On June 24, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with leaders of multiple California legislative caucuses, urged California residents to stand up to hate by reporting suspected hate crimes in a powerful video. AG Becerra office’s website also released sharable digital resources in 14 languages to inform the public about hate crimes.
The video featured the respective chairs of the California Legislative Black Caucus, California Latino Legislative Caucus, California Legislative Women’s Caucus, California Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, California Legislative Jewish Caucus and the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus.
“It’s going to take all of us working together to take on hate and its corrosive effects on our society,” said Attorney General Becerra. “That’s why we stand united against hate and we hope you’ll join us in fighting back. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hate crime, report it.
“Millions of us call this state home —we won’t let trumped up rhetoric tear us apart. No matter where you’re from, who you love, or how you worship, it takes all of us to build a better place and a better future for our children.”
The state Department of Justice’s renewed commitment to fighting hate crimes comes in the wake of increased reports of hate incidents and crimes that have accompanied the George Floyd protests and the hateful rhetoric surrounding COVID-19.
“I commend Attorney General Becerra for bringing together this coalition of legislators to speak out against hate and bigotry,” said California State Senator Scott Wiener. ”Especially after last month — when, in an episode highlighting the structural racism embedded deep in our society, George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer — we must stand firmly against racism and hate.”
According to the Attorney General’s office, a hate crime is defined under California law as a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of the victim’s race or ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, disability or sexual orientation. Hate incidents are separate and defined as non-criminal actions or behaviors motivated by hate, including name-calling, insults and distributing hate material in public places.
The Attorney General’s office also advises actions for people to take if they believe they’ve been the victim of a hate crime, including writing down exact words used and relevant facts of the incident, saving all evidence and photos, and getting the contact information of other victims and witnesses.