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Congressmen Introduce "NO HATE Act" to Combat Violence Towards Arab, Muslim, Sikh Americans

posted on: Mar 17, 2017

BY: Yara Jouzy/Contributing Writer

Americans of different faiths, races, and ethnic backgrounds, such as Sikhs, Muslims, Arabs, Jews, and Latinos continue to be targeted in the recent surge in hate crimes. Videos have been surfacing on social media platforms of people being verbally abused on the subway or graveyards being desecrated or mosques being burned down.

These hate crimes are more evident than ever and two Congressmen are saying it’s time to take action. Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Democrats, have introduced the NO HATE Act to prevent further incidents.

The legislation states that federal laws will fight against hate crimes such as speech, threats, and attacks. Many hate crimes go unrecognized due to the fact that police are unable to investigate such crimes as such. As a result, those who commit the crimes are not punished properly or escape and the cycle continues.

NO HATE Act aims to give victims who weren’t able to speak up a voice and seek justice for themselves and their people. This means that the court will have to take serious action for those who commit hate crimes. Victims shouldn’t feel hopeless and the system needs to change. By implementing this law, those who committed the crime will have to work for community service. In addition, he or she will have to take classes focused on the community that the hate crime was committed against.

With better reporting on hate crimes, the government can form a clearer path to combatting such crimes. In previous years, the federal government was unable to file single hate crime reports. As a result, they are improving their reporting and data for the law enforcement. This also helps the FBI identify vulnerable communities in the U.S who are facing such acts and protect them as needed.

The law’s support for combatting hate crimes will also come in the form of grants. These grants will be used to create hate crime hotlines, which give the victims resources to get help, in addition to filing an official report. Maryland and New York have successfully established such hotlines in their states. It is proven to work and can easily expand across the U.S.

Arab Americans, Muslims, and South Asian Americans throughout the country that are being targeted could truly benefit from this bill. With better education about ethnic groups and religions in the country, hate crime numbers can go down and fear of being attacked because of their identity can cease to be a reality.