We stand together in support of the newly reintroduced bipartisan Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act (H.R. 2383; S.B. 1086). Last month, national Jewish communal organizations called upon congressional leadership to speak out in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, and now we urge our elected leaders to swiftly pass these common-sense bills through the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
Hate crimes are on the rise in America. According to the 2019 Hate Crime Statistics released by the FBI, hate crimes had risen to the highest levels in a decade. Since then, ADL reported that antisemitic and racist propaganda incidents doubled in 2020. The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center fielded approximately 3,800 incidents of anti-Asian hate from March 2020 to February 2021, a shocking number that was likely only a fraction of what the community experienced.
The annual FBI report grossly underestimates the number of hate crimes, as participation by local law enforcement agencies in the FBI’s hate crime data collection system is not mandatory. While there are many reasons why an incident might not be reported to the FBI (i.e. victims might be afraid to report, law enforcement officers might lack the training to identify hate crimes, or law enforcement agencies might be using outdated reporting systems), incomplete data reporting undermines minority communities’ protection and hinders a national effort to address rising hate in the United States.
According to the latest FBI hate crimes statistics, antisemitic hate crimes account for 60.2% of all religiously motivated hate. The American Jewish Committee's 2020 Antisemitism in America Report found that over the past five years, 76% of Jews who experienced an antisemitic attack or remark did not report the incident. Damage done by hate crimes cannot be measured solely in terms of physical injury or financial loss. Hate crimes can make members of targeted communities afraid, angry, and suspicious of other groups. Attacks on the Jewish community are particularly triggering for those who carry the memory and were victims of the Holocaust and other antisemitic attacks, and for Jews of color in our community who have been directly impacted by hate crimes motivated by racism and antisemitism.
We know from research and experience the importance of providing better tools for federal law enforcement to collect state and local hate crimes data. Localities, in turn, would benefit from federal support to help prevent such crimes and help victims and local communities. Now more than ever, we must find a way to heal this country and try to bring about a sense of unity. Providing resources to track and analyze hate crimes in an effort to stem this tide will be a good first step in the road to recovery. Congress can and must lead in providing resources and tools law enforcement needs to protect communities facing such assaults. That is why we support the passage of the bipartisan, bicameral Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act.