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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 18, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 47
Trump-inspired hate crimes
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Trump-inspired hate crimes

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Dealing with a President Trump will be hard enough, but in the wake of his election, many marginalized communities have been hit with a spike in hate crimes perpetrated by Trump's supporters.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reports that in the week following the election they received 315 reports of Trump-inspired hate crimes. More than 200 of them occurred within 72 hours of Trump's election.

According to SPLC, this is more than they normally receive in a six-month period. Specific crimes ranged from physical assaults to vandalism to threatening notes left on cars.

Crimes targeting the LGBT community have increased by 5% since the election. Crimes targeting African-Americans and Jews have increased by 8%. Hate crimes against Latinos have so far remained constant.

While there have been many reports of crimes against Muslims, including several incidents in which white men spouting pro-Trump slogans tried to pull off Muslim women's hijabs or headscarves, SPLC did not offer statistics covering that community.

Although only 8% of Seattle voters cast their ballots for Trump, we have not been immune from the nationwide surge in Trump-inspired hate crimes.

According to Danni Askini, her organization, Gender Justice League, 'has received a huge rash of anti-Trans/pro-Trump phone calls and emails.'

'We are having to change our phone number because of it,' she added.

Marsha Botzer of Ingersoll Center reported similar experiences. Ingersoll members reported 'trans or gender-nonconforming people being yelled at from cars. Things like 'Trump won, you should die,' that sort of thing,' Botzer told SGN.

Not surprisingly, others reported feeling fear when they saw groups of people in Trump hats or other Trump gear, Botzer reported.

'Everyone is scared,' she added.

Washington CAN! (Community Action Network) - a local activist organization that works in low-income communities - also reported 'dozens' of voicemail messages from self-identified Trump supporters, all of them hateful and some of them actually threatening.

At least one swastika was found spray-painted in the Capitol Hill area within days of the election. It was soon painted over by a local business owner, however. The business owner told The Stranger that the next night he and his girlfriend were harassed by five men yelling pro-Trump slogans.

Askini told SGN that people should prepare now for future trouble under a Trump administration.

'We are recommending that people change their government-issued ID as soon as possible,' Askini said, 'as we expect serious changes in federal identification law, as the Trump administration attempts to crack down on undocumented people.

'We are also recommending that people consider other measures - such as safety planning with friends, and attending self-defense classes.

'We are working with Q-Law to put on a name/gender-marker change clinic and have raised funds to help offset the cost of changing these things,' Askini concluded.

According to NBC News, confirmed hate crimes nationwide included the following:

o The words 'Trump Nation, Whites Only' scrawled on the walls of the Episcopal Church of Our Savior in Silver Spring, Maryland. The church offers weekly Spanish-language services.

o A Muslim woman attending the University of Michigan told police a white male demanded she remove her hijab or he would 'set her on fire with a lighter.' Police are investigating.

o A swastika and the word 'Trump' were spray-painted on the walls of a residence hall at SUNY Geneseo. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered state police to open a multi-agency hate crimes investigation.

o In Philadelphia, police are searching for the man who painted 'Trump Rules' and 'Black Bitch' onto the hood of a woman's van.

o Grafitti found on the walls of St. David's Episcopal Church in Indiana included a swastika, 'Heil Trump,' and 'Fag Church.' The church performs same-sex weddings.

o 'Colored' and 'Whites Only' signs were placed above drinking fountains at First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Florida, a district spokeswoman confirmed to NBC News.

o 'Make America White Again' was scrawled across the wall of a softball field in Wellsville, New York, only hours after the election. Police are investigating.

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