February 17, 2009 / Uncategorized

The New Agenda Joins the Fight Against Hate Crimes


For many years a broad coalition of groups has worked together to advocate for tougher laws against hate crimes – all hate crimes. One of the primary goals of this coalition is to expand the legal definition of hate crimes to include those who are victimized not only because of race, religion, or national origin, but actual or perceived gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Current federal law does not provide authority for involvement in these four categories of cases at all.

The coalition of groups is a “dream team” of everyone who shares a stake in this legislation: from traditional civil rights groups like the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, to women’s advocacy groups like the American Association of University Women, gay rights groups, disability groups, labor unions, community organizations, and scores of law enforcement associations – over 250 groups in all.

The New Agenda is proud to join this august coalition and make passage of this legislation our #1 goal. On February 1st, we attended a meeting of the coalition where we learned that 2009 may be the year it finally happens. We will update you when the bill is introduced and let you know how we can work together to make it law.

For more information about the legislation please see this section of our website: The New Agenda – Goals For even more information about the legislation and other hate crime related matters, please visit this section of CivilRights.org, a fantastic resource center presented by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

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  • Can a white male be the victim of a hate crime? What would the circumstances have to be?

  • Karen

    I think a crime can only be prosecuted as a hate crime if the victim was attacked for superficial attributes such as skin color on the basis of those attributes alone.

    *trying to think of some good examples*
    For example, if a group of black people beat up a black person just for being white… that would qualify as a hate crime.

    However, if a white person robbed a black person for several hundred dollars and killed the black person in the process… it would not be a hate crime. The robber did not kill the guy on basis of skin color but for money.

  • Constance

    There are already laws that criminalize assault, murder and rape. These crimes are equally wrong regardless of who is the victim or what was the motivation. Yes white males can be victims of these already illegal hateful crimes. This is a waste of time. I would also like to point out that the people who started this sort of legislation did not originally include heterosexual women. This is another example of women allowing achievement of their legal needs to be sidelined by the perceived needs of gays and minority racial groups who have never done anything to further women’s rights. Work to enforce the laws that already exist and stop creating different classes of victims.

  • Constance

    Women are so far down around the world and in USA society that women’s orgs should ONLY work towards goals that help all women. My choices are
    1. Equal pay for equal work.
    2. Media images of women and consumer rights relative to media.
    3. Parity with men in Government and the Courts.
    4. Offering an alternative to the pornographic male definition of heterosexual sex and heterosexual female sexuality.
    5. Equal representation in medical studies and research into women’s diseases and conditions and health care for women

    Not necessarily in that order. All of these would also benefit lesbians except for number 4 so don’t say we aren’t doing anything for lesbians. We deserve number 4 on my list because we are the dominate group and face it, no one is going to do it for us.

  • Hate crimes can allow the FBI to get involved, I presume that is one reason to come up with a tougher law, no?

  • I have a suggestion. Deal with the elderly. If you can fight for the elderly, you end up fixing a lot of things that harm woman as well.

    I have witnessed 4 separate acts of what I think are reprehensible ways in which the elderly are not being protected by big business.

    If we protect the elderly, we are protecting woman as well.

    lol, plus woman live longer than men so there are more elderly women.

  • Alex

    Hate crime legislation specifically protecting women is kind of missing the point that as is said above, we already have laws that we should enforce. Although I’m sure it does happen, it’s a little hard to imagine someone attacking a female simply because she’s a women. Yes, domestic violence and the like do occur, but does someone who lives with a woman hate women in the way say a racist hates blacks? I don’t think so, and I think its important to also focus efforts on educating youth and setting examples for children to show that violence against women (and all others) is wrong instead of only worrying about the punishment instead of prevention.

  • Sis

    How do Allesandro and Alex get to post here?

  • Constance

    Just remember that women were not considered part of the original hate crime agenda. We were added on so that the effort could gain appeal. Or more likely after asking women to put aside their own needs (AGAIN) to help someone else’s lofty cause of Hate crimes legislation, women were begrudgingly added because it was embarrassing that they were left out originally.

    Truly if I can not find a women’s group who sticks to women’s issues I am thinking I might have become a Republican. You know my issues, they benefit all sexual orientations of women and all races of women.

  • Alessandro,

    Nice to see you! Your dailypuma.com is one of the most important projects going these days. The reorganization into separate columns is a help — except that my pumaresponders.blogspot.com seems to have got lost.

  • Sis

    I don’t care how he categorizes your blog, fSteele, or whether you’re bosom buddies or not. That post he made here on a woman’s issue board is unacceptable to me. It should be to any woman who puts women’s rights first, here, as it should be, here.

  • ER

    Alex and Alessandro,

    We know that violence against women begins with the disrespect and devaluing of women. The laws we currently have are not effective. Educating youth and others has not worked. Protecting the elderly is important, but isn’t the point here. We must protect women, all women.

    Violence against women is endemic around the world and has increased alarmingly in the US. Domestic violence / murder / rape are hate crimes against women in many, many instances. Men have raped women during wars for thousands of years – this is explicitly about gender.

    Take a look at: the latest data from Human Rights Watch, and their article “US: Soaring Rates of Rape and Violence Against Women: More Accurate Methodology Shows Urgent Need for Preventive Action” on the Human Rights Watch website at: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/200.....inst-women

    So, Alex and Alessandro, we ask that you respect us in this important and essential mission.

  • Sheryl Robinson, Editrix

    Sis, I’m not familiar with Alex and Alessandro, and I didn’t realize that they’re guys. Their comments are borderline acceptable.

    Your responses aren’t out of line, either, but we ask that members with concerns about comments on the blog email us with those concerns, rather than posting them here.

    I’m at dawnc@thenewagenda.net, and Violet is at editor@thenewagenda.net.

  • Alex

    Is what I said really so controversial? I mildly disagreed with the post and made no rude or obscene remarks. “Borderline” acceptable? Its unfortunate if dissenting opinions, no matter how mild, are not welcome.

  • Sis

    No Alex. It was right over the top misogynistic ignorance, in my opinion.

    Ok Sheryl.

  • Alex

    Im disappointed that you think im misogynistic and/or ignorant. I think any form of violence against women is abhorrent and should not be tolerated under any circumstances. I was merely pointing out some of the legal reasoning issues that present themselves. Accomplishing your goals here at TNA may prove more difficult than necessary if even the most mildly differing opinions are shunned or labeled as sexist.