Spike in Hate Crimes Since Trump Win is Real, Warns Advocacy Group

November 15, 2016

3 min read

Despite skeptics asserting that most incidents of assault, vandalism, or harassment publicized since Donald Trump won the presidential election are unverified and over-reported, the US has indeed seen a spike in hate crimes in the past week, said the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Over 300 incidents have been reported since Election Day, said SPLC President Richard Cohen on Monday.

“They’ve been everywhere – in schools, in places of business like Walmart, on the street,” he said.

While some accounts of attacks were found to have been fabricated or embellished, most are genuine. Social media has exploded with images, videos and first-hand accounts of assault, and the SPLC has released statistics on the new hate surge.

Swastikas and hateful slogans have shown up across the country, even in overwhelmingly blue states like New York, where a Jewish student at Manhattan’s New School woke up on Saturday to find swastikas drawn on her dorm room door.

In Wellsville, New York, a dugout wall was found vandalized with an altered version of Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America White Again”, and a large swastika.

“Trump”, with a swastika standing in for the letter T, was spray-painted on a Philadelphia storefront on Wednesday, along with the neo-Nazi phrase “Seig Heil 2016”.

A church in Maryland was vandalized with a pro-Trump message which proclaimed, “Whites Only.”

A number of physical assaults and intimidations were also reported. On the University of Michigan campus, a Muslim student was confronted by a white male who threatened to set her on fire with a lighter unless she removed her hijab.

A black doll was lynched on a campus in western New York. “Deportation notices” were distributed to students in a California school. Throughout the country, people reported incidents of violence, verbal abuse, and intimidation on social media.

After several days, Trump spoke out against the violence, saying in a CBS interview on Sunday that he was “so saddened” by the amount of racist and xenophobic hate crimes in the news.

“If it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it,” Trump told his supporters.

Trump’s campaign was marked by overtones of nativism, racism and jingoism, with the president-elect calling Mexicans “rapists” and promising to ban all Muslims from entering the country.

The “alt-right” movement, which is associated with white nationalist and anti-Semitic views, supported Trump with enthusiasm, and the Ku Klux Klan endorsed his candidacy. Many fear that this population now feels itself empowered under the new regime, which they see as sympathetic to their cause, especially following the appointment of alt-right leader Steve Bannon as a senior advisor in Trump’s administration.

However, Jewish Trump supporters point to the fact that many of Trump’s advisers are Jewish, not to mention several members of his family, including his daughter and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has avowedly said that Trump himself is not anti-Semitic.

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