Apr 8, 2010 10:10 PM by David Ortiviz

People in Pueblo rally against racism

Statistics show racism is still a problem in America. The FBI says more than 7,700 hate crimes were reported in 2008. One hundred and fifty of those crimes happened here in Colorado. This month the YWCA is hosting rallies across the country to help bring an end to racism. Today one of those events was held in Pueblo.

"Stand against racism, stand against racism, stand against hate, stand against hate," the crowded chanted outside the Occhiato University Center at CSU-Pueblo. They were there, to rally against racism.

Shenee Taylor, who runs the Black Student Organization knows it exists everywhere, even on campus. "Someone thought it would be funny to scratch the word black out of our organization and put the N word and draw swastikas," said Taylor. She says even small attacks against minorities are no joke. "It's disheartening, it's sad, and it makes me angry that people can't just accept each other for who they are," said Taylor.

"There is continued hatred and bigotry in this country," said one of the speakers at the event. The YWCA helped organize the event as part of a nation wide movement called Stand Against Racism. The YWCA says there are close to 1,000 active hate groups in the United States. Organizer say racism can't be ignored or tolerated.

"That means you must speak up when you witness racism of hate, speak against it," said another speaker.

Shenee Taylor acknowledges great strides have been made. "We have come a long way, because we do have a black President, but I still like there is a lot of work that to be done," said Taylor. She says mainly teaching people not just about tolerance but acceptance of everyone.

The FBI defines a hate crime as an attack motivated by race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says the most common hate crimes in our state are intimidation, property damage and assaults.

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