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*****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE******
Pennsylvania Human Relation and Representative Patty Kim reminds Pennsylvania that Hate and Discrimination will not be tolerated during this public health crisis or any other time
HARRISBURG, PA March 26, 2020: We are all facing difficult times during this public health crisis, but it is not an excuse to discriminate or spread hate in our Commonwealth. "In response to the many calls received by both the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission(PHRC) and the office of Representative Patty Kim we want you to know that we are taking those communications, and responding as quickly as possible" said Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW Executive Director PHRC. We are setting up a rapid response system that will allow us to address acts of discrimination in this emergency that are initiated based on the COVID-19 pandemic. PHRC is pleased to be working with Representative Kim and other partners to address unacceptable hateful behavior in the Asian American and other communities. "I want to thank the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and it's Executive Director, Chad Lassiter, for standing behind our Asian-American community," Kim said. "We want to remind Pennsylvanians that it is unacceptable to tolerate racial slurs, xenophobic attacks and harassment, especially during this global pandemic. It's wrong to shift blame or accuse Asian-Americans for this crisis. Pathogens do not discriminate. I stand ready to help and protect anyone who is being discriminated against during the COVID-19 crisis. Moving forward, do not hesitate to contact my office for direct assistance and to report these instances of abuse and harassment. We stand united together in our fight against hate." We remind everyone that acts of intimidation because of someone's status may be illegal and penalties of jail and/or fines can be assessed. Lassiter said, "we want Pennsylvania to get through this crisis safely, we will not overlook our responsibilities as the top civil rights agency in the commonwealth. We remind people that if you are a victim of violence or you witness an act of violence you should call 911 immediately" Pennsylvania has Hate Crime laws for protection and we have an Ethnic Intimidation Law that can serve those who are confronted with these horrible acts. Check our website for information or contact our office. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission can be reached at PHRC@pa.gov for complaints of discrimination related to COVID-19.