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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 21, 2020 04:10 PM
From: Representative Brian Kirkland
To: All House members
Subject: Breaking the Silence - Being an Active Bystander for Hate Crimes
In 2019, there were a total of 7,314 reported hate crimes in the United States, with 41 of those incidents occurring in Pennsylvania.  Even as hate crimes occur more frequently, observers still fail to intervene during situations of prejudice and injustice.
As state representatives, we should urge our constituents to become active bystanders when witnessing a hate crime take place.  Defending marginalized groups is a responsibility that we all should share, not just law enforcement.  Bystander intervention helps prevent the normalization of prejudicial behavior.  There are several ways an active bystander can safely intervene in a prejudicial situation such as by removing a victim from the scene, distracting the instigator, or by seeking help from someone in a position of power. 
Let us join together with our constituents in making it known that Pennsylvania does not tolerate hate and prejudice.  Please support advancing the safety of marginalized groups across the state.