WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General Karl A. Racine today issued the following statement after Congress passed bipartisan legislation he advocated for to provide state and local governments and law enforcement agencies with the tools and resources to understand, identify, and report hate crimes and, as a result, help prevent them.
“This bipartisan legislation is critical to helping state and local law enforcement implement the data-driven tools and community resources needed to track and prevent hate crimes which have risen across the country,” said AG Racine. “Combating hate crimes and protecting communities should be issues we can all agree on, and the passage of this bill is a reminder of what we can accomplish when we work together. As president of the National Association of Attorneys General, I’m working to do my part by bringing state attorneys general together to help combat hate crimes. It’s up to all of us to raise awareness of these particularly horrific crimes, increase our support to individuals and communities that have experienced them, and work to prevent them.”
The Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act – which passed today in House as part of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act – specifically aims to help rectify inaccurate and incomplete data by providing federal grants to improve hate crimes reporting. The grants would be used to train employees on identifying, classifying, and reporting hate crimes in the FBI’s national database; assist with states’ development of programs to prevent hate crimes; increase community education around hate crimes; and create state-run hate crime hotlines. The Senate passed the legislation in April and it now goes to President Biden for his signature.
In April, AG Racine co-led a bipartisan letter with Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt in support of the NO HATE Act. The letter brought together a coalition 35 Democratic and Republican attorneys general.
As president of the National Association of Attorneys General, AG Racine launched a yearlong initiative in December 2020 called the People v. Hate. The initiative aims to raise awareness of hate and hate crimes, prevent hate from taking root in our communities, support individuals and communities who have experienced hate, and improve hate crime data.
As part of his presidential initiative, earlier this month, AG Racine co-hosted a landmark national convening with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong on countering anti-AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) hate. The convening brought together a broad array of legal and policy experts, leading advocates, business and corporate leaders from across the country, as well as officials from federal, state, and local government to discuss how to combat anti-AAPI hate and offer tangible solutions to address it. A video of the convening is available here.