Post-Election Hate Crimes Roughly Seven Times Higher than Average

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released its newest report, revealing nearly 900 incidents of harassment and hate in the 10 days following Donald Trump's election.

Hate incidents have occurred in record numbers since Election Day, with a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) calculating roughly seven times the weekly average according to the FBI's 2015 hate crimes report.


Earlier this month, the FBI released its annual hate crimes report, revealing that 5,818 single-bias incidents occurred in 2015. This averages about 112 incidents per week — a fraction of the average seen since the election.

In 2015, on average, 115 racially motivated hate incidents targeting people of all races occurred every 10 days. In the 10 days following the election, there were more anti-Black incidents alone — 187. Anti-immigrant incidents were more than double the average for all races.

The FBI estimated that 38 anti-religious crimes targeting all faiths occurred every 10 days. During the 10-day period following the election, more than double that amount of anti-Semitic incidents took place, and 49 anti-Muslim incidents alone occurred.

Every 10 days, in 2015, there were about 38 crimes against people due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Ninety-five anti-LGBT incidents alone have occurred since the election.

Anti-women crimes occurred at a rate of less than two per month in 2015. Post-election, there were 40 hate incidents against women.

The real number of incidents may even be greater, as the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported.

According to the SPLC's newest report, "Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election," while hate incidents have always occurred in the United States, "the targets of post-election hate incidents report that they are experiencing something quite new."

"What we're seeing is something quite unusual. People are reporting seeing swastikas painted in neighborhoods that they've lived in for 20 years," said Richard Cohen, president of the SPLC. "We've never seen anything like it."

The SPLC uses media reports and submissions to its own #ReportHate page. The report does not include online harassment or incidents that have been determined by authorities to be hoaxes.

The majority of incidents have been anti-immigrant, the data shows.

Hate Incident by Type Number of Incidents (Nov. 8 – Nov. 18)
Anti-immigrant 280
Anti-Black 187
Anti-Semitic 100
Anti-LGBT 95
Anti-Muslim 49
Trump — General* 43
Anti-woman 40
White nationalist** 32
Anti-Trump 23
Other*** 18

* Per the report: "The category 'Trump-General' refers to incidents in which harassers invoked Trump's name but did not make their motivations clear."

** "White nationalist" refers to "the language, literature, and symbols of white nationalism [that] have cropped up throughout the country" since Trump's election, as well as recruiting efforts for the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and other white supremacy groups.

*** "Other" incidents refer to those that targeted Asian Americans, Native Americans or people with disabilities

Most incidents have occurred in public spaces, and a large number occurred in K-12 schools — even more than at colleges and universities.

Hate Incident by Location Number of Incidents (Nov. 8 – Nov. 18)
Public spaces 206
K-12 183
Workplace/retail 162
University 140
Private places 109
Other public spaces 51
Places of worship 16

"Black students are encountering disturbing echoes of Jim Crow segregation, including multiple reports of Black children being told to go to the back of the bus," the report states. "In St. Louis, Missouri, a school basketball team chanted 'Trump! Trump! Trump!' and told Black team members to move to the back of the bus. When a student of color got on a public bus in New York, one of her classmates asked, 'Aren't you supposed to be sitting in the back of the bus now? Trump is president!'"

Other incidents have also included "whites" and "colored" being written in schools above sinks, water fountains and urinals.

At least one reported incident has occurred in nearly every state, with the exception of North Dakota, South Dakota, Hawaii and Wyoming. California has the highest number — 99 — followed by New York with 69.

The spike was highest in the first three days after the election, with more than 100 incidents occurring per day. For the most part, the numbers then trickled down.

In an interview, Trump claimed he was "surprised to hear" about the spike in hate incidents. Many reported incidents were directly related to the election, with many being at the hands of Trump supporters (and a significantly smaller amount targeting them). And while not all reported incidents bore Trump's name specifically, the president-elect has no reason to be surprised they are occurring, according to the SPLC:

"In his November 23 interview with The New York Times, Trump claimed he had no idea why white supremacists — the so-called 'alt right' — had been 'energized' by his campaign. Again, it's no mystery. Both the harassment since the election and the energy on the radical right are the predictable results of the campaign that Trump waged for the presidency — a campaign marked by incendiary racial statements, the stoking of white racial resentment, and attacks on so-called 'political correctness.'"

In an interview with Reuters, Cohen said the president-elect "needs to speak forcefully and repeatedly against bigotry."

"What we'd like to see Mr. Trump do is acknowledge that his own words have fueled the outbreak of hate that we're seeing. He needs to take responsibility and stop pretending he's surprised," he said.

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