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December 09, 2020 2020 US Elections Aftermath: A Social Justice Policy Summit

Hate Crimes are Growing More Violent: Realities, Challenges, Remedies

From prejudicial attitudes about racial, ethnic, and religious minority groups to verbal threats and physical assaults directed against them, the coronavirus crisis exacerbated interpersonal and individual-level discrimination in myriad contexts. Commonly scapegoated as carriers, for example, physical attacks and verbal harassment against Asian-Americans are now rampant. They are not the only minority community to experience the violent effects of social, political, and cultural othering, however.

Even prior to the pandemic, hate crimes involving physical violence – e.g., intimidation, assault, and homicide – had reached a 16-year high. Since the 2016 presidential elections, for instance, hate crimes against the Latinx community surged more than 50%.  Further, anti-Black hate crimes make up approximately 47% of all race- or ethnicity-based hate crimes even though the minority community only comprises 13% of the population. Additionally, Muslim and Jewish Americans are also experiencing disproportionate rates of interpersonal violence.

Still, hate crimes are vastly underreported by and to law enforcement officials. While some states have not yet enacted hate crimes statutes, the remainder does not treat such crimes consistently. Whereas an act or threat of violence may qualify as a hate crime in one jurisdiction, victims may be excluded in another. Additionally, prosecutions are not uniformly pursued notwithstanding federal law.

This panel examines the manifestations of racial, ethnic, and religious bias while considering related policy proscriptions in light of the contemporary social, political, and legal landscape.


  • Nadia Aziz, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Arab American Institute
  • Jeannine Bell, Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington
  • Domingo Garcia, Esq., National President, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • Brandon Golob, JD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Teaching in Criminology, Law and Society, University of California, Irvine
  • Brian Levin, JD, Professor of Criminal Justice, California State University, San Bernardino; Director, Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, California State University, San Bernardino


  • Engy Abdelkader, JD, LL.M., Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States; Co-Chair, Rights of Immigrants Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; TILN’15

Co-Sponsors: ABA Center for Human RightsABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic JusticeABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & ResponsibilitiesABA Commission on Homelessness & PovertyABA Commission on ImmigrationABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender IdentityABA Council for Diversity in the Educational PipelineABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers DivisionABA Section of State and Local Government LawABA Standing Committee on Gun ViolenceABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service


2020 US Elections Aftermath: A Social Justice Policy Summit Resources

2020 US Elections Aftermath: A Social Justice Policy Summit Participant Handbook

ABA Journal: As hate crimes grow more violent, here are some policy recommendations to protect the communities they impact

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