Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Southern Poverty Law Center Respond to Nationwide Spike in Hate-Filled Incidents | National Civil Rights Organizations Underscore Commitment to #StopTheHate
WASHINGTON, D.C. and Montgomery, Ala., December 6, 2016 – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued the following statement today in response to nationwide spike in hate-filled incidents nationwide.
“Hate crimes and hate-filled incidents stand as a dark cloud over our democracy,” said Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law President and Executive Director Kristen Clarke. “The recent spike in hate crimes is attributable, in part, to the racially-charged rhetoric that characterized the 2016 election cycle and the rise of “alt-right” white nationalist extremism. This is a moment that calls for federal, state, and local officials to use every tool in their arsenal to fully investigate and prosecute these incidents when they occur.”
“President-elect Trump says he’s surprised his supporters have been responsible for hate incidents across the country and that he has no idea why the white supremacist community has been energized by this victory,” said Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen. “But none of it should come as news to him. Both are the predictable results of the incendiary campaign that he waged for the presidency.”
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law leads the Election Protection program, the nation’s largest non-partisan voter protection program. During the course of the 2016 election cycle, the Lawyers’ Committee received reports of racially-charged and hate-filled rhetoric. The Lawyers’ Committee has launched a national effort to mobilize pro bono support to respond to systemic problems of hate-filled incidents when they occur. We encourage victims and witnesses to not slip into the shadows and to not be afraid to report these incidents to law enforcement, school authorities or other relevant officials.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has issued two reports recently chronicling the outbreak of hate since Trump’s victory. The first, “Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election,” documents the more than 800 hate incidents that occurred between Nov. 9 and Nov. 18 throughout the country. The perpetrators of many of the incidents invoked Trump’s name, his slogan, or his words. The second report, “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools,” documents the devastating effect that Trump’s campaign has had on the climate in schools throughout the country. It is based on the responses of 10,000 teachers to a survey administered since Nov. 9.
About the Lawyers’ Committee
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.
About the Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Alabama with offices in Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. For more information, see www.splcenter.org.