THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Tuesday, April 6, 1999
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
WORKING TO INCREASE TOLERANCE AND PREVENT HATE CRIMES
Over 8000 hate crime incidents were reported in 1997...That is nearly one hate crime every hour. We must do more to fight hate crimes now and prevent them in the future by reaching out to our young people. Today, I am pleased to announce important new steps to do just that.
President Bill Clinton
April 6, 1999
Today, at the White House, President Clinton announces important new steps by the public and private sectors to fight hate crimes and prevent hate-inspired acts by reaching out to America's youth. The President also calls on Congress to pass the Hate Crimes Prevention Act--crucial legislation that would strengthen and expand the Justice Department's ability to prosecute hate crimes.
Creating a Public-Private Partnership to Teach Tolerance. President Clinton announced a public-private partnership that will develop a program for middle-school students to teach tolerance in the classroom and in their daily lives. The members of this partnership are AT&T, Court TV, the National Middle School Association, the Anti-Defamation League and Cable in the Classroom, with assistance from the Departments of Education and Justice. Recognizing that tolerance cannot be taught in a day and that raising awareness of diversity should be integrated into student's daily lives, this partnership, which is called "Dealing with Our Differences" will:
- provide an opportunity for middle-school students to learn about the harmful impact of intolerance;
- highlight positive ways that young adolescents are dealing with issues of diversity;
- develop in-school lessons and activities supported with cable TV programming, videos, websites, a nationally televised forum on diversity and tolerance in October, and post-show lessons and activities.
Directing the Collection of Data about Hate Crimes in Schools and Colleges. In order to better understand the problem of hate crimes and intolerance among young people, the President called on the Departments of Education and Justice to include in their annual report card on school safety a new section on hate crimes among young people. Additionally, President Clinton directed the Department of Education, with assistance from the Department of Justice, to collect data on hate crimes and bias on college campuses for periodic publication.
Urging the Passage of an Expanded Federal Hate Crimes Law. The President urged Congress to pass the bipartisan Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1999--legislation that strengthens existing federal hate crimes law by:
- extending the situations where prosecutions can be brought for violent crimes motivated by bias based on race, color, religion, or national origin; and
- expanding the federal hate crimes statute to protect against hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender or disability.