The election of President-elect Donald Trump has emboldened some of his supporters to act out on his campaign rhetoric with impunity. Despite Trump’s call for the nation to come together, many of those who voted for him consider his selection to be mandate.
In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s victory, the hatred spread from vicious posts on Facebook and Twitter, to intimidation in the streets, to multiple acts of vandalism.
In Philadelphia, swastikas and Trump’s name (with the T replaced by an additional swastika) were spray-painted on a storefront, including the words “Sieg Heil 2016.” Sieg heil was the victory salute adopted by the Nazis in the 1930s.
Elsewhere in Philadelphia, a white SUV was covered in black spray paint that read “Trump Rules” and “Black Bitch,” and a city police spokesperson said they have responded to reports of vandalism of “multiple autos and houses.”
The Nazi vandalism was found the day after Trump’s election and on the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht in Germany, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, when fascists vandalized and burned Jewish homes, shops and synagogues.
“Folks who are inclined to be mean to other folks feel very empowered at the moment,” artist Caryn Kunkle, who first discovered the vandalism on the Philadelphia storefront, told local media.
In the Buffalo area, property was defaced with swastikas and the words “Make America White Again.” According to the Buffalo area’s Wellsville Daily Reporter, the Wellsville police chief saw no cause for action. The town is located in Allegany County, where 61 percent of the vote went to Trump, according to New York State Board of Elections.
At Canisius College in Buffalo, a Black doll was found hung by a noose in an elevator on Tuesday night at a freshman dorm. The incident prompted a quick response from Canisius President John Hurley, who strongly condemned the “despicable act” in a letter to faculty, staff and students.
Meanwhile, in Rochester, New York, a gay pride flag flying on someone’s porch was burned. Rochester police are investigating the incident as arson and a possible hate crime.
As election results started coming in on Tuesday night, Twitter began filling up with tweets telling immigrants to “pack your bags,” “get the fu*k out you piece of sh*t” and that they are being hunted.
One post addressing immigrantswith the caption, “The wolves are coming. Do you hear them They’ve had a taste of blood. They want their meal” included a video where the person says “wolves are hungry and we have been spoiling for a fight you are now the hunted.” The tweet was posted by “Grabby Nimble,” whose Twitter page features an image of planet Earth wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.
The wolves are coming. Do you hear them They’ve had a taste of blood. They want their meal. pic.twitter.com/xhYBq091VA
Grabby_Nimble (@johnny_nimble) November 9, 2016
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke jubilantly weighed in immediately after the results were called. “This is one of the most exciting nights of my life,” Duke wrote on Twitter. “Make no mistake about it, our people have played a huge role in electing Trump!”
Duke, who lost his bid for Senate on Tuesday, also posted a series of images of Trump, including one of him Photoshopped holding a rifle while standing on a tank emblazoned with Trump’s name. He also tweeted, “Donald J. Trump now has the chance to become one of the greatest Americans to have ever lived we have the moral high ground, 100%!”
David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) November 9, 2016
His vitriol included a jab against sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the tweet: “This parasite promised to resign from the Supreme Court if Trump won -> hand it over, traitor!”
And, in response to anti-Trump protests on Wednesday, Duke tweeted to his followers: “It’s time to organize and get in the streets it’s time to confront the filth rioting in the streets, disrespecting our democracy.”
Jose Antonio Vargas, a gay Filipinojournalist and immigration activist, received a barrage of hateful tweets from Trump supporters, including one calling himself Johnny Deplorable, saying, “You’re getting deported. Better pack up.”
Another responded with an image from 2000 of a Border Patrol agent pointing a gun at Elian Gonzalez, when the six-year-old Cuban boy was removed from his house.The agent’s face was Photoshopped and replaced with Trump’s face. The caption reads:
“Pack your bags. Your ass is going back.”
TrumpenReich Tree (@ReactionaryTree) November 9, 2016
Other social media posts included: “You lost. We’re going to demoralize/marginalize you while we leverage our mandate.”
“I hope the #Dreamers [Clinton supporters] are going to dream about going back to their homeland tonight. #ElectionNight #SendThemBack.”
One schoolteacher tweeted: “Counseling kids this morning who come to me afraid because kids are screaming in their face about how they’ll be sent back.”
A Black high school student tweeted: “#DonaldTrump won the election & white people already don’t know how to act. This white boy told me I’m a Ni**er and should be pickin cotton.”
And a young Muslim woman tweeted: “My mom literally just texted me ‘don’t wear the Hijab please’ and she’s the most religious person in our family….”
Sahar Aziz, a professor at the Texas A&M University School of Law, told CNN U.S. Muslims are very concerned:
“The general mood I am seeing among Muslims is concern that a Trump presidency will be open season on them. Some Muslims worry their children may experience bullying at school because Trump’s victory validated the mainstreaming of Islamophobia. Some women are afraid to wear their headscarves in public in case this invites physical or verbal assault.”
Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said at a press conference that Muslims would not move, regardless of who won the election.
“As citizens of this great nation, we accept the result of the democratic process that has bound us together as one nation,” he said, adding, “We are not going anywhere and we will not be intimidated or marginalized. To those who are fearful, know that America is your home and the home for your children. This is your future. You are not going anywhere, and you have the same rights and responsibilities as all other Americans.”
The fear among those who did not support Trump is legitimate, despite Trump’s call for unity. Even after the election, longtime Trump surrogate and CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord on Wednesday said, “Democrats have become irrelevant,” and another prominent Trump surrogate, a former contestant of “The Apprentice” with a reputation as being the most mean-spirited individual, said in an interview that Trump has a “list” of his enemies.