Importance of reporting bias and hate crimes

Mari's Memo

June 2022 –When I heard about the devasting news of the deadly shootings at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, a church at Laguna Woods, California, and a salon in Dallas, Texas, I must admit, I wasn’t surprised. I was angry. I was upset. I was saddened.

Unfortunately, these atrocities are on a growing list of racially motivated violence in the U.S. The latest statistics from the FBI show hate crimes are at their highest levels in more than a decade, particularly against Black and Asian Pacific Islander communities.

Why am I not surprised? We have systems and institutions mired in centuries-old racist policies, people who wrongly believe in the absurd “replacement theory,” lawmakers who insist on hiding the truth from our kids, and certain leaders and media personalities who spew White supremacist ideology without consequences or accountability.

We have the power as individuals and organizations to act against hate. We can do this by creating equitable policies in the workplace, foster a culture of inclusion and belonging, educating yourself and others on bias, and reporting hate crimes and other hate incidents.

The Oregon Department of Justice Bias Response Hotline is available to help you understand your options and receive support in the aftermath of experiencing or witnessing bias. Call 1-844-924-BIAS (1-844-924-2427) to speak with a trauma-informed operator. Additional resources are available on our website.