Since Donald Trump won the election earlier this month there has been an influx of hate crime reports across the U.S. Students in high schools and colleges have staged walkouts in protest of the election results and the following violence. As the reports started to come in I remarked to my therapist that though I was worried about all the harassment of minorities, I was thankful I lived in a progressive melting pot such as Baltimore. I didn’t anticipate much of a problem in this area.
While we have not seen a spike in reports of hate crimes in Baltimore, I can’t say the same for all of Maryland. Nearby Montgomery County reports a 17% increase in hate crimes reported in 2016. The 62 incidents that have been reported this year were “generally motivated by race, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation,” says Police Chief Tom Manger.
Just this month alone
- A Silver Spring church congregation found the message “Trump Nation Whites only” on the back of a sign that was printed in Spanish;
- Swastikas were found in the boy’s bathroom at Westland Middle School. Parents received a letter telling them of the racist vandalism.
- “KILL KILL KILL BLACKS” was found on a bathroom wall at Sligo Creek Elementary
There have been other incidences of hate speech and violence reported.
“Hate is unacceptable, these acts are crimes against all of us and they will not be tolerated,” Manger said
State Attorney General Brian Frosh condemned the recent crimes, which he acknowledges have been directed at racial and ethnic minorities, women, immigrants and the LGBT community.
Making it clear that these incidences won’t be overlooked, he urged anyone who felt they were the victim of unlawful harassment or intimidation to notify local law enforcement, the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights or local human rights agencies.
“I believe the current state of affairs presents not only a challenge but an opportunity,” Frosh said. “Neighborhood by neighborhood, we can declare that justice, fairness, and tolerance are not partisan principles, but keystones of America’s character.”
The attorney general took his stance of no tolerance of hate crimes even further by starting a hate crime hotline. To report a hate crime in Maryland, call 1-866-481-8361.
Lesley Stahl asked Donald Trump what he thought about the rise of hate crimes that had sprung up in the wake of his election during his 60 Minutes interview. Trump said, “I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it– if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.’
While that was nice and was only a week after his election win, he has been virtually silent on the violence since. It would be nice if president-elect Trump would give a press conference specifically condemning the hate crimes and violence aimed at minorities since he’s been elected.
Trump claims he wants to be the president of all Americans, yet many of us look at his silence as a sign of what’s ahead. His silence speaks just as loud as the people he has chosen to surround himself with and appoint to his cabinet.
The fact that we must have a hate crime hotline says so much about the state of terror much of America will be when Trump takes office.