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[Congressional Record: December 5, 2001 (House)]
[Page H8892]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Simmons). Under a previous order of the 
House, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Owens) is recognized for 5 
  Mr. OWENS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Hate Crimes 
Prevention Act offered by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers), 
H.R. 1433. I think there is nothing more important that we are doing 
here in this session than this Hate Crimes Prevention Act. We are 
wasting our time passing junk resolutions, in many cases, and we do not 
address an important piece of legislation like this. More than 200 
Members have signed on as cosponsors of this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I think that every legal or legislative step that can be 
taken to combat hate should be taken. Hate is a strong force in the 
world. It is a monster expressing itself in many ways. The hate monster 
has us by the neck all over the world, but terrorists that we are 
fighting in Afghanistan, bin Laden, the al Qaeda network throughout the 
world, is motivated by hate. Hate seems to generate more fervor than 
love. People who are pushing love and want to do things differently do 
not seem to have the same kind of motivation or energy. The people who 
want to destroy our democracy, they hate us because we will not cover 
our women in public, they hate us for a thousand different reasons, and 
we need to meet that with tactics and with strategies that are as 
strong as the hatemongers.
  We need to have in every way blanket condemnations of hatred, 
intolerance, and we need to be very detailed in this country. In this 
country we can get into the details of what is wrong. We need to 
condemn intolerance, and we need to specifically condemn intolerance 
that relates to sexism or intolerance that relates to race or 
disability. There are some people who, some men in particular, who are 
very adamant in terms of the workplace, and they cannot stand 
intolerance or oppression by the boss or management, but they will 
exploit and oppress women.
  There are some people in certain races who certainly will speak out 
against racial intolerances, and they will also oppress women. There 
are some women who will certainly defend the rights of women to be 
equal, but they will oppress or be intolerant of people of other races. 
All of these things add up to a situation that is very complex. We 
cannot stop it by legislation, but legislation plays a key role. We are 
the catalytic agent in the process of helping people to deal with hate, 
making our society as a whole deal with hate.
  Nationality or ethnic origin is certainly unacceptable for 
hatemongers, also; and, unfortunately, in our agencies of government, 
bureaucracies sometimes express a bit of intolerance and sometimes get 
into hate. Under the President's pressures of terrorism, as we mount 
our campaign against terrorism, I have seen in my own district 
Pakistanis rounded up because they are Muslim, and those Pakistanis 
when they were interrogated, they may have some immigration problems, 
they have been put in holding pens and jails in New Jersey outside of 
New York City. About 200 people in a 2-month period have been rounded 
up and held for 2 or 3 weeks merely because they have an infraction 
related to immigration but not a serious crime. They asked to go home, 
and, instead of being immediately processed out and sent home, they 
were held. One man even died there because there is an intolerance in 
the FBI bureaucracy under the pressure of the present situation to 
combat terrorism.
  We should not let our guard down and become intolerant of any 
particular group. Immigrants in general are being put on the spot. I 
have a large number of people in my district from the Caribbean. 
Through World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, they never found a 
single Caribbean espionage agent from Haiti or any other Caribbean 
nation. Why are they penalizing and putting those people on the spot 
and profiling them in the situation that presently exists?
  It is intolerant, unreasonable and from our own agencies we should 
not tolerate it. Let us take every step possible. H.R. 1433 is an 
important step. We do not need more hate in the world. We need in our 
official conduct as well as our personal conduct to do everything 
possible to combat hate.


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