By Doug Porter
Two reports from the Southern Poverty Law Center released this week confirmed anecdotal reports of a spike in incidents involving harassment and intimidation in the days following the general election.
One report culled media reports and direct submissions to a #ReportHate page on the SPLC website. Online harassment and incidents determined to be hoaxes by authorities were not included. According to the group, “the incidents documented here almost certainly represent a small fraction of the actual number of election-related hate incidents that have occurred since November 8. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported to the police.”
Of the 867 occurrences cataloged by the group over ten days, 99 were reported from California. Schools were the most common locations, followed by public spaces and workplace/retail environments. The leading reported motivation for these incidents was anti-immigrant sentiments, with anti-Black, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-Muslim episodes also being significant factors.
From the SPLC Report, Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election:
…Following a campaign in which promises to build a wall between Mexico and the United States were frequently touted, anti-immigrant harassment was the most reported type received, frequently overlapping with over forms. Of the 867 hate incidents collected by the SPLC, 280, or 32%, were motivated by anti-immigrant sentiment.
In Punta Gorda, Florida, an argument between a Hispanic family and a woman who nearly drove through a crosswalk escalated when she told them they “should all be deported.” In Dallas, an older white man walked by a Hispanic man and, unprovoked, yelled, “Go back to Mexico!” An onlooker noted that most people looked surprised, but no one said anything…
…African Americans have been frequently targeted with harassment featuring references of Trump and his campaign. A note left in the bathroom of an Iowa university read, “TRUMP 2016 Lets (sic) Run those Niggers and Illegals out of town.” In Nevada, a cashier reported a customer approaching the counter to ask her, “Why so sad? Now that Trump has won, you can all go back to Africa!” In San Diego, a driver yelled at a person crossing the street, “Fucking nigger, go back to Africa! The slave ship is loading up! TRUMP!” One woman reported that a man in a Trump hat approached her at a diner and laughed as he motioned to her biracial daughter, “You’re gonna have to send that one back now”….
….In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a woman caught a stranger trying to take the “I’m With Her” bumper sticker off of her car. When confronted, the perpetrator asked her if she was a Jew because she “looked like one.” “Get ready for your next exodus lady,” they told her, “because we’re about to clean out this country.”
… Harassment of LGBT individuals has been reported across the country, making up 11% of all reported incidents. People in Michigan, Colorado, Indiana, Texas, Washington, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Massachusetts all reported finding homophobic slurs spray-painted or carved onto their front doors, windows, mailboxes and porches. In North Canton, Ohio, a couple reported “DYKE” was scratched into the driver’s door and hood of their car within hours of the election, the first anti-LGBT harassment they’ve experienced in the four years they’ve lived in the neighborhood. Pride flags in Rochester, New York, were set on fire while still attached to people’s homes.
In the ten days following Donald Trump’s victory (Nov 9-19), we’ve confirmed 867 incidents of harassment, intimidation and even violence pic.twitter.com/4KXG6LNCzi
— SPLC (@splcenter) November 29, 2016
Big-Time Hate in Schools
Since the most common area for harassment or intimidation was schools, the group reached out to teachers, counselors, administrators and others working in education for their perspective.
A survey of 10,000 educators and administrators in K-12 schools by SPLC covered 25,000 incidents, with 90% of respondents saying school climate has been negatively affected since the election and 80% describing “anxiety and concern on the part of students worried about the impact of the election on themselves and their families.”
One fourth of the educators described specific incidents of bigotry and harassment directly traced to election rhetoric. These incidents included graffiti (including swastikas), assaults on students and teachers, property damage, fights and threats of violence.
From the SPLC report:
“Since the election, every single secondary school in our district has had issues with racist, xenophobic or misogynistic comments cropping up. In the week since the election, I have personally had to deal with the following issues: 1) Boys inappropriately grabbing and touching girls, even after they said no (this never happened until after the election); 2) White students telling their friends who are Hispanic or of color that their parents are going to be deported and that they would be thrown out of school; 3) White students going up to students of color who are total strangers and hurling racial remarks at them, such as, ‘Trump is going [to] throw you back over the wall, you know?’ or ‘We can’t wait until you and the other brownies are gone’; 4) The use of the n-word by white students in my class and in the hallway. Never directed towards a student of color (that I’ve been told yet), but still being casually used in conversation.” — MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER, INDIANA
From the education survey’s conclusions:
In the course of just over a week, over 10,000 people responded to the survey. Collectively, they submitted over 25,000 comments. Nearly all respondents identified themselves by name, email address, grade level and state. More than 1,500 signified a willingness to go on record by giving permission for Teaching Tolerance to share their contact information with the media.
The results of this survey are not scientific. The respondents were not selected in a manner to ensure a representative sample; those who responded may have been more likely to perceive problems than those who did not. But it is the largest collection of educator responses that has been collected; the tremendous number of responses as well as the overwhelming confirmation of what has been anecdotally reported in the media cannot be ignored or dismissed.
San Diego: “Go Back to Your Country”
On Saturday morning staffers at the New American Museum in Liberty Station were alerted to anti-immigrant graffiti on signs just outside its door.
The museum filed a police report. After an initial investigation, San Diego police old 10News they do not consider this a crime of vandalism because it was not written in permanent ink. Police said it did not meet the criteria for a hate crime because no specific group was named.
The New Americans Museum focuses on the contributions of all immigrants to the United States.
“Dating back to the founding of our country so it’s not about one group, it’s about all immigrants and how we’re composed as a nation of immigrants,” Sotelo explained.
Los Angeles: “Vile and Filthy People”
Police and faith leaders held a press conference Monday in response to mailed threats received by five mosques in California.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The gathering near Koreatown was sparked by a series of handwritten messages recently sent to Muslim faith centers in Los Angeles, Signal Hill, Northridge, Claremont, San Jose and Savannah, Ga. Each missive was addressed to the “Children of Satan” and called Muslims a “vile and filthy people.” The letters also praised President-elect Donald Trump and called for Muslims to be eradicated in the U.S.
“Your day of reckoning has arrived,” the letter read, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Greater Los Angeles chapter. “There’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And, he’s going to start with you Muslims.”
The letter, signed only by “Americans for a Better Way,” said Trump was “going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”
Contra Costa County: Black Musician Murdered
On November 12, musician Will Sims was robbed, beaten and shot to death in the wee hours outside a bar near his hometown of Richmond.
From the Associated Press:
Authorities in the San Francisco Bay Area are investigating the slaying of a young black man as a possible hate crime amid growing concern over racially motivated incidents and attacks nationwide.
The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department arrested one white suspect and is searching for two others thought to be involved in the Nov. 12 killing of a 28-year-old musician.
Authorities are refusing to provide any evidence or details supporting the hate crime accusation while the search for the two suspects is underway.
‘Fascism’ is still our #1 lookup.
# of lookups = how we choose our Word of the Year.
There’s still time to look something else up.
— Merriam-Webster (@MerriamWebster) November 29, 2016
On This Day: 1930 – Mother Jones died at the Burgess Farm in Adelphi, Md.; “I’m not a lady, I’m a hell-raiser!” 1993 – President Clinton signed into law the Brady Bill. The bill required a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers. 1988 – LL Cool J performed the first rap concert held in Africa.
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