The Leadership Conference Calls for Hate Crimes Investigation, Condemns Hate and Political Violence

Contact: Mattie Goldman, [email protected]

WASHINGTONMaya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement on the attack on protestors at Columbia University:

“Attacks based on hate and bias have risen sharply across the country — setting a disturbing pattern where people feel unsafe in their communities and increasingly on college campuses because of who they are. That is why it is critical that the New York City Police Department is investigating the troubling allegations that a chemical substance was used against peaceful protesters at Columbia University. Given the nature of the claims and the eyewitness accounts — which suggest anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, and antisemitic hate — it is crucial that this attack is investigated as a possible hate crime.

“As we enter an election year with the specter of increased hate and political violence looming large, we call on institutional leaders and our government to unequivocally denounce political violence in all forms and build communities of respect and humanity over hate. We will not let the bigoted and vocal few use anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian, and antisemitic hate to push forward the agenda of hate-filled division, which is likely to increase as we get closer to the general election. The civil rights community is united in the fight to dismantle the tools of white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and hate in all its forms.”

In 2023, The Leadership Conference Education Fund released a report — “Cause for Concern 2024: The State of Hate” — outlining an unmistakable pattern of increased hate crimes during elections, as well as an alarming increase in hate crimes over the last decade. The report also made a number of recommendations, including the collection and publishing of reliable and comprehensive hate crimes data.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 240 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 member organizations, visit