The Post-Election Surge in Hate Crimes and How it Differs From Past Surges

Many across the United States have been victims of or witness to election-related hate crimes or hateful incidents since Donald Trump became the apparent president-elect on November 8, 2016. Numerous media outlets reported incidents in which perpetrators invoked Trump’s name or referenced policy positions and stances of his, as they verbally or physically assaulted victims targeted for their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, or presumed national origin. Simultaneously, social media has been awash in first-hand accounts of such events.

Hardly isolated or rare, these events are evidence of a significant surge in hate crimes and hate-related incidents, according to Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a legal research and activist organization. In a report published on November 29, SPLC reported that it had documented 867 hate incidents that occurred in the 10 days following the election. However, it’s likely that figure could be much higher since the majority of hate crimes go unreported.

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Nine Things You Can Do to Help End Racism

 

If you are anything like me, the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri—the killing of an unarmed black teen, followed by the terrorization of a community by a combat-ready and brutal police force—have alarmed, angered, frustrated, and saddened you. You might feel overwhelmed by the destructive power of racism, and unsure of what to do about it. Depression and the desire to look away and disconnect might set in. Trouble is, that’s a big part of the problem: white people like me have the option to look away while our fellow citizens die in the streets.

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