It’s not just a few swastikas painted on the side of buildings. The Southern Poverty Law Center‘s Hatewatch program has collected reports of 201 election-related hate crimes between November 9 and 11.
Vandalism, harassment, epithets, and references to Trump.
According to the Hatewatch report,
Pulling from news reports, social media, and direct submissions at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, the SPLC had counted 201 incidents of election-related harassment and intimidation across the country as of Friday, November 11 at 5pm. These range from anti-Black to anti-woman to anti-LGBT incidents. There were many examples of vandalism and epithets directed at individuals. Often times, types of harassment overlapped and many incidents, though not all, involved direct references to the Trump campaign. Every incident could not be immediately independently verified.
These included incidents like a 12-year-old African-American girl being antagonized at school by a boy claiming “now that Trump is president, I’m going to shoot you and all the blacks I can find.” White men yelling “F*ck your black life!” at a black pedestrian, or telling women it was now “legal to grab them by the p*ssy.” A teacher reported kids chanting “Build a wall!” in the cafeteria,” “Get out spic” in the hallways,” and “If you aren’t born here, pack your bags!” in the classroom. One person witnessed two white men dump a bag of garbage on a latino while yelling “you are going back to where you came from.”
Of the incidents, almost 30% of the were committed against African-Americans, 24% against immigrants, 11% against Mulsims, 9% against members of the LGBTQ community, 7% against women, and around 8% had “no clear racially defined target, like the pro-Trump vandalism of a ‘unity’ sign in Connecticut,” according to the report. The breakdown is shown below.
The Hatewatch report also lists where these 201 incidents took place. 20% happened in K-12 schools, 20% happened at colleges and universities, 15% were committed in people’s places of business, 13% while driving, 12% in public spaces, and 9% on private property. Again, the breakdown in shown below.
Again, all of this is deplorable and atrocious. But before jumping to any conclusions, we have to consider whether Nov. 9-11 was different from any other day.
Is the post-election violence different from any other day?
The FBI publishes statistics on hate crimes based on incidents in the “Uniform Crime Reporting” program. The most recent data available are for 2015, when there were 5,818 incidents reported involving 7,121 individuals. About 57% were racially motivated, 21% due to religious bias, 18% because of sexual orientation, and 0.5% against women. Half of the racially-based hate crimes were against African-Americans. About 1-in-5 of the religious hate crimes were against Muslims. We were not able to find data about victim’s ages nor the locations where the crimes took place.
The following graph shows the frequency of last year’s hate crimes to the election-related incidents.
The frequency of violence against African-Americans is about same as average, and it seems far less vitriol was being aimed at members of the LGBT community. As one might expect from Trump’s consistent anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric, the rate of violence against Muslims tripled in the two days after the election. Perhaps most surprising is that in that same time period, the amount of violence against women was up by 1800%.
Where do we go from here?
It’s a hard question with an even harder answer. What isn’t hard is the revulsion you should be feeling. In case you missed it earlier, one in 5 of these incidents happened to kids aged 5-18 in their schools. Think about the victims: what did these kids do to deserve this at the hands of their peers? Think about those peers: who taught them to hate?