White House officials Thursday announced the formation of a high-level task force to address hate violence nationwide, including violence aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities. South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) applauded the announcement as a critical step forward for our communities nationwide. SAALT is deeply engaged in addressing hate violence and crafting solutions to address these issues – including developing a proposal for a federal hate violence task force
The civil rights advocacy group says it is encouraged that the interagency task force announced will include key components from a hate violence task force model developed by SAALT in collaboration with a host of South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, and Arab ally organizations. The task force will build upon and bolster the impact of the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, enacted five years ago.
“Unfortunately, our communities continue to face unacceptably high levels of violence and harassment nationwide, as SAALT documented in its recent report, Under Suspicion, Under Attack,” SAALT said in a statement. “The announcement is a key step toward developing critical infrastructure and a greater understanding within South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities to anticipate, prevent, and respond to hate violence. SAALT looks forward with great anticipation to working with our partners in the federal government and its many agencies to fully address hate violence targeting our communities nationwide. “