Today, President Biden announced that he will host the United We Stand Summit at the White House on September 15, 2022. The stated goal of the summit is to “counter the corrosive effects of hate-fueled violence and violent extremism on our democracy and public safety” and “put forward a vision for a more united America.” The summit is scheduled to include current and former leaders from all levels of government, civil rights groups, and community and business leaders, among others.
In response to the announcement, Legal Defense Fund (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Janai S. Nelson today released the following statement:
“We commend President Biden for organizing the United We Stand Summit and raising awareness about the alarming rise in hate crimes in the United States. It is critical that we advance the vitally important conversation about hate-crimes, white nationalism, and extremist activity in our country. We also need concrete action at every level of government to address this urgent crisis. Words are simply not enough.
“Americans have witnessed and been victims of a steady rise in violent attacks against Asian, Latino, Muslim, Jewish, and LGBTQ+ communities, while Black Americans remain the leading targets for hate crimes in our nation. Often, this violence has been super charged by social media platforms that serve as both gathering grounds for hate speech and the normalization – and even the live broadcasting – of violent activity. It is essential that these impacted communities have the opportunity to play a leading role in shaping the planning of the summit, the summit itself, and the actions that follow.
“It is also imperative that the President’s summit delve deep into all aspects of hate crimes in America – including the actions of individuals and extremist groups, the role of technology in both fueling and facilitating hate, the infiltration of our police and military by white supremacists, and the unchecked access to militaristic weapons that – as we have seen many times over – are squarely focused on communities targeted by hate.
“It is equally important that the policies and solutions developed to address these issues are crafted in a manner that avoids causing greater harm to the very communities facing these threats and that they protect the civil rights and civil liberties of all.
“We look forward to participating in the summit and on working with the Biden Administration to take all necessary actions to eliminate the scourge of hate crimes in our society.”
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.