There have been more than 400 hate incidents across the country since Trump was elected
I don’t know about you, but the most jarring thing about this election has been what feels like a major uptick in reports of everyday violence and harassment against Muslims, people of color, and Jewish people since the election. Well, that feeling might be justified. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has collected more than 400 reports of pro-Trump harassment since the election. Just to be clear, these aren’t all hate crimes. Some of them have not been verified by another organization or law enforcement and others do not include the kind of violence or illegal acts that would classify them as actual hate crimes to be recorded by the FBI.
Also, in the name of clarity and calm heads: the SPLC put out a call for these incidents on its #ReportHate page after the election. But no one, not even the SPLC, was collecting instances of things like Islamaphobic notes left on cars before the election, so we can’t definitively say there’s been an increase since there isn’t a lot of data to compare.
BUT the SPLC did find that most of the reports it collected included a reference to the president-elect by name or his campaign slogans, so they’re connected to the election for sure. Also pretty disturbing? Most of the reports come from K-12 schools and universities, so young people and students are the ones going at each other. So much for the future.
The SPLC wrote on its website that “most of the reports involved anti-immigrant incidents (136), followed by anti-black (89) and anti-LGBT (43),” while “some reports (8) included multiple categories like anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant.” They also have a “Trump” category, which means there was no defined target, but include things like a pro-Trump slogan sprayed on a “unity” sign in Connecticut. There were also 20 reports of anti-Trump harassment.
While there might have been a post-election surge, this has been trending for some time now. In the past year, the FBI reported a six percent increase in hate crimes overall in 2015, and Muslims and transgender individuals have suffered the most. In 2015, there were 257 reports of assaults, attacks on mosques, and other crimes against Muslims, which was a 67 percent increase from 2014. The only other time it was that high was after 9/11 in 2001 when there were 480 hate documented crimes against Muslims.
On Monday, FBI James Comey told The New York Times, “We need to do a better job of tracking and reporting hate crime to fully understand what is happening in our communities and how to stop it.” Thanks, Captain Obvious.
According the SPLC, there were more reported incidents in the immediate days after the election and there have been less since. But we all know too well that crimes like these might not all be reported, so there’s no way to get a perfectly clear picture of what’s going on. Simply given even the six percent increase reported by the FBI from last year, things aren’t going all that well.