Saturday, November 12, 2016

I told you all that hate crimes would increase with Trump’s election and it’s happening

In my article election night at 3:21am (Technically Wednesday November 9th), “Hate wins an election - America at Risk of Becomingthe Fourth Reich?”  I said:

… Trump rose to the position of winning the Republican nomination by attacking/blaming a lot of the country’s problems on Latino immigrants and by attacking Muslims. Trump was also cited early in his real estate career for discriminating against African Americans, refusing to rent them apartments in his buildings…  Let’s also not forget that an important part of Trump’s base is the alt-right who are basically Neo-Nazis, KKK members and other White Nationalists
Something else is coming too and much faster than legislation-enabled bigotry. In Russia, right after Putin passed the anti-gay laws three and a half years ago, anti-gay bigots in Russia felt empowered by the support in the government and the frequency of attacks by bands of bigots in Russia against the LGBT community there immediately went up by several orders of magnitude. That’s what happens when bigots feel empowered by the government, they act on that empowerment. Will we see that here? I have no doubt about that whatsoever. Once Trump is installed as President, I expect attacks on Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, Jews and LGBT to begin or accelerate.

It looks like that is what has happened. From the November 12 article in USA Today “Post-election spate of hate crimes worse thanpost-9/11, experts say” :

What may seem like a dramatic rise in the number of hate harassment and hate incidents happening across the country in the wake of Tuesday's general election is not in anyone's imagination, experts say. 
There indeed has been a spike in the number of reports of such incidents, say representatives for two organizations that track such occurrences. A representative for one group, in fact, said the rise appears to be even worse that what was took place immediately after the terror attacks in 2001. 
"Since the election, we've seen a big uptick in incidents of vandalism, threats, intimidation spurred by the rhetoric surrounding Mr. Trump's election," Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., told USA TODAY. "The white supremacists out there are celebrating his victory and many are feeling their oats," Cohen said.
The SPLC, which tracks hate crimes, says it has logged more than 200 complaints since the election, and while it could not provide a figure for the average number of complaints it takes in each day, Cohen assured that the number is much larger than what is typical. Anti-black and anti-immigrant incidents are generating the highest numbers followed by anti-Muslim incidents, Cohen said. Part of the reason it is happening is that hate group leaders are encouraging members to intimidate people, according to Cohen.

Among the reports of events occurring in the aftermath of the election:
A San Diego State University student walking to her vehicle had her purse, backpack and car keys taken by two men making comments about the president-elect and the Muslim community, university police said. She walked away to report the incident, and then returned to discover her vehicle was missing. Police are investigating the attack as a hate crime. 
A short video posted Wednesday and viewed at least 250,000 times on Facebook showed students at a school carrying a Trump sign while someone can be heard saying "white power." Two students at York County School of Technology in Pennsylvania walked with a sign into the lobby and chanted "white power" twice before the director "squelched it," said communication outreach coordinator Renie Mezzanotte, who added that "the administration has been absorbed by" the incident for two days, the outcry has become disruptive to instruction, and that instruction and student and staff safety are always the school's priorities. An officer at the York Area Regional Police Department confirmed that they investigated the incident.

Police were investigating the appearance of a swastika, the word "Trump" with a swastika replacing the T and the words "Seig Heil 2016," on a store front in South Philadelphia hours after the election was called. The Anti-Defamation League said it was disgusted to learn of the graffiti.

If you want to get close to a real-time report of a good number of the hate crimes that have been happening, browse to Shaun King’s twitter feed

I take no pleasure in being right about this. First, it wasn’t that hard to predict. As I said in my election night article, this is what happens when hate groups feel empowered and emboldened because of having a person or party they perceive as being on their side in power. Bigots of all kinds are generally base, visceral and undisciplined people who act on impulse and are thus their actions are easy to predict.

This is America with the election of Trump. It will be interesting to see the reaction from Trump; it will tell us a lot about the rest of what I talked about in my election night article. So far Trump and his team have been silent and I know they have seen the same reports about an escalation in hate crimes, so perhaps we have our answer.

Here are some photos from the above articles and from people who have reported hate crimes to Shaun King on Twitter.