By Arlina Yang, AsAmNews Intern
The state of California is dedicating the second week of November to fighting hate crimes and hate incidents.
The California Civil Rights Department (CRD), in collaboration with the City of Berkeley, Not In Our Town, and LA vs Hate, launched the sixth annual United Against Hate Week (UAHW) on Monday. The initiative will address the ongoing threat of hate and discrimination in neighborhoods, towns and cities through local civic action.
United Against Hate Week, initiated in response to White supremacist rallies, encourages local residents to combat hate by working together to restore respect, embrace diversity, and build inclusive communities.
The week runs from November 12 to November 18 and addresses the national and statewide increase in reported hate crimes, which surged over 20% from 2021 to 2022. California continues to rally against hate through civic engagement, investments in anti-hate programs, and the first statewide commission tracking and recommending policies against hate crimes.
“During United Against Hate Week, we encourage all Californians to take advantage of existing resources — like California vs Hate — to push for change from the ground up for all our communities,” said Mary Wheat, CRD Acting Director. “Whether it’s because of conflict abroad or here at home, it takes real strength to stand in solidarity in the face of bias and discrimination. Together, we’re united against hate.”
Wheat emphasized California’s leadership in pushing back against hate, urging residents to utilize existing resources, such as California vs Hate, to drive change from the ground up.
Throughout UAHW, various anti-hate events, from poetry slams to rallies, will be hosted by local government and community partners across California.
“We’re honored to stand with this coalition of organizers and leaders who are committed to pushing back against hate for the safety of all residents,” Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission President Ilan Davidson said in a statement.
Through events like the UAHW initiative, the CRD aims to provide awareness about nonprofit services or resources available to victims of hate crimes. Spreading the message that hate is not okay, the CRD emphasizes the need for these movements amidst the rising hate crimes in California.
The CRD says it has received about 513 reports of hate incidents to its new anti-hate hotline California vs Hate since it launched half a year ago during AAPI Heritage Month. In the first six months, race (27%) and ethnicity (18%) continued to be the most reported reasons cited for the report of hate, followed by religion (13%) and sexual orientation (11%).
One in six reports of hate crimes was made by a witness or advocate. Most reports were made by the individual being targeted for an act of hate.
“With hate crimes increasing in California and different views spurring debate that sometimes turns hostile, movements like United Against Hate Week become more vital,” Assemblymember Phil Ting said in a statement. “It is my hope that providing awareness about nonprofit services available to victims or other resources, such as the Civil Rights Department hate crime reporting hotline, we can spread the message that hate is not okay and that there is support available for those who need it.”
Anti-Asian hate crimes actually dropped by 43% from 2021 to 2022. According to ABC 10, experts thought the numbers were encouraging, potential proof that investment into stopping hate crimes was working. However, they warned there was still work to do, as the amount of anti-Asian hate crimes is still above pre-pandemic levels.
Civil rights groups are continuing to partner with one another to combat hate. Organizations like the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference say they are proud to participate in UAHW.
“Black people are disproportionately impacted by hate crimes in California, which is why the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference is proud to participate in the sixth annual United Against Hate Week,” said Rick L. Callender, ESQ., CA/HI NAACP President, in a statement.
Callender added that the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference is also forging partnerships to support initiatives like Assemblymember Ting’s bill AB 449, which requires every state and local law enforcement agency in California to adopt a hate crimes policy.
You can contact CA vs Hate via its non-emergency, multilingual hate crime and incident reporting hotline and online portal. Anonymous reports are accepted. Call (833) 866-4283 or 833-8-NO-HATE Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT or online at any time. Assistance is available in 15 different languages through the online portal and in over 200 languages when calling the hotline. If you are in imminent danger call 911. For more information on CA vs Hate, visit CAvsHate.org.
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please take advantage of a $30,000 matching grant challenge. An anonymous donor has offered to match dollar for dollar every tax-deductible donation made to Asian American Media Inc from November 1, 2023 until the end of the year. The money will be used to fund the addition of a new reporter and to produce content for limited English-speaking Asian immigrants. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.