All of us deserve to feel safe in our communities – no matter where we live or what we believe. But with frightening regularity, the lives of our friends and neighbors are changed by hate-based violence.
Our freedoms are inextricably bound with the freedoms of those who face hate and discrimination. And with incidents on the rise, Congress must take action to fight hate in our communities. That is why Interfaith Alliance has joined with 88 other civil rights organizations in calling for bipartisan support for the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act (S.2043/H.R.3545).
Across the country, hate-based violence is on the rise.
The FBI’s 2019 annual hate crime report showed violent hate crime is at a record high. Equally troubling is that this data likely shows only a fraction of the larger picture. Fewer law enforcement agencies provided data to the FBI and 2019 than 2018, with more than 70 cities with populations over 100,000 unrealistically reporting zero hate crimes.
The fact that so many cases likely go unreported further underscores the urgent need for reform. At a time when hate is becoming more vocal, visible, and violent, it is essential that Congress act now to provide law enforcement and targeted communities with the support they need to respond to this growing threat.
The NO HATE Act provides vital support to victims, their communities, and authorities.
Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer were killed on the same day – August 12th – one year apart. While their murders were prosecuted as hate crimes, neither was reported in official hate crime statistics. Named in their honor, the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act promotes accurate hate crime data reporting, giving stakeholders the information we need to keep our communities safe.
The bill’s provisions also address underlying factors that contribute to inaccurate reporting. The NO HATE Act encourages law enforcement to adopt policies and programs that provide support to those who might otherwise be reluctant to engage with law enforcement. It focuses on the root causes of hate by allowing alternative sentencing, including requiring offenders to attend education classes or perform community service directly related to the community they harmed.
Members of Congress must come together to pass the NO HATE Act.
Hate is neither a religious nor American value. In accordance with our deeply held beliefs, we must do more to ensure hate has no place in our communities. Passing the NO HATE Act is a much-needed first step in securing justice, security, and equity for all people.
Learn more about Interfaith Alliance’s efforts to combat hate and discrimination.