The spate of hate crimes and incidents in Orange County over the past year—including five crimes and 29 incidents just within the last month—has prompted the OC Human Relations Commission to launch a new #HateFreeOC campaign.
“In the face of this hate, the commission asserts that we are made strong by our diversity and we cannot let ourselves be pitted against one another based on race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, immigration status, disability or politics,” says Chairwoman Becky Esparza in an OC Human Relations Commission email.
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Among the "spate of hate" the commission fears was spurred by a year of anti-inclusionary rhetoric on the campaign trail was a man trying to rip a Muslim woman's hijab off her head at a gas station while yelling at her, a Latino janitor being taunted by students chanting "Build a Wall," anti-black and anti-gay graffiti discovered on Coto de Caza entry signs Thursday and Saturday's defacing of a Christian church attended mostly by Korean Americans with swastikas and German words.
The OC Human Relations Commission's #HateFreeOC public education and awareness campaign aims to:
· create a hate-free environment in Orange County;
· bring diverse communities together;
· promote a peaceful and inclusive community where everyone can thrive;
· promote the value of RESPECT and how, as a community, we must LEARN IT, LIVE IT and LEAD IT;
· educate about, and encourage reporting of, hate crime;
· share conflict resolution and mediation resources;
· invite people to make a pledge to promote respect;
· promote inspirational stories of residents who make up our richly diverse communities via social media;
· share a multicultural calendar of events;
· and feature educational resources, community engagement and dialogue opportunities online at www.ochumanrelations.org/hatefreeoc.
The commission, which was formed in 1971, aims to spread the #HateFreeOC campaign through schools, community organizations and businesses.