, while simultaneously attending to ancillary issues created during such a crisis such as medical needs, mental health and trauma, immigration services, and rebuilding efforts.

 

We are requesting the Department of Justice to establish and lead an interagency effort at the federal and regional levels to prevent and respond to hate violence targeting Arab, Hindu, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian Communities.