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Hawai‘i Asked to Stand Against Discrimination

November 29, 2016, 9:25 AM HST
* Updated November 29, 9:28 AM
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Big Island Now file photo. Nov. 2016

Big Island Now file photo. Nov. 2016

The Hawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission today announced that Chair Linda Hamilton Krieger called on the people of Hawaiʻi to stand against the reported rise in the incidence of discriminatory harassment and intimidation.

“National reports of a spike in anti-immigrant, anti-Black, anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim and anti-woman harassment in the wake of the presidential election raise serious concerns,” said Krieger. “But our values are different here in Hawaiʻi and we must be vigilant in protecting them. In our diversity, we must continue to embrace the value of human dignity expressed in the Native Hawaiian saying, ʻaloha aku, aloha maiʻ—to respect and to receive respect. When things get tough, we must resist the temptation to turn on the most vulnerable among us and instead live the value, ʻmālama kekahi i kekahiʻ—to care for one another.”

“In these trying times, minorities face attacks not seen since post-9/11 attacks on Muslims and Arab Americans.” added HCRC Executive Director William Hoshijo. “Those who share a commitment to civil rights must stand up for those who cannot stand alone.”

“It is offensive that proponents of a ‘Muslim registration’ system cite the World War II internment of Japanese-Americans as precedent to justify government targeting of an unpopular minority, in this case based on religion rather than race or ancestry,” said HCRC Commissioner Liann Ebesugawa. “Our Constitution guarantees equal protection of the laws to all. Never again should we make exceptions on the basis of race, national origin or religion.”

The Hawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission is responsible for enforcing, and will enforce, state civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and state-funded services. The HCRC stands in opposition to discriminatory harassment, whether in schools, workplaces, places of business or in our communities.

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If you feel you have been subjected to discrimination or harassment because of your race, ancestry, sexual orientation, religion, sex, including gender identity or other prohibited bases, contact the HCRC at  (808) 586-8636 or email [email protected]v.

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For more information, go to the HCRC webpage.

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