Swastikas and homophobic insults:graffiti dubbed on a church in the US state of Indiana. Just one example of 437 reports of hate crimes recorded in the United States since Donald Trump’s election victory.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, this type of racist and bigoted harassment and intimidation — directed towards people from minorities — have been rising sharply in the past week.
“What we are seeing is that the bulk of these crimes are aimed at immigrants and Muslims,” said the centre’s Mark Potok. “There are also very many anti black hate crimes.”
Social media sites have been plagued by hate. Many victims and witnesses have posted details of hate crimes.
Some children have been targeted. Often the aggressors have been been other juveniles.
“They started saying, well you’re Mexican and so you’re going to go to a different school now and you’re going back to Mexico,” said Julio Puentes, whose child was bullied by classmates.
The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors hate groups and other extremists. It has called on Donald Trump to reject hate and bigotry and distance himself from the haters.
Trump distanced himself from extreme right-wing groups who had praised him for questioning President Obama’s nationality and religious denomination.
On US election night, former grand wizard for the Ku Klux Klan David Duke, posted this tweet after Trumps victory was announced.
“This is one of the most exciting nights of my life -> make no mistake about it, our people have played a HUGE role in electing Trump!”
In an interview with US network CBS five days after his election, Donald Trump distanced himself from the hate crimes he was accused of inciting.
“I am so saddened to hear that, and I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the camera: ‘Stop it.’”
Potok said Trump’s comments were insufficient.
“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. The bottom line reality is that Donald Trump has stoked the fire.”