The last two years, during the presidential campaign and the first year of Trump’s presidency, has seen an upswing in the number of hate crimes committed in our country.
It is fairly certain that the two things are related. We call that the Trump Effect.
- 6,100 hate crimes in 2016, a 5 percent increase over 2015
- More than half of the 4,229 racially motivated crimes were against black people
- 20 percent of racially motivated crimes were against white people
- Jews were targeted in more than half the 1,538 crimes that were motivated by religion
- Crimes against LGBT people rose from 203 in 2015 to 234 last year
- Crimes against Muslims rose to 307 in 2016, up from 257 in 2015 (highest number since 9/11)
The worst part of all those numbers? They’re only based on REPORTED hate crimes. If a police department responds to an assault on a transgender person, but doesn’t classify it as a hate crime, those numbers stay hidden from the totals. When a teacher removes a student’s hijab in class and posts it on social media — the teacher might get fired, but that hate crime doesn’t get reported in these statistics.
So, while these are some pretty frighteningly high numbers, the actual numbers are probably far worse.
Hate crimes are not acceptable
The rise of white supremacy in this country is real and it is something that we all need to put a stop to. When neo-Nazi groups hold rallies, carrying torches, and threatening Jews and Muslims — we need to tell them that is not acceptable in this country.
When our president refuses to take a stand against the rise of this violent behavior, we need to step up and tell him that is not acceptable in this country.
When your neighbor mentions your other neighbors in a way that is demeaning and based on their race, religion, or lifestyle, we need to tell them that is not acceptable in this country.
It all started with one voice in a crowd
When we sit back and say to ourselves, “My voice won’t matter, I’m just one person…” we’re not doing it right.
This country was founded because one person stood up and said, “That isn’t right!” Pretty soon they were joined by another, and another, and another. And the Revolutionary War was fought and we won!
Be the voice.
Arnold Schwarzenegger gets it.