FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 27, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – SAALT welcomes Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) introduction of the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act. Representatives Donald Beyer (D-VA) and Pete Olson (R-TX) introduced the companion bill in the House. The bill – which promotes more accurate hate crimes data collection and would provide support for hate crime victims and their families – marks a major step in hate crimes legislation.
Khalid Jabara was killed on his doorstep in Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 12, 2016. One year later, on the same day, Heather Heyer was killed during a protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. Both deaths were prosecuted as hate crimes, yet neither were reported in official FBI hate crimes statistics. Both killings were motivated by white supremacy.
“A coalition of community and civil rights organizations have been working closely with Khalid and Heather’s families to ensure that families do not have to endure the same pain they have endured. The first step to achieving this is understanding the systemic underpinnings of hate violence and instituting more effective ways to mandate hate crime data collection. Every level of government must be held accountable for addressing the spike in hate violence aimed at our communities. The Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act can play an instrumental role in laying this groundwork,” said Lakshmi Sridaran, Interim Co-Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).
SAALT has documented over 484 incidents of hate violence against South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab American communities around the country since November 2015. Read the latest hate report here.