U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Charges of vandalism to personal property and harassment
Launches Second Complaint Hotline
to Accommodate Great Response
by neighbors, employers dominate calls
September 19, 2001
WASHINGTON, DC -- In the wake of the overwhelming response to the toll-free
hotline established to document claims of discrimination, harassment and hate
crimes following last week's terrorist attacks, the United States Commission
on Civil Rights has expanded its capacity to collect information by initiating
a second toll-free hotline. The hotline can now be accessed by calling 1-866-76U-SCCR
(1-866-768-7227) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
During a recent 12-hour period, the volume of calls peaked at approximately
70 telephone calls per hour.
The Commission will continue to receive complaints on the National Complaint
Line (1-800-552-6843) and at email@example.com
Since it officially launched the hotline last Friday, the Commission has
received hundreds of allegations of harassment and discrimination from Arab and
South Asian Americans, as well as Muslims and others perceived to be from those
communities. Incidents include:
As a fact-finding federal agency, the Commission is cataloguing discrimination
complaints and forwarding them to the appropriate government agencies. In addition,
the Commission will monitor referred complaints originating from our hotline.
Information on filing a complaint with the
USCCR can be obtained from the website, www.usccr.gov.
- An Arab American family that has lived in a Northern Virginia community
for more than 30 years, and has never experienced any problems, had their
home badly vandalized and have decided to leave the country for Europe.
- A Bangladeshi Muslim caller from Texas stated that he has been harassed
repeatedly at work and his complaints to supervisors have not been
addressed. He feels that he is now being retaliated against for filing
complaints - this week his immigration status was questioned by his employer
despite being a legal permanent resident of the United States for nearly 20
- A complainant encountered a sign in a New Jersey restaurant that read
"Boycott Arab Businesses." Finding the sign demeaning and unfair,
he complained to the restaurant manager who subsequently told him that if he
did not like it, he could leave.