Since Donald Trump was elected president after a campaign in which he called Mexican immigrants "rapists," was heard on tape bragging about grabbing women "by the pussy," and vowed to ban Muslims from entering the country, there has been a surge in allegations of hate crimes, with some linked to his supporters, NBC News reports.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a hate watchdog group, has been keeping a close tally on harassment and other hateful acts reported to its website, on social media, and in the news. On Friday, its tally was 201. But by Monday, the SPLC told NBC that it's counted more than 300 allegations since the election, though many had not been independently verified. Most of the alleged crimes have been linked to K–12 schools and college campuses.
A few of the incidents verified by NBC involved racist vandalism, like the words "Trump Nation, Whites Only" appearing on a church in Silver Spring, Maryland, a threat to "set fire" to a Muslim student at University of Michigan for wearing a hijab, and "colored" and "whites only" signs placed above drinking fountains at a Florida high school.
To put these numbers into perspective, the FBI released its own data on hate crimes in 2015 on Monday, tallying 5,850 bona fide criminal incidents that year alone. As the New York Times notes, incidents of assault, vandalism, and threats motivated by race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender rose several percentage points. And the majority of the attacks were against Muslim Americans, a sharp 67 percent increase from 2014, with the highest total since 9/11.
President-elect Trump was asked to comment about harassment Muslims, women, Latinos, and others may be facing from those invoking his name during a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday. Trump responded, "I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, 'Stop it.'"
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