MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – An agency “dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry” says that hundreds of incidents of “hateful harassment and intimidation” have been reported since the election of Donald Trump.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), between Wednesday, November 9 (the day after the presidential election) and the morning of Monday, November 14, that agency collected 437 reports of hateful intimidation and harassment.
The SPLC says the hate crime reports were collected through news reports, social media, and direct submissions via SPLC’s “#ReportHate” page. These incidents, aside from news reports, are largely anecdotal, they say. The SPLC says it did follow up with a majority of user submissions in an effort to confirm reports.
The SPLC seems to blame the Donald Trump campaign for the nasty spark in incidents, saying “as we reported earlier, many incidents involved direct references to the Trump campaign and its slogans.”
Most of the reports, the SPLC says, “involved anti-immigrant incidents (136), followed by anti-black (89) and anti-LGBT (43). Some reports (8) included multiple categories like anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. The ‘Trump’ category (41) refers to incidents where there was no clear defined target, like the pro-Trump vandalism of a ‘unity’ sign in Connecticut. We also collected 20 reports of anti-Trump intimidation and harassment.”
In one example the SPLC reported, “A Muslim woman was riding the Max to Beaverton in the early afternoon and a group of teenagers went to the corner of the car where she was sitting and got up in her face yelling at her that she was a terrorist, that our new president was going to deport her, that she can’t wear her hijab anymore.”
Fears have been stoked since President-elect Trump appointed former Breitbart News executive Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor, seen by some as a “pro-white” advocate and a “strong pro-Israel guy”.
The SPLC claims that before joining the Trump campaign, Bannon oversaw the rise of the Breitbart News Network, which Bannon himself has called “the platform for the alt-right.
“The term alt-right is simply a rebranding of traditional white nationalism for the digital age. During Bannon’s tenure, the website enabled the spread of the alt-right’s extremist ideology from fringe internet culture to the presidential campaign trail.”