Hate Crimes On The Rise Post-Election


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“Go Trump” with Swastika paintings are seen at Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn on Friday, Nov. 18th.
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The Southern Poverty Law Center counted over 800 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation in the United States in the 10 days following the presidential election. Many blame the Trump campaign's rhetoric, as these incidences were anti-immigrant, anti-African American, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim.

Since 1992, the F.B.I has published yearly hate crime statistics through its Uniform Crime Reporting Program. The Hate Crimes Statistics Report gathers statistics from law enforcement agencies across the country and includes information on offenses, victims, offenders, and the locations of the crimes. Their most recent report details a total of 5,818 hate crimes on record in 2015, including assaults, bombings, threats and property destruction against minorities. Overall, the number of hate crimes increased about 6% over the previous year, with sharp increases in attacks against Muslims and transgender individuals. There were 257 reports of hate crimes against Muslims last year, a jump of about 67% over 2014. It was the highest total since 2001, when more than 480 attacks followed the Sept. 11 attacks.

According to F.B.I data, African Americans were the most frequent victims based on race while Jews were the most frequent victims of hate crimes based on religion. A little over 50% percent of religiously motived hate crimes, 664 incidents, were aimed at Jews. That is exceptionally high given that Jews only constitute 2% of the population.

Since the election, there has been an increase in hate crimes across the country. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) counted 867 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation in U.S in the ten days following the election. The highest number of hate crimes occurred the day after the election, with 202 recorded. The incidents have been widespread but when broken down by motivation, anti-immigrant, anti-African American, and anti-Semitic crimes took place the most. About one-third of these cases were anti-Muslim.

Trump supporters and many conservatives believe reports of post-election violence have been fabricated. An article on Trumpnews.com claims that in order to "incite fear and further the belief that Trump is a fascist dictator, the craziest of the leftists rushed out to their local police departments in order to file false reports about Trump supporters attacking them." According to Breitbart news, not only are these crimes against minorities fabricated, but they are overshadowing the hate crimes committed against Trump supporters. An article posted on their site on November 13th said that there has "been real hate crimes against Trump supporters, including a videotaped beating of a white man who was targeted because he was accused of voting for Trump. "

And while Breitbart contends that "the wave of anti-Trump crimes — 'hate crimes' and otherwise — committed by anti-Trump thugs overwhelms, by several orders of magnitude, whatever crimes are being attributed to Trump supporters," the data says otherwise. According to the SPLC data, out of the 867 reported hate-crimes, only 23 were considered anti-Trump. That is not even 3% of all the tracked crimes. However, nearly 40% of the reports involved people explicitly invoking Trump's name or his campaign slogan. This, the SPLC says, is a clear indicator that 'the outbreak of hate stemmed in large part from [Trump's] electoral success."

In New York City in particular, there has been a 115% increase in hate crimes in NYC since Donald Trump's election. The incidents range from threats to physical violence to graffiti. According to the NYPD, there were 43 reported attacks. Of these attacks 24 were directed at Jews, three times as many as occurred last November.

Yet major crimes overall in NYC are down 3.8% in first 11 months of this year. In November specifically, crimes dropped 9.9 percent from the previous year. With major crime declining and hate crimes on the rise, many are pointing a finger at Trump and his campaign. Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference this week, "You can't have a candidate for president single out groups of Americans, negatively, and not have some ramifications for that. It's obviously connected to the election."

While it is a bit more complicated than just blaming Trump, the hate speech of his campaign obviously had some effect. Of the post-election hate crimes tracked by the SPLC, immigrants were the most targeted group. One can certainly draw a straight line between Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric - calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals and promising to deport millions of undocumented immigrants - to the high rate of anti-immigrant crime.

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