National Security

‘Outbreak of hate stemmed’ from Trump’s election, group says

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Hundreds of people reported being harassed or intimidated in the week and a half following Nov. 8, in what a prominent civil rights group is calling “a national outbreak of hate” after President-elect Donald Trump’s election.

The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday claimed that there were 867 incidents of bias, intimidation or other persecution in the first 10 days after Trump’s surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.


The cases frequently included anti-immigrant or racist sentiments and most often involved intimidating graffiti or verbal assaults. However, in some cases the acts turned violent.

“Many harassers invoked Trump’s name during assaults, making it clear that the outbreak of hate stemmed in large part from his electoral success,” the organization said in its report released on Tuesday.

Some incidents were directed at the Trump campaign or its supporters, the group noted.

Trump’s election has been embraced by followers of the white nationalist “alt-right” ideology, worrying civil rights groups about the possibility of heightened violence against minorities.

The president-elect has pleaded ignorance about the ideology and disavowed its followers. However, Steve Bannon, Trump’s new White House chief strategist, has in the past claimed that his former website, Breitbart News, was a “platform” for the movement.

“Rather than feign surprise, Mr. Trump should take responsibility for what’s occurring, forcefully reject hate and bigotry, reach out to the communities he’s injured, and follow his words with actions to heal the wounds his words have opened,” Southern Poverty Law Center President Richard Cohen said in a statement.

Roughly one-third of the incidents appeared to have been motivation by anti-immigrant sentiments, the group reported. Nearly one-quarter targeted African-Americans because of their race.

The Southern Poverty Law Center collected information about the incidents of intimidation through media reports and via its website. The organization did not include online harassment in its tally and was not able to determine the authenticity of every one of the reported cases.

The reported events took place in nearly every state and a variety of locations. Schools and colleges were the most common venue.

More than 200 of the episodes were reported on Nov. 9, the day after Election Day — more than any following day.

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Southern Poverty Law Center

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