The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that in the nearly two weeks since Election Day, there have been more than 700 reports of hate crimes across the country - vandalism, physical and verbal assaults, harassment, and destruction of property, directed against Muslims, African Americans, Asians, immigrants, women and gays. In many cases the perpetrators allude to the Republican President-elect Donald Trump, whose campaign was often criticized as playing to white nationalist prejudices.
Among the reports, the Southern Poverty Law Center noted 27 incidents directed at Trump supporters.
Pictured: On Nov. 12, 2016, the Episcopal Church of Our Savior In Silver Spring, Md., which has a large immigrant population, was vandalized with a message that read, “Trump Nation, Whites Only.”
On Wed., Nov. 9, a swastika and the phrase “Make America white again” were found painted at a softball field in Wellsville, N.Y.
Bean Blossom, Ind.
Sometime during the evening of Nov. 12, vandals spray-painted a swastika, a gay slur, and the phrase “Heil Trump” on the sides of St. David’s Episcopal Church in central Indiana.
The Rev. Kelsey Hutto told the Washington Post they will leave the graffiti up as a message to those who feel threatened: “If anybody in the surrounding area - or even country - sees these and knows that we were targeted because we’re inclusive and they need a safe space, then they know that St. David’s is a safe space.”
Denver police are investigating after a transgender woman found her vehicle on Wed., Nov. 16, tagged with hate messages. “Total shock, complete and utter shock,” Amber Timmons told CBS Station KCNC about her reaction. “It took me a good 15 minutes to recover from that.”
Friends and neighbors showed up at her home and helped to scrub the vehicle clean. Timmons said while the attack was extremely personal, the response - and notes that read “You are loved” - are encouraging. “We got the hate off, we erased the hate,” Timmons said.
On November 16 CBS Station KPIX reported that Nicki Pancholy, a woman who wears a scarf after battling lupus, was apparently mistaken for a Muslim while out hiking at Mission Peak in Fremont, Calif. When she returned to her car she discovered a window had been smashed, and a note was left reading, “Hijab wearing b***h, this is our country now. Get the f**k out.”
When asked by KPIX what she thought was in the head of the person who committed this act, Pancholy replied, “Fear. I believe they’re being controlled by fear. I believe that fear has consumed them.”
She was despondent about the political climate leading up to and following the election. “The division is just breaking my heart,” she said.
New York City
The day after the election, students at New York University - members of the NYU Muslim Students Association - found “Trump” scrawled on the door of their prayer room. Their campus, they wrote, “is not immune to the bigotry that grips America.”
Maple Grove, Minn.
Vulgar messages were found in a bathroom stall at Maple Grove Senior High School, near Minneapolis, on Wed., Nov. 9, 2016.
“I’m terrified,” junior Moses Karngbaye told CBS Station WCCO. “I just walked back to class with my head down. I was like, I can’t believe people actually took the time out of their day to write something this offensive.”
His mother, Denise Karngbaye, said, “I train my kids to respect everybody, regardless of their race, their ethnicity, their background.”
In a statement to the school community, principal Bart Becker said of the message, “I am horrified by this action, which goes against everything for which our school stands; it is completely contrary to our core values, both as a school and as a district.”
On November 11 an anonymous note was left in the classroom of high school teacher Mairah Teli, a Muslim who wears a headscarf as a practice of her faith. The note reads: “Mrs. Teli, your head scarf isn’t allowed anymore. Why don’t you tie it around your neck and hang yourself with it on your neck instead of your head. America!”
She wrote on Facebook that spreading hate isn’t going to “make America great again.” She added the hashtags #NotIntimidated #HereToStay #LoveTrumpsHate.
A few days later, in a followup Facebook post, Teli asked the writer of the note: “I hope that you have been following along this conversation that has been taking place and that you see the amount of people from around the world who have sent so many kind messages full of support and love. The world is a better place when we all do our part to understand, empathize, and care for one another.”
On Nov. 9, Capital University student Brittany Daughenbaugh was walking near campus playing Pokémon when she was followed, attacked and assaulted by two young white men, who told her, “Don’t you worry, honey, President Trump says this is OK.”
In a Facebook post a few days later, Daughenbaugh wrote, “I know that not all Trump supporters are racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic bigots. Some of the people that I love the most support Trump. HOWEVER, you cannot support only one part of him without supporting the whole package. When you [cast] your vote for Trump, you gave the power to that side of him as well. ... When you give one bigot power, when you elect them regardless of the horrible things they have done in their past, you give all of the bigots power.”
In Durham, N.C. (in a county that Hillary Clinton carried with 79 percent of the vote), two walls were spray-painted on November 9 with the message “Black lives don’t matter and neither does your votes” [sic].
Jonathan Davis saw the message when he stopped with his fiancée to get dinner at a nearby restaurant. Davis, who has eight- and six-year-old children, says he never thought he would have to deal with this as a parent. “You don’t know how it’s going to affect them in the future, but I try to tell them to pay it no mind and be better than that, and pray and hope the situation changes,” Davis told CBS Affiliate WNCN.
As he spoke, someone spray-painted over the letters “n’t” on the wall, to change the message to “Black lives do matter.”
Crews clean up the graffiti in Durham, N.C.
On Monday, Nov. 15, a Latina nanny watching over two children at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco was grabbed by the hair and neck by a man who told her “No Latinos here.”
Park police located the suspect who allegedly became confrontational. He was detained on suspicion of resisting arrest and taken to San Francisco General Hospital for psychiatric evaluation, park officials said.
San Francisco resident Tiffany Bindoo, who was in the park Monday evening, told CBS Station KPIX, “I certainly hope it’s not related to the Donald Trump thing, because you are reading a lot about the backlash that’s going on, and I hope that’s not what it is.”
On November 9, a 50-year-old motorist was involved in a fender bender in Chicago. When he tried to get insurance information from the other driver, he said he was beaten by multiple suspects and his car was stolen. In a cellphone video posted online, David Wilcox is seen being pummeled by several individuals, while onlookers shouted, “You voted Trump!” The other driver then drove off, dragging Wilcox for several blocks.
Four individuals were arrested and charged with vehicular hijacking.
Wilcox later told CBS Station WBBM that when he first got out of his car, someone at a nearby bus stop yelled, “That’s one of those white boy Trump supporters!”
He turned and said, “What does that have to do with this? We’re talking about insurance here.”
Van Nuys, Calif.
Sumeira Khan told CBS Station KCBS on Friday, Nov. 18, she had gone shopping at a Home Depot in Van Nuys when she saw a man whose expression, upon spotting her in her scarf, “immediately changed. ... I saw him in my rear view, he was following me on foot,” Khan said. “I knew he was going to do something, [because of] the intense stare and his anger.”
She said he stood for ten minutes near her car watching. He never approached, but Khan said she was not surprised when they later came out of the store and found the car window broken in a smash-and-grab robbery. She believes she was targeted as a Muslim-American.
“He almost looked at me like, ‘I am going to do something to your car to upset you, or do something, but I don’t care if you know about it,’” Khan said.
Khan got her window replaced, but she said it’s her broken heart that will take a little more to fix.
According to various newspaper reports, on Saturday, Nov. 12, at the French restaurant Bar Tabac in Brooklyn, a man and woman who were Trump supporters began arguing with two female Clinton supporters seated nearby. The man asked the manager to throw the women out, but instead he moved the couple to another area. Later, after the couple paid and left, the man ran back inside and punched one of the women in the face, before darting out. Staffers who gave chase caught up with the man, who reportedly shouted, “You don’t know who I am!” before driving off.
Bar Tabac directed a message to the “tough guy” on Facebook: “Once the law is done with you, do not come back to Bar Tabac (this includes your partner). At a point in this nation when tensions are highest we need to come together now more than ever. We apologize to any customers who had to witness this vulgar outburst.”
On November 18 a swastika and the words “Go Trump” were found spray-painted on playground equipment in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn Heights. “More hatred and anti-Semitism from Trump supporters,” tweeted City Councilman Brad Lander.
Swastikas were also recently found in a Greenwich Village apartment building, outside a home in Crown Heights, at a Port Washington, N.Y. high school, on dorm rooms at the New School in Manhattan, and in the towns of Ramapo and Clarkstown. On Nov. 11, a swastika and the word “Trump” was scrawled in a dorm at SUNY Geneseo. And on Nov. 13 a runner on a bike path in White Plains, N.Y. came upon a swastika and the words “White power.”
“The appearance of swastikas on college campuses and public property are searing and breeds fear and fuels anxiety that has risen since the end of the presidential election,” Evan Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director, told CBS Station WCBS.
San Jose, Calif.
On Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, a threatening letter, signed “Americans for a Better Way,” was delivered to the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose, Calif. It read:
“To the children of Satan, You Muslims are a vile and filthy people. Your mothers are whores and your fathers are dogs. You are evil. You worship the devil. But your day of reckoning has arrived.
“There’s a new sheriff in town -- President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And he’s going to start with you Muslims. He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews. You Muslims would be wise to pack your bags and get out of Dodge.
“This is a great time for patriotic Americans. Love live President Trump and God bless the USA.” The letter was turned over to the police.
There have been other reports around the country of hate-filled letters, as well as posters and leaflets promoting white supremacists and the KKK. One letter, left at several homes in McKinney, Texas, read in part, “Our new president Donald J Trump is God’s gift to white nation. We want to get out country back on the right track. We need to get rid of Muslims, Indians, Blacks and Jews.”