Attorney General Addresses Activists in Fresno

California Attorney General Rob Bonta was the keynote speaker at the April 6 United Against Hate summit at Fresno City College. Photo by Peter Maiden
California Attorney General Rob Bonta was the keynote speaker at the April 6 United Against Hate summit at Fresno City College. Photo by Peter Maiden
Sukaina Hussain and Hina Fatima are with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Several workshops were held at the United Against Hate summit. Leaders of three workshops: (l to r) Ameer Brooks, Sukaina Hussain and Hina Fatima. Photo by Peter Maiden

The United Against Hate summit at Fresno City College on April 6 brought together a coalition of community groups whose goal is to reduce hate crimes in Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley. It included California Attorney General Rob Bonta as the keynote speaker.

Bonta said that hate crimes in California and throughout the country are on the rise and that events like this “are an example of what the solution is, people coming together, people caring, sharing and working with one another—saying I care about you and I feel better when you are safe.”

Crimes motivated by hate are not just attacks on individual innocent people—they are attacks on our communities and the entire state. It is the job of the attorney general to see that the laws of the State are uniformly and adequately enforced. For more information about the Department of Justice and how to report a hate crime, visit oag.ca.gov/hatecrimes.

The United Against Hate summit featured four breakout sessions: Know Your Rights, Bystander Training, What To Do If You Are a Victim of a Hate Crime and the Future of the Stop the Hate Coalition.

There are two projects that the coalition needs your help with. The first is the distribution of yard signs and bumper stickers with the message: “Stop the Hate, Be the Love.” Picture that message being spread throughout your community and then help make it happen.

The second project is to get a Stop the Hate Resolution (see sidebar) passed by all grassroots community groups, labor unions, faith groups and elected bodies such as city councils, school boards and special districts.

This event was sponsored by the San Joaquin Valley Media Alliance and the Community Alliance newspaper through a grant from the California State Library under the statewide Stop the Hate initiative.

For more details about this event, see “Hate Crimes Difficult to Convict” on page 4.

Stop the Hate Resolution
We, (the name of the organization goes here), pledge to stand up to all forms of hate, racism, bigotry and bullying.
We will not stay silent in the face of intolerance based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, ability, country of origin, immigration status or any other factor.
We will work together with our community to create safer and more inclusive communities for all.
By making this pledge today, we promise to

  • Learn about what counts as a hate crime.
  • Educate our families and friends to recognize hate crime, support the targeted person and report to the police or an appropriate third-party organization.
  • Train our staff in hate crime awareness and recognition and create a safe and all-inclusive environment that supports equality, and good relations within and outside the workplace.
  • Ensure that our policy procedures are effective in addressing hate crime incidents that might occur in the workplace either between employees, or against staff members or the public.
  • Support and create activities in the community and workplace that promote diversity, inclusion, kindness and good relationships.
  • Help display visual materials in public areas disapproving all forms of hate in our communities and share this information with others through leaflets, posters and social media posts.
  • Report to the police or send details to 559-600-CVAC if we witness, suffer or become aware of any persons, organizations or businesses that are demonstrating hate speech.
  • Encourage victims who have disclosed a hate crime to report it to police or a third-party organization and support them in passing any specific details wherever possible.

Return the approved resolution to mikerhodes@fresnoalliance.com.

Mike Rhodes, executive director of the Community Alliance newspaper, holds a yard sign for the Stop the Hate campaign at a breakout workshop. Photo by Peter Maiden
Mike Rhodes, executive director of the Community Alliance newspaper, holds a yard sign for the Stop the Hate campaign at a breakout workshop. Photo by Peter Maiden

Author

  • Mike Rhodes

    Mike Rhodes is the executive director of theCommunity Alliance newspaper and author of the book Dispatches from the War Zone, about homelessness in Fresno. www.mikerhodes.us is his website. Contact him at mikerhodes@comcast.net.

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