Civil Rights Group Documents Outbreak Of 900 Hate Crimes Following Donald Trump’s...

Civil Rights Group Documents Outbreak Of 900 Hate Crimes Following Donald Trump’s Election

By HuffPost on November 30, 2016
Graffiti of swastika on a softball field dugout in Wellsville, N.Y., Nov. 9, 2016. | Brian Quinn, Wellsville Daily Reporter

Black children being told by classmates to sit in the back of school buses. Muslims called “terrorist” and told to go back to “your country with ISIS.” Swastikas drawn on a synagogue, schools, cars and driveways. A gay man being beaten by an assailant who said the “president says we can kill all you faggots now.” Plus “Trump Nation” and “Whites Only” spray-painted on a church attended largely by immigrants.

Those are some of the nearly 900 hate incidents across the U.S. in the 10 days immediately following President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise victory earlier this month, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Blacks, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women and other groups were all targeted, according to the report, which attributes this “outbreak” of hate to Trump’s win.

A car vandalised with nazi pro-Trump graffiti | Ashley Dean/AP
A car vandalised with nazi pro-Trump graffiti | Ashley Dean/AP

“Both the harassment since the election and the energy on the radical right are the predictable results of the campaign that Trump waged for the presidency — a campaign marked by incendiary racial statements, the stoking of white racial resentment, and attacks on so-called ‘political correctness,’” states the report, titled “Ten Days After.”

The SPLC, which tracks hate groups and hate crimes, documented 867 hate incidents using media reports and submissions to the #ReportHate page on its website.

The report does not include incidents of online harassment, and excluded incidents determined to be hoaxes by authorities. While the SPLC cautions it couldn’t “confirm the veracity of all reports,” it also states that hate incidents it documented “almost certainly represent a small fraction of the actual number of election-related hate incidents that have occurred since November 8.”

The report cites the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimate that two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported to law enforcement.

Trump’s win is fueling hate and “celebratory violence.”

Nearly 40 percent of the hate incidents tracked in the 10 days after the election involved people explicitly invoking the president-elect’s name or his campaign slogans, which the SPLC says is a clear indicator that “the outbreak of hate stemmed in large part from his electoral success.”

In one incident in Arizona, a woman putting groceries in her car said two men in a pickup truck drove past her and yelled “Trump forever, you half-nigger slut bitch!”

“Can’t wait until your ‘marriage’ is overturned by a real president. Gay families = burn in hell. #Trump2016,” read a note received by a gay couple in North Carolina.

The SPLC did not track incidents of hate and harassment in the same way before the election, so the number can’t be directly compared to an earlier period or solely attributed to Trump’s win. Trump himself put some of the blame on the media for amplifying the stories of attacks after the election.

The number of reported incidents dropped significantly after a huge number in the first three days after the election.

Mark Potok, SPLC senior fellow, said the rash of hate incidents are directly related to the election, and echo a similar, though smaller number of anti-black incidents the SPLC noticed following President Barack Obama’s win in 2008. The difference now, Potok said, is that the latest incidents are “celebratory violence by Trump supporters.”

The SPLC report also underscores that many of the people who were targeted for their gender, orientation or ethnicity said the recent incidents were either their first experience with harassment or took it to a new extreme.

An Asian-American woman who was told to “go home” when she left a train station in Oakland, California, wrote that she had experienced discrimination before, “but never in such a public and unashamed manner.”

Trump regularly incited political violence during his campaign.

Hate incidents are occurring almost everywhere in the country.

Hate incidents were reported in all but four states: Hawaii, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. Larger states tended to have a higher number of incidents, and three states ― California, New York and Texas ― accounted for more than a quarter of all the reports.

Credit: Southern Poverty Law Centre
Credit: Southern Poverty Law Centre

Immigrants have been the most frequent targets for post-election hate.

About one-third of the incidents, 280 total, were motivated by anti-immigration sentiments, according to the SPLC report.

Trump stoked immigration fears starting with his first campaign speech, when he referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. He energized his supporters with his promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and has pledged to deport millions of undocumented immigrants once he is in office.

It’s not clear if Trump can and will deliver on his promises, but they’re being used to harass immigrants, particularly Latinos, and often at schools, the report notes:

Students and young people have absorbed divisive campaign rhetoric and are using it to taunt and harass their classmates, with chants of “Build the wall!” making their way into school cafeterias, hallways, and buses. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, 8th grade students told Latino students on the school bus, “Not only should Trump build a wall, but it should be electrocuted (sic) and Mexicans should have to wear shock collars.” In Redding, California, students brought “deportation letters” to school for their Latino classmates.

People of other ethnicities have also been targeted, according to the SPLC. In one incident, a Florida teacher reportedly threatened her black students with forced removal from the country, saying, “Don’t make me call Donald Trump to get you sent back to Africa.”

Other minorities, including groups Trump targeted during his campaign, have also suffered from hate incidents.

Trump is a racist who refused to condemn white supremacists campaigning for him. He once bragged about sexually assaulting women. He tweeted an anti-semitic image. He’s repeatedly disparaged Muslims. And though he’s said he supports LGBT rights, his vice president and other members of his administration have repeatedly pushed anti-gay laws.

Similarly, the incidents tracked by the SPLC show hate directed at nearly every minority group.

Close to one-quarter of the hate incidents tracked by the SPLC in the report were categorized as anti-black, and there were also a large number of anti-LGBT and anti-Semitic incidents.

There were 49 anti-Muslim incidents and 40 anti-women incidents, including several that echoed Trump’s own misogynistic comments.

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