The Seattle City Council adopted the city’s first Anti-Hate resolution on Dec. 12, 2016. With this resolution, Council members called on the President-elect to condemn hate speech and acts of violence and to revoke potential Cabinet appointments of individuals connected to advancing hate.
“We want to be able to say affirmatively that this election does not prompt or encourage or sanction any notion that the Constitution and laws of the United States and the state of Washington, and the charter and laws of our city, would support — in any way — any acts of hate,” said Council Member Lisa Herbold at the Seattle City Council meeting, where the Anti-Hate Resolution was passed unanimously.
In the wake of a highly contentious U.S. Presidential election, cities and schools across the country have taken similar actions, reminding people that respect for diversity and equal rights are cherished American values that need to be protected.
Herbold stated that since the presidential election, numerous instances of hate speech and hateful acts have been reported — both locally and nationally — against Muslims, Sikhs, Arabs, Jews, Latinos, African Americans, Asians, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees and LGBTQ community members.
Some have argued that this rise in hateful speech and violent acts is a consequence of what they consider to be racist statements and misogynistic language used by President-elect Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, as well as the incendiary statements and affiliations of some of his advisors and potential Cabinet appointees.
Seattle’s Anti-Hate resolution goes further than simply proclaiming Seattle as an inclusive and open city for all its residents — It specifically calls on the president-elect to “condemn hateful speech and violent actions.” It calls on the president-elect to revoke potential Cabinet appointments of “individuals connected to advancing hate.” In addition, the resolution petitions the U.S. Senate and its confirmation process to “oppose the nomination of those candidates [whom] the Senate finds to advance racism, religious oppression, sexism, homophobia, trans-phobia or bigotry.”
In making her recommendation to pass the resolution, Council Member Herbold emphasized the diverse population of Seattle, saying “34 percent of Seattle residents are persons of color and 19 percent of residents are foreign-born. There are 129 languages spoken in Seattle schools.”
The Anti-Hate resolution, which passed unanimously, is co-sponsored by Herbold, Council member Lorena González and Mayor Murray. The Resolution is supported by local rights organizations One America, Allyship, and Gender Justice League.
@Lailakaz — Laila Kazmi is an award-winning senior producer and writer at KCTS 9. Her first love is discovering and telling stories of diverse people, places, and history. She has lived in Karachi, Bahrain, Chicago, and Seattle. Laila is the series producer for Borders & Heritage, which features stories of immigrant and refugee experience in the Pacific Northwest and for Reel NW, featuring independent films from and about the Pacific Northwest. She also produces stories for IN Close and produced for PIE. Laila's video stories have appeared on KCTS 9, PBS NewsHour Art Beat, World Channel at WGBH, and KPBS. Her articles have been published in PBS NewsHour Art Beat, The Seattle Times, Seattle PI, COLORLINES, and Pakistan's daily Dawn.More stories by Laila Kazmi