Posted by Ryan J. Suto on March 23, 2020 in Blog
COVID-19 has impacted everyone, as we have all been inundated with tragedies, statistics, advisories, updates, and new government measures to fight the virus. Congress has moved at lightning speed to address the epidemic. In total, since Feb. 28, 40 pieces of legislation focusing on COVID-19 have been introduced. And while more relief is in negotiation, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act have already been passed, the latter of which is a 43-page law that was introduced in the House on March 11 and signed into law...Read more
Posted by Tess Waggoner on February 05, 2020 in Blog
The Arab American Institute (AAI) welcomes the introduction of the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality Act of 2019 (the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act), which would promote more accurate hate crime data collection and assist hate crime victims and their communities. The bill represents the efforts of a broad coalition determined to improve the federal, state, and local response to hate crime, and is named after Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer, two victims whose murders were prosecuted as hate crimes but not reported in official hate crime statistics.
The Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act was introduced by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), and its House companion was introduced by Representatives Donald Beyer (D-VA) and Pete Olson (R-TX).
In a statement regarding the Senate introduction of the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act and its House companion, AAI Executive Director Maya Berry said the following:
“Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer were killed on the same day, August 12, but one year apart: Khalid, in 2016, on his doorstep in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Heather, in 2017, on a crowded street in Charlottesville, Virginia. While their murders were prosecuted as hate crimes, neither was reported in official hate crime statistics.
These omissions demonstrate the need for improved hate crime reporting and data collection. We appreciate the leadership of Senators Blumenthal and Durbin, and Congressmen Beyer and Olson, for introducing this important legislation."
The Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act will incentivize state and local authorities to adopt effective hate crime policies and data collection practices, which will help ensure that law enforcement are prepared to respond to hate crime and serve their communities. The Act will also require the Justice Department to study the relationship between these policies and practices and the participation of law enforcement agencies in the national hate crime reporting and data collection system. Furthermore, the Act will also create incentives for state and local governments to provide meaningful assistance to hate crime victims.
Like the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was signed into law 10 years ago this October, the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act centers the names of two hate crime victims whose stories demonstrate the need for a legislative response. Regarding the introduction and the name of the bill, the family members of Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer made the following statements.
Statement of Rami Jabara, Khalid’s brother:
“After Khalid was killed, our family released a statement expressing that his death was not just another murder to be added to crime statistics, that the circumstances surrounding his death laid bare the need for a better response from law enforcement and the justice system. In retrospect, we shouldn’t have assumed his death would be there reflected in the data, despite how straightforward that may have seemed. Congress must pass the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act. No family should be subjected to what we endured and victims’ voices should be heard.
Statement of Susan Bro, Heather’s mother:
“Everyone knows my daughter’s name. Heather is everywhere—in the news, in our minds, in our hearts—but she’s not in the data, nor are the 35 people who were injured while marching alongside her in Charlottesville. If such a despicable act of hatred is not reflected in hate crime statistics, think of everything else that might be missing. The Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act is an important bill that will improve our response to hate crime, and I call on Congress to support this effort."
Statement of AAI Executive Director Maya Berry:
“We have worked with the families of both Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer to advance these efforts in Congress and promote a better understanding of hate crime in our communities. We are grateful for their support and inspired by their strength. Alongside these brave families and impacted communities across the country, we call on Congress to pass the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act.”
AAI Fact Sheet
AAI Issue Brief
Improving the Federal, State, and Local Response to Hate Crime: Counteracting Threats to Our Communities
Written Statement, submitted to the House Judiciary Committee
Written Statement of the Arab American Institute on hearing,“Hate Crimes and the Rise of White Nationalism”
Posted by Jacob Britton on November 15, 2019 in Blog
Following this week’s release of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2018 Hate Crime Statistics report, which showed the deadliest year on record and the most violent since 2001, AAI Executive Director Maya Berry made a clear, but nevertheless difficult, observation. “The Trump Administration,” she said, “has advanced policies, and the president has trafficked in rhetoric, targeting the same communities that have also experienced a surge of hate violence.”
She is right, and we can look to the data for proof. In 2015, the same year that Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate, called for a “total and complete shutdown...Read more
Posted on November 12, 2019 in Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2019
CONTACT: Omar Baddar
(202) 429-9210 2018 Hate Crime Data Show Deadliest Year on Record, Most Violent Since 9/11-Backlash. AAI calls on federal, state, and local officials to improve the response to hate crime.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Arab American Institute (AAI) today called for a better response to hate crime after the FBI’s 2018 hate crime data showed the deadliest year on record and the most violent since 2001, when a surge of incidents was reported in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As with the 2016 and...Read more
On Tragic Anniversary, AAI Joins Families and Civil Rights Organizations to Call for Action on Hate Crime
Posted by Tess Waggoner on August 11, 2019 in Blog
Posted on August 09, 2019 in Action Alerts
We need better hate crime data and we need it now.
Under the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990, the federal government collects data on hate crimes reported by law enforcement agencies across the country. Each year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) publishes the data in an annual report.
According to the most recent edition of the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics report, which was published in November 2018 and based on 2017 data, law enforcement agencies reported 7,175 hate crime incidents. This marked a 17 percent...Read more
Posted by Tess Waggoner on August 05, 2019 in Blog
Today marks the seven-year anniversary of the white supremacist mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, which killed six people and wounded others. We mark this devastating anniversary in the midst of a new tragedy, as the nation reels from back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which killed 29 people and injured many. The El Paso shooting, which left 20 dead and dozens wounded, appears to also be motivated by white supremacy, as the shooter allegedly published a manifesto decrying the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Law enforcement should investigate a potential bias motivation in the Dayton shooting as...Read more
Posted on August 05, 2019 in Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Tess Waggoner
August 5, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks the seven-year anniversary of the white supremacist mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, which killed six people and wounded others. We mark this devastating anniversary in the midst of a new tragedy, as the nation reels from back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which killed 29 people and injured many. The El Paso shooting, which left 20 dead and dozens wounded, appears to also be motivated by white supremacy, as the shooter allegedly published a manifesto decrying the Read more
Posted on July 11, 2019 in Countdown Vol 21 No 1: Emotional Rollercoaster
If you turn the Capitol dome upside down you would have the likeness of what Congress has become, a crucible: an oversized, shiny ceramic cup. Peer inside and you will find a roaring-hot inferno of partisan rage. Ok, we are perhaps being dramatic but you understand the point. And the hyper-partisan environment has gotten in the way of good policy. At least on the issue of hate crime data collection and reporting, we are challenging that dynamic. Shortly before the July 4 recess, bipartisan legislation focused on hate crime reporting and data collection was...
Posted by Guest on June 21, 2019 in Blog
On Tuesday, June 17, 2019, the Supreme Court released its decision in Gamble v. United States, which involved a challenge to the “separate sovereigns” doctrine. According to Fifth Amendment’s double jeopardy clause, people who are accused of a crime cannot be tried twice for the same crime. However, the Supreme Court has historically granted one exception. Under what is known as the separate sovereigns doctrine, the court has allowed separate prosecutions for the same conduct in state and federal courts. The court upheld that 170-year precedent in its most recent decision.
The double jeopardy clause states that no person shall be “subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy.” The...Read more