“Free Speech”, Provocations and Threats:
– Within 24 hours of Trump’s victory, there was a burst of “celebratory” incidents. “We actually counted 1,094 different hate crimes and lesser bias incidents in just the first 34 days after the election,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center:
And in 37% of those incidents, the perpetrators actually named Trump, his slogan, ‘Make America Great,’ or his comments about grabbing women by the genitals…It was a real wave of incidents that washed across this country in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election, and I would describe it as celebratory violence and hatred.
The SPLC found that many “patriotic” or militia groups became dormant in 2016. But Potok said that was because Trump was “so revered” by the people in these groups that they no longer needed to operate independently and simply joined his campaign. On the other hand, Trump’s white nationalism led other previously shadowy groups to emerge publicly, and the emergence of the so-called alt-right was nothing but a “rebranding” of white supremacist ideology aimed at luring younger adherents.
– Before the inauguration, the Ku Klux Klan celebrated with a parade in North Carolina.
– A prominent hate group leader bragged that his allies are now “…very well placed in his administration.”
– The White House’s Holocaust Memorial Day statement failed to mention Jews. Later, Trump responded to a question about anti-Semitism by bragging about the size of his election victory.
– An Asian American family found ‘Chinks’ painted on their garage door after moving into a new neighborhood.
– A Flint, Michigan official resigned after blaming the water crisis on “fucking niggers”.
– Trump terrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka is a sworn member of a Nazi-allied Hungarian group.
– News surfaced that James Mattis, briefly considered for Defense Secretary, had dismissed evidence that troops under his command had slaughtered dozens of Iraqis at 2004 wedding party.
– A Tennessee politician created a billboard that said, ‘Make America White Again’.
– Alabama Police called It an ‘honor’ to protect the KKK at an LGBTQ pride march
– Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke, briefly considered as Trump’s DHS secretary, proposed that a million people should be sent to Guantanamo Bay if they use “jihadi rhetoric” online.
– “Anti-Sharia law” rallies occurred in 30 cities.
– Televangelist Jim Bakker claimed the victims of the bombing in Manchester, England “literally invited” the attack by mocking God.
– Arizona Trump supporters called for ‘Liberal Genocide’ and deportation of Jews:
– No professional team would hire the black football star Colin Kaepernick because of his political views, despite re-hiring several convicted felons.
– A Neo-Nazi blogger raised $150,000 after being sued for harassing a Jewish Woman:
– 48 Jewish community centers received bomb threats. In late February, Trump suggested that these threats were coming from within the Jewish community. Did he have inside information? Nearly a month later, an Israeli Jew was arrested for sending them.
– Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins told supporters on Facebook to ‘hunt And Kill’ Muslims.
– On the second day of Passover, Sean Spicer said that even Hitler didn’t “sink” to using chemical weapons like Bashar al-Assad. Later, he said Hitler “was not using the gas on his own people” the way President “Ashad” did, and referred to concentration camps as “Holocaust centers.”
– NRA board member Ted Nugent called for Hillary Clinton to be hanged.
– African-American professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor canceled her book tour after Trump supporters threatened to lynch her.
– California State University Fresno halted its Middle East Studies search due to outside pressure.
– California Assemblyman Rob Bonta introduced a bill to remove a nearly 70-year-old statute that makes it illegal for members of the Communist Party to work in that state’s government. The statute was an obvious violation of free speech rights, and the Supreme Court had already declared similar laws unconstitutional in 1960. Conservatives quickly mobilized to oppose the bill, and Bonta withdrew it.
– Harvard University rescinded admissions for at least 10 prospective students over offensive Facebook posts.
– A Muslim woman wearing a hijab headscarf was refused service at a gas station by an attendant who announced, “I don’t need to serve you anymore. We’re trying to make America great again.”
– Trump pointedly laid a wreath on Andrew Jackson’s tomb.
– Over 50 reports from 26 states indicated that schoolchildren were using Trump’s words to bully Latino, Middle Eastern, black, Asian, and Jewish classmates. The Southern Poverty Law Center claimed that over 90% of educators reported that school climate had been negatively affected by the election.
– Boston baseball fans hurled racial slurs at Black players.
– HUD Secretary Ben Carson said publicly that public housing is too good for poor people.
– Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks claimed to support covering pre-existing health conditions, but only for people who ‘lead good lives’.
– Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador told a town hall meeting that nobody dies due to lack of access to health care.
– In the San Francisco Bay area, four Albany high school juniors punished for their roles in a racist Instagram posting incident sued the school district, alleging their free speech rights were violated. Racial slurs were reported at nearby Piedmont and Berkeley High Schools.
– Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi told school children that men in dresses are “asking for” violent beatings. Fox News pundit Erick Erickson concurred.
– Alaska State Representative David Eastman said that women in Alaska get pregnant to get a “free trip to the city” for abortions.
– Fliers appeared at the University of Maryland claiming ‘America is a white nation’.
– Missouri State Representative Tila Hubrecht called rape-induced pregnancy God’s ‘Silver Lining’.
– A white man in Texas taunted a Muslim family with “Donald Trump got you motherfuckers!”
– Oklahoma Representative Mike Ritze suggested handing 82,000 non-English speaking kids over to ICE.
– In Charlottesville, Virginia a torch-wielding mob protested the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee.
– Mississippi State Representative Karl Oliver publicly called for the lynching of anyone attempting to remove Confederate monuments in his state.
– A Texas judge recommended on Facebook that a Black defendant be lynched.
– At the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions, activist Desiree Fairooz was convicted of disorderly conduct for laughing when Senator Richard Shelby claimed that Sessions had a track record of “treating all Americans equally under the law.” The verdict was reversed on appeal.
– Trump publicly threatened James Comey and Robert Mueller and regretted having hired Sessions.
– The city of Berkeley was rocked repeatedly when white supremacists claiming to support free speech battled anti-fascists after the University refused to allow provocateurs Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter to speak there. After the second event, an anarchist café’s windows were shot out. After similar events in Portland, local Republicans invited militia groups to provide security at public events.
– Trump proposed that Americans who fail to report their suspicious neighbors should be ‘brought to justice’.
– Theaters bearing William Shakespeare’s name reported a surge of abusive messages following a New York production of Julius Caesar in which the title character was dressed to look like Trump.
– Fox analysts called for Muslim internment camps.
– Former Arizona state senator Russell Pearce suggested sterilizing poor women as a condition for receiving food stamps.
– New Hampshire state representative Josh Moore said that if a law to ban topless female nudity fails, men should be able to squeeze exposed nipples in public.
– A Connecticut trump supporter admitted to vandalizing a school with left-wing slogans in order to frame liberals.
– An Ohio sheriff refused to carry an opioid overdose reversal drug in a county (Butler) where 150 people died of heroin- or fentanyl-related overdoses in 2016.
– A Florida Teacher said that black students were ‘rats’ that could infest her classroom.
– On Independence Day Trump tweeted a video that endorsed violence against journalists.
– Trump’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz threatened a stranger in an email with ‘Watch Your Back, Bitch.’
– The office of Nevada Senator Dean Heller, one of the few Republicans who hadn’t yet endorsed the “healthcare” bill was broken into and a threatening note was left.
― Tennessee State Senator Mark Green withdrew his name from consideration to become the next Army Secretary after comments he had made about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community surfaced.
– Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss spoke to a men’s rights organization and defended those accused of campus rape. Then the top civil rights official under her at the Department of Education said that 90% of women who make rape accusations are lying about them.
– A black Mississippi high school valedictorian was forced to share the honor with a white student who’d received lower grades. She was attacked online with multiple hate statements.
– An Ohio teacher was fired for dragging a black preschooler down a hallway:
– The head of Cleveland’s largest police union asked Governor Kasich to temporarily ban Ohio’s open carry gun laws during its Republican Convention due to the arrival of armed black protesters.
– Fox pundit Brit Hume claimed that giving health insurance to sick people “defeats the core ethic values of this country”:
Now, crude and ignorant as these statements were (and as often as they undoubtedly occurred prior to the inauguration), they were not physical acts. But clearly the people who uttered them felt empowered by Trumps’ ascendancy to power, and just as clearly their viral presence on social media encouraged – gave permission to – those who were more literal minded to commit actual crimes.
Next: Specific Acts of Hate — Part Three