Ahead of Hate Crimes Summit, Civil and Human Rights Coalition Calls on Administration to End the Climate of Fear

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in advance of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Hate Crimes Subcommittee Summit being held on Thursday:

“It is vitally important that the Justice Department continues to vigorously investigate and prosecute hate crimes. However, investigation and prosecution of federal hate crimes alone is insufficient. This administration – including President Trump and Attorney General Sessions – have used rhetoric and promoted policies that have sown greater fear among vulnerable communities that are too often victims of hate.  These actions have only increased divisiveness and bigotry in this country. Thursday’s summit, which The Leadership Conference and several of its member organizations are taking part in, must be more than mere window dressing.

Ironically, this hate crimes summit is convened by a subcommittee of the Justice Department’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety which has, as a top priority, draconian enforcement against immigrant communities. This raises serious concerns about this administration’s commitment to ensuring that every individual in the United States – no matter their race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity or national origin – feels safe, welcome, and protected by the federal government.

It’s past time for the Trump administration and the Sessions Justice Department to demonstrate — through action and its megaphone — its full and unflagging commitment to preventing hate-based violence and harassment that hurts our communities and destroys the fabric of our nation.”

Note: Earlier this month, 105 national groups called on President Trump to end his administration’s systemic assault on civil and human rights. More info on that letter is available here. In May, Gupta appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to raise concerns about the rise in hate incidents based on religion, as well as other protected classes. More information on that hearing is available here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.