WASHINGTON: More than 200 incidents of hateful harassment and intimidation across the US have been reported since Donald Trump won the presidential election, according to a group that tracks hate crimes in America.
“Since the election, we’ve seen a big uptick in incidents of vandalism, threats, intimidation spurred by the rhetoric surrounding Mr Trump’s election,” Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) in Montgomery, Alabama, told USA TODAY.
“The white supremacists out there are celebrating his victory and many are feeling their oats,” Cohen said.
The SPLC, which tracks hate crimes, said it has logged more than 200 complaints since the election, and while it could not provide a figure for the average number of complaints it takes in each day, Cohen assured that the number is much larger than what is typical.
Anti-black and anti-immigrant incidents are generating the highest numbers followed by anti-Muslim incidents, Cohen was quoted as saying.
Part of the reason it is happening is that hate group leaders are encouraging members to intimidate people, he said.
“Pulling from news reports, social media, and direct submissions at the Southern Poverty Law Centre’s website, the SPLC had counted 201 incidents of election-related harassment and intimidation across the country as of Friday,” the group said.
“These range from anti-Black to anti-woman to anti-LGBT incidents. There were many examples of vandalism and epithets directed at individuals. Often times, types of harassment overlapped and many incidents, though not all, involved direct references to the Trump campaign,” it said.
In Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania issued a statement saying it was working to find the source of racist messages sent to black freshmen, and in Syracuse, New York, a group of pickup trucks — one draped with the Confederate flag — drove through an anti-Trump rally.
In Columbus, Ohio, a man banged on the car window while a Muslim woman was driving, her children and elderly parents with her, and told her, “…You don’t belong to this country,” according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
All those were added to the list of incidents that included black children being told to get to the back of a bus and Latino children being taunted about the wall that Trump promised to build between Mexico and the United States.
CAIR also said it has seen an increase in complaints made to its offices.
Angry Americans have been staging nationwide protests against Trump’s election victory shouting slogans like ‘Not my President’ and ‘No Fascists USA’.