Graffiti found in a California high school bathroom.

Hate Incidents Seven Times More Common in Post-Election Week

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released a report on Friday revealing that it has collected 701 incidents of hate in the week directly following the election, from November 9 to November 16.

Also on Friday, the FBI released its annual hate crimes report, revealing that 5,818 single-bias incidents occurred in 2015. This averages to roughly 112 incidents per week meaning that the number of hate incidents has been nearly seven times greater during the week following the election than an average week.

“They’ve been everywhere in schools, in places of business like Walmart, on the street,” SPLC President Richard Cohen said.

The majority of the incidents were anti-immigrant:

Hate Incident by TypeNumber of Incidents (Nov. 9 Nov. 16)
Swastika vandalism60

The report also included small numbers of anti-Trump, hate group recruitment, anti-Semitic and multiple incidents.

“While the total number of incidents has risen, the trend line points to a steady drop-off,” the report notes. “Around 65 percent of the incidents collected occurred in the first three days following the election.”

The majority of incidents occurred at K-12 schools even more so than college campuses:

Hate Incident by LocationNumber of Incidents (Nov. 9 Nov. 16)
K-12 schools149
Private property72

A handful of incidents also occurred at public parks, public transportation, places of worship and other miscellaneous locations.

The SPLC collects its data from news outlets, social media and its #ReportHate intake page. The states with the highest numbers of reported incidents were California, Texas and New York.

State leaders have spoken out about the spike, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who addressed a church in Harlem on Sunday.

“The ugly political discourse of the election did not end on Election Day, in many ways it has gotten worse, into a social crisis that now challenges our identity as a state and as a nation and our people,” he said.

Cuomo also launched a hotline for residents to report bias, hate crimes and discrimination. New Yorkers can call the toll-free hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Also on Friday, the same day the SPLC released its report, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch released a video statement on the FBI’s newly released 2015 hate crime statistics. The data shows that the number of hate crimes increased 6 percent.

Lynch also reported a 67 percent increase in hate crimes against Muslims, as well as increases overall in crimes against Jewish, Black and LGBT Americans.

“These numbers should be deeply sobering for all Americans,” she said.

Lynch also addressed the current spike in hate crimes that has left many Americans fearful:

“Beyond these 2015 statistics, I know that many Americans are concerned by a spate of recent new reports about alleged hate crimes and harassment,” she said. “Some of these incidents have happened in schools. Others have targeted houses of worship, and some have singled out individuals for attacks and intimidation.”

While progress has been made, Lynch said, “we cannot lose sight of how much remains to be done.”

“Put simply, this work is the right and just thing to do, and I want the American people to know that as long as that work is necessary, the Department of Justice will continue to carry it forward. … And we will continue to champion the values of diversity and inclusion that have always been the bedrock of our nation’s progress and that point the way to a brighter future,” she said.

In her statement Lynch addressed the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was named after two young men who were murdered in hate crimes. Shepard was gay and Byrd was Black. The statute defines any crime “committed because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin of any person or the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person” a hate crime.

Last week President-elect Donald Trump named Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as his attorney general. Sessions previously opposed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Act.

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