Community Advisory: ADC Alarmed by Increase in Reported Complaints
ADC is alarmed at the significant rise in the number of discrimination complaints that have been reported to the Legal Department during the month of December thus far. ADC has experienced a significant increase in the number of complaints received in December, marking the highest total for any month of 2011. The total number of cases received is nearly triple the number of cases received in December of 2010, and nearly 80% above the average for the month of December over the past 10 years. It the opinion of ADC that this increase in cases is directly linked to the negative sentiments and hateful rhetoric launched against the Arab American and Muslim American communities during the recent controversies involving Lowe’s and its advertising on TLC’s reality TV show All-American Muslim and Newt Gingrich’s comments on Palestinians. A majority of reported complaints immediatley followed the Lowe's controversy.
ADC reminds its members and greater community to be safe during this Holiday season. Please keep the following precautionary advisory tips in mind as you celebrate the holidays with family and friends.
ADC is releasing the following advisory statement to members of the Arab, Muslim, South Asian and Sikh American communities.
- Ensure that any place of worship you attend is prepared with an emergency plan that can be implemented should the need arise. Also, be familiar with all the exits to your place of worship, in case the building is attacked. For those attending evening Church services, and for Muslims attending nightly prayers, contact your local law enforcement officials and ask for protection during the evening hours. Lastly, it is advisable to find out whether your place of worship has an open line of communication with law enforcement.
- If you are placed in physical danger because of your ethnicity, religion or national origin: Call the police (dial 911 in most communities), and/or contact the local FBI office. It is the FBI's job to investigate hate-motivated crimes and specific threats of violence. List of FBI field offices
- Ensure that your children are aware that they can report any incidents of bullying or harassment to a school official or other adult. Work with your children's school to implement an anti-discriminatory policy, if a satisfactory one is not already in place.
If you feel you have been a victim of a hate crime, please contact the ADC Pro Bono Legal Department at 202-244-2990 or firstname.lastname@example.org.