statement, signed by 156 organizations, declares the belief that “the President has a moral obligation to use his bully pulpit to speak out against acts of hatred when they occur.”
The groups pointed to problematic language and policies used by the President and his surrogates, “that have fostered a hostile environment toward many, including African Americans, Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim, and immigrant and refugee communities.”
The statement also asks the President to continue the tradition of a White House interagency task force on hate violence as well as to more fully invest in the tracking and reporting of hate crimes and affected communities.
The increased number of hate-based incidents over the past year and cited in the statement include:
- The February shooting in Olathe, Kansas, where two Indian Hindu Americans were attacked, killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla;
- Four mosques burned in the past two months, in Texas, Washington, and Florida, and more defaced by acts of vandalism;
- Numerous bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers, synagogues, and ADL offices around the country;
- The recent shooting in Washington state of a Sikh American outside of his home;
- Racist graffiti targeting African Americans in Stamford, Connecticut and at a high school in Lake Oswego, Oregon;
- An attack on a Latino man in Daly City, California, and an attack on a Hispanic woman in Queens, New York, with both targeted because of their ethnicity;
- The murders of seven transgender women of color, including six African Americans and one Native American.