Hate crimes on the rise in US after Trump’s election victory

A civil rights organisation collected more than 400 anecdotal reports of racist and anti-religious incidents from news sources, social media and direct submissions to its website.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Human rights groups criticised Trump for his racist rhetoric during his campaign.

More than 400 incidents of hate crimes, intimidation and harassment were reported in the United States in the five days following the November 8 presidential election, civil rights group The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported.

Republican Donald Trump won the election after running a campaign filled with divisive messages that seem to have emboldened his supporters. 

"The bulk of these crimes are aimed at immigrants and Muslims. There are also very many anti-black hate crimes," Mark Potok, senior fellow with the SPLC's Intelligence Project said on Wednesday.

The incidents focus on "anyone who is not white and Christian," he said.

SPLC collected the reports from news sources, social media and direct submissions via its #ReportHate page.

"Aside from news reports, most are largely anecdotal," the group's website noted.

Among the incidences reported to the group are anti-gay slurs, threatening social media messages targeting black people and Muslims as well as incidences taunting Hispanics. 

The most notable submissions to the website include a high school teacher in Gwinnett County, Georgia who received a note saying her headscarf is no longer allowed.

“Why don’t you tie it around your neck and hang yourself with it,” said the note, signed "America!"

Potok and others have criticised Trump for failing to address those behind the incidents, pointing out that Trump has taken to Twitter to attack the media and others he views as critics multiple times a day but has not addressed hate related incidents.

"I think Donald Trump's response to this wave of hate crimes largely if not entirely generated by him is a day late, a dollar short and incredibly disingenuous," Potok said.

Potok believes the rise in hate crimes is a direct result of Trump's presidential campaign.

"For 18 months, the man has been attacking minorities around this country saying incredibly ugly things about them and in fact encouraging violence against protesters at his own rallies," Potok said.

"He has created a political space for the radical, racist right. He has made it at least quasi-respectable for these people to express their really hateful and bigoted and frankly un-American opinions in public."

Earlier in the week, a black freshman at the University of Pennsylvania reported receiving hostile social media messages from individuals who identified themselves as "Trump's Disciples."

At Southern Methodist University, flyers containing information about "Why White Women Shouldn't Date Black Men" were posted on trees all around the Texas campus. The flyer, which included photos of white women and black men, made reference to crime statistics.

According to an annual report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Monday, the number of hate crimes had hit 5,850 last year, up 7 percent from 2014.

Anti-Jewish crimes were up 9 percent, and made up more than half of the 1,244 hate crimes based on religion. Anti-Muslim bias crimes rose 67 percent from 2014, to 257, the data showed.

 

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies