Source: The ADL

ADL Applauds President for "All-out Assault on Hate

New York, NY, June 7..The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed President Clinton's recognition that it is time for an "all-out assault on hate crimes," and his call for a special White House conference on this important subject this November.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

We welcome President Clinton's call for an "all-out assault on hate crimes" and for his leadership in convening a special White House conference on the subject. As the organization which in 1981 pioneered and spearheaded the formulation, enactment and implementation of hate crimes laws across the country, ADL has long insisted crimes motivated by bigotry and prejudice warrant priority attention because they have an impact which extends beyond the individual victims. We as a nation have learned from experience the damage such crimes cause to entire communities, and the polarizing effect they can have on our broader society.

By mobilizing the vast resources of the Federal government to undertake a thorough review of existing laws and to develop a coordinated strategy to address the problem of hate crimes, President Clinton has demonstrated that he is prepared to go the extra mile to deter and counter such crimes, and we stand ready to contribute our resources and expertise to assist in this effort.

As the President has recognized, combating hate crimes requires more than a legal strategy. It requires effective law enforcement, education, and vigilance. In the long run, the best way to combat such crimes is to reach potential perpetrators early, before they are taught to hate and to act on their hate.

We urge President Clinton to continue using his bully pulpit to educate the American people about the evils of racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry. While not all bigots become criminals, the more we can do to combat bigotry, the fewer resources our criminal justice system will eventually need to expend fighting hate crimes.

Editor's Note: ADL experts and materials, including 1997 Hate Crime Statutory Update, 1996 ADL Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents and the Law Enforcement Bulletin are available through the ADL Media Relations Department.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.