Following the election of Donald Trump on November 9, incidents of “hateful intimidation and harassment” have occurred in record numbers, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). As of November 14 the group has collected 437 reports just since the election.
“Since Donald Trump won the election we’ve seen an alarming number of hate-based incidents occur throughout the nation, some of which are no doubt stemming from Trump’s hate-filled campaign,” the SPLC said in a statement to ThinkProgress, calling the number of reports a “truly frightening number.”
This number of hate incidents is often seen over a period of five to six months, rather than less than one week. The SPLC also reported that “many incidents involved direct references to the Trump campaign and its slogans.”
Incidents have been reported at schools all across the country and range from graffiti and vandalism to verbal and physical harassment.
Racist graffiti was found in the bathroom of a Minnesota high school. Messages included, “F*ck n***ers,” “#Whitesonly,” “#Whiteamerica,” “Trump Train” and “Make America great again.”
“I went in and looked on the bathroom door and honestly was in shock,” junior Moses Karngbaye reported to WCCO CBS Minnesota. “That’s the first time I honestly felt like crying at school.”
Another junior does not “feel comfortable” at school anymore.
Natasha Nhkama, a Black female student at Baylor University, located in Waco, Texas, was shoved by a white student and told, “No n***ers allowed on the sidewalk.”
When another student came to Nhkama’s defense, the white student reportedly said, “Dude, I’m just trying to make America great again.”
A Black female student at Villanova University, located in a Philadelphia suburb, was walking through a transportation tunnel when she was assaulted by a group of white males who were shouting, “Trump! Trump! Trump!” The incident turned violent for the student, who has remained unidentified, when she was knocked to the ground and hit her head. Rev. Peter M. Donohue, Villanova’s president, was “deeply disturbed” by the incident.
At State University of New York (SUNY) Geneso, a swastika and “Trump” were spray painted on a dorm building. The incident came just hours after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported a dugout had been vandalized with a swastika and the message “Make America White Again” in Wellsville, about 80 miles from Buffalo, New York.
“It is unacceptable that this is the second investigation that we have had to announce in the last several hours,” the governor said in a statement.
Also in New York, at New York University’s (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering, students found “Trump” written on the door of a prayer room for Muslim students. According to Kathleen Hamilton, a university spokesperson, the school has a large immigrant population and is “a real melting pot.”
However, despite this diversity, the NYU Muslim Students Association wrote on Facebook following the incident, “Our campus is not immune to the bigotry that grips America.”
In some schools, hateful tirades began as soon as Election Day and the day after. High school students in Oregon held a pro-Trump rally on Election Day. A group of 30 to 40 students displayed Trump signs and a Confederate flag and reportedly shouted at Spanish students, “Pack your bags, you’re leaving tomorrow” and “Tell your family good-bye.” Two students were suspended.
Just after the election Mara Sanchez said she went to her dorm room and found her roommate had built a “wall” dividing the room in half.
“Hey Maria, Trump won. So here’s a little preview of what is to come. #wall,” a note from her roommate read.
Sanchez posted a photo of the note and the “wall,” compiled of hangers, shoes and other miscellaneous items, on Twitter with the caption, “I walked into my room and my heart aches with pain.”
I walked into my room and my heart aches with pain. pic.twitter.com/GFD5gBmPmD
Mara Sanchez (@TRmariasanchez) November 10, 2016
While some incidents did not directly refer to President-elect Trump by name, their implications are clear. Two signs were found above water fountains at a high school in Jacksonville, Florida, with one saying “Colored” and another “Whites only”:
A Muslim student at the University of Michigan was threatened with a lighter by a man who said he would set her on fire if she did not remove her hijab.
Incidentally, it is not just students who are feeling the racially charged effects of the election. While a hate crime was not committed against him, a California history teacher is now questioning his right to free speech.
Frank Navarro was suspended this week for teaching his class about historic parallels between Trump and German dictator Adolf Hitler. Navarro has been a teacher for 40 years and won numerous awards for his research on the Holocaust. While his students said the “one-sided” history was an attack on the president-elect, Navarro insists he did not teach anything that wasn’t factual.
“This feels like we’re trying to squash free speech. Everything I talk about is factually based,” Navarro said. “They can go and check it out. It’s not propaganda or bias if it’s based on hard facts. I said [to Mountain View officials], ‘I’m not pulling these facts out of my hat. It’s based on experience and work and if I’m wrong, show we where I’m wrong.’ And there was silence.”
Superintendent Jeff Harding cited “a heightened emotional environment” in light of the election regarding the situation.