Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A barrage of hate

Since the US election there have been a distressing series of reports of hate crimes against immigrants, African-Americans, and Muslims from the US. Now, a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center has explicitly linked this to Donald Trump's election:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has counted 867 hate incidents in the 10 days after the US election, a report released Tuesday found, a phenomenon it partly blamed on the rhetoric of Donald Trump.

The advocacy group collected reports of incidents from media outlets and its own #ReportHate page. SPLC said it was not able to confirm all reports but believed the number of actual incidents was far higher, as according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics most hate crimes go unreported.


According to the report’s findings, anti-black and anti-immigrant incidents were the most commonly reported, with K-12 settings and colleges the most common venues.

Nearly a third of the incidents (289 of them) were motivated by anti-immigrant sentiment, the report said. Assailants often invoked Trump’s promise to build a wall in their attacks and called for the victims to be deported. For instance, in Redding, California, a student brought “deportation letters” to school and recorded himself handing them out to Latino students. In Royal Oak, Michigan, students chanted “build the wall” in a school cafeteria the day after the election.

SPLC released a separate report on Tuesday detailing the impact of the election on schools.

Anti-black incidents were the second-most common, making up 23%, or 180, of the total. References to lynching were frequent, and pictures of nooses were used for intimidation. For instance, a black doll was found hanging from a noose in an elevator at New York’s Canisius College.

In a school in Orlando, students wrote “Yall Black ppl better start picking yall slave numbers. KKK. 4Lyfe.” followed by the line “Go Trump. 2016”.

This is what happens if you run a campaign based on hate (see also: Brexit). The problem, as Jim Bolger recognised, is that you have to govern the country in the morning. No matter how much Trump's racist supporters want it, non-white people aren't going to just suddenly disappear from the US, and if they try and make that happen, its going to lead to civil disorder. But the scary thing is that Trump might be quite happy for that to happen, provided his name is on the desk.