FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Elana Needle, 201-248-9724
March 5, 2017 Email: [email protected]
Joint Statement On: Inadequacy of President Trump and Federal Response to Hate Crimes
In President Trump’s first speech to Congress, he finally condemned a recent swath of hate crimes, while also using xenophobic and racist rhetoric to promote devastating and divisive policies. The past few weeks have seen a number of hate crimes including this weekend’s shooting of Sikh American, Deep Rai, bomb threats and cemetery desecration in the Jewish community, the shooting that murdered Srinivas Kuchibhotla and injured Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot, the burning of a number of mosques, and other crimes against peoples of color. President Trump neglected to recognize any anti-Muslim crimes, and has been exceedingly slow to respond to acts of hate. This non response and continued use of antagonizing language and messaging is promoting the increased incidence of hate based destruction, assaults, and loss of life.
Further, verbally tying immigration to “lawless chaos,” pushing forward with the construction of a southern border wall, demonizing the Muslim community and refugees, and announcing a new office to assist only victims of crime perpetrated by immigrants--even though immigrants are less likely to commit crime--is othering peoples of color, devaluing American citizens and fracturing our country by pitting communities against one another. We call on the President and the federal government to cease the use of racist rhetoric, be more responsive and aggressive in denouncing race, gender, and religiously hate motivated crimes and violence, and to investigate, charge and be true and diligent advocates for encouraging unity and strength in all communities.
The WKKF “America Healing Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative,” is a unique partnership of 12 leading national organizations all dedicated to racial equity and racial healing. As racial equity Anchor Organizations, we have been long-term partners with the Kellogg Foundation in exposing structural inequities and barriers to opportunity in communities, remedying them and helping heal racial wounds. We recognize the detrimental impacts that this narrative and these policies will have on our communities, and all communities of color.
Below WKKF Anchors remark on the need for awareness, vigilance, and true community building. The Anchors strongly believe in dismantling the false narrative surrounding the belief in the racial hierarchy permeating America’s history and current reality. To create a true multiracial democracy, we must demolish this belief system which buttresses structural racism and exacerbates racial inequity.
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans
“Immigrants come to this country to pursue the American dream and the noble ideals it stands for,” said Christopher Kang, National Director of NCAPA. “When a shooter in Olathe, Kansas, yells ‘get out of my country’ and kills Srinivas Kuchibhotla and injures Alok Madasani, and when a shooter in Kent, Washington, shouts, ‘Go back to your own country’ before shooting Sikh American Deep Rai, they shatter this dream for all of us. Kuchibhotla’s wife Sunayana Dumala has understandably asked, ‘Do we belong?’ The answer, unequivocally, must be yes. Our nation is a nation built by immigrants, that will not be divided, and that stands up to hate, bigotry, and xenophobia. Our nation is the nation of Ian Grillot, who was shot and injured in Olathe as he defended the principle that ‘everybody is an equal.’”
Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Last week’s tragedy was not unlike the 1982 murder of Chinese American Vincent Chin who was killed by out-of-work Caucasian autoworkers who blamed Japan for their employment situation. Chin, like Kuchibhota and Madasani, was targeted due to xenophobia and racism. This is not just a tragic loss in our community, but another alarming event that adds to the recent rise of violence and hate speech against people of color. Racism, xenophobia and any other hate filled actions have no place in our country, our communities or our laws and policies.
“Donald Trump’s campaign platform of xenophobia and racial hatred quickly became instituted as the administration’s policy. His prolonged silence on racism-driven killings in Kansas is but the latest in a long list of shameful acts that further dehumanize and devalue the lives of people of color. From hiring a white supremacist as lead advisor, to attempting to ban Muslim immigration, to creating a bureau of anti-immigrant propaganda, Trump is embracing the very worst of America’s history of racism into a full government assault on the value and lives of people of color. But Americans are coming together, standing together and fighting back together, recognizing our values of dignity and love are strong. We will continue to resist against hateful policies and those who seek to undermine our inclusive democracy.” – Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project’s national office.
“The surge in hate crimes targeting many of our most vulnerable communities -- from transgender men and women, to our nation’s immigrants, to the Native community, to Jewish Americans -- has brought so many individuals to action. We have seen Muslim groups volunteering to repair the vandalized Jewish cemetery in St. Louis; New Yorkers have stood up to accompany neighbors on daily subway commutes. Yet from our President, we have heard only a few words – and they are not nearly enough. Not only does his refusal to investigate these attacks send an all too clear message, but his continued efforts to implement discriminatory policies against these very communities are contrary to the core values of acceptance and equality in our country. We, the people of this great nation, are better than these orders, this hateful language and these attacks – and it is time for our president to do his part and represent all Americans.”
-- Heather McGhee, President of Demos
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Opposing Anti-Semitism isn’t the exclusive ethical jurisdiction of American Jews and neither is Islamophobia the sole responsibility of Muslim-Americans. The burden and responsibility of addressing American xenophobia is the inclusive moral responsibility of all Americans. We call upon President Trump and the Justice Department to vigorously investigate and take action against these hate crimes and work to ensure the full protection of all Americans.”
--Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP.
National Council of La Raza
'Last November NCLR joined other civil rights groups to urge the President-elect to immediately address the growing wave of threats and violence targeted to ethnic and religious minorities. The recent murder of an Indian immigrant in Kansas and the desecration of Jewish and Muslim places of worship and cemeteries represent just the tip of the proverbial iceberg," said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía. "It's extremely troubling, then, that press reports suggest the Trump administration plans to cease monitoring of the dangers posed by white nationalists and other domestic extremists," Murgía concluded.
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
After rhetoric and executive orders that encourage racism and xenophobia, the administration’s attempts to distance itself from the recent surge in hate crimes is irresponsible and alarming. These acts of violence will be a source of tragic and senseless pain for many years for the families and communities involved. As we try to heal and build communities focused on inclusion and acceptance we must speak out against hate at every opportunity.
-- Philip Tegeler, Director of Poverty & Race Research Action Council
“A nation of true unity is one in which human beings are no longer targeted, threatened, and killed because of the color of their skin, the god they worship, or where they come from. President Trump's condemnation of this latest wave of hate crimes holds little weight unless followed by concrete actions to protect our communities most vulnerable to violence. Only then can this Administration send a clear message that in America, every life is sacred regardless of who it belongs to.”
-- Rinku Sen, President & Publisher, Race Forward and Colorlines