Statement of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

September 12, 2001


WASHINGTON D.C. -- The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights conveys its deepest sympathies to the victims of the heinous terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the four commercial airplanes. The fundamental resiliency of our nation and its people has never been more evident than in the efforts of the thousands who are involved in the ongoing rescue efforts.

As America confronts these tragic circumstances, it is imperative that the situation is not compounded by expressions of religious or ethnic intolerance. The greatness of our nation rests on the exceptional diversity of religions, nationalities, and ethnic backgrounds which characterize its people. Chairperson Mary Frances Berry said, "It will be a testament to our enduring strength when we embrace that diversity and resist the temptation to unfairly target the members of any ethnic or religious group."

The Commission hopes that law enforcement efforts will quickly bring to justice the individuals responsible for these acts of terrorism.