Yvonne Y. Lee, Commissioner
555 Battery Street, Suite 524
San Francisco, California 94111
Tel. (415) 705-1062
Fax. (415) 705-1064
September 19, 2001
U.S. COMMISSIONER YVONNE LEE ANNOUNCES ESTABLISHMENT OF A HOTLINE TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF ARAB, ISLAMIC AND SOUTH ASIAN COMMUNITIES
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on America, the United States
Civil Rights Commission (USCCR) has received hundreds of discrimination
complaints nationwide from Arabs and Muslims and persons perceived to be
from these communities including South Asians, particularly Sikhs. The
Commission has directed its national toll free complaint line
(1-800-552-6843) to receive and catalog these complaints. The commission's
state advisory committees have also been directed to do the same and
organize forums on the issue of tolerance in light of the terrorist
attacks," announced Yvonne Y. Lee, member of the Commission.
"While we must protect our national security, we must also safeguard the
civil rights of members of ethnic and religious communities who based on
stereotypes have been unfairly targeted for these atrocities. America has
long been a rich tapestry of diverse cultures, religions and ethnicities.
Arab, Muslim and South Asians have and continue to make important and
valuable contributions toward the strength and vibrancy of this tapestry.
All Americans, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity have been affected
by and united against these acts of terrorism," stated Commissioner Lee.
The USCCR has similarly called for tolerance in the wake of the Oklahoma
bombing, the investigation of Wen Ho Lee, and the recent U.S.-China plane
collisions where Americans of Middle Eastern and Asian descent were unfairly
"America symbolizes freedom, equal opportunity and tolerance, values that
have attracted generations of hardworking immigrants from around the world
to America. In peace and in adversity, now more than ever, we must embody
and emulate these cherished civil rights and liberties for all Americans,"
stressed Commissioner Lee.
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