Michigan Civil Rights Leaders Commend Passage of COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

Contact: Vicki Levengood levengoodv@michigan.gov

May 20, 2021

LANSING, MI-James E. White, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, and Stacie Clayton, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, have issued the following statements in response to Congress passing and President Biden signing into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, designed to address hate crimes targeting Asian Americans.

James E. White, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights:

"Congress sent a clear and bipartisan message with the passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act: we will no longer stand by while racist rhetoric fuels attacks on Asian American families across the nation. This new law will bring much needed additional resources to bear in the fight against the surge of anti-Asian hate crimes and bias incidents we have witnessed in the wake of COVID-19."

Stacie Clayton, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission:

"President Biden tweeted that hate has no place in America. The overwhelming support from both chambers of Congress for the legislation that addresses hate crimes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, especially against Asian Americans, gives our country hope that we can eradicate hate against all races."

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.

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