Protests have popped up across the country against alleged discriminatory acts that have supposedly taken place in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. The problem is, most of these “racist acts” have been a fantasy of far-left-wing groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.
By Sophia Meyer
Given recent reporting by corporate media and the terrified sob-stories rampant across social media, one could believe Muslims, Latinos, gays, blacks, Jews, and liberals in America are suddenly being assaulted on a regular basis by crazed, white, Klan-supporting Trump voters.
In the week since Donald Trump won the presidential election, the mainstream media have been having a heyday reporting “over 400” hate crimes and a “surge” of anti-Muslim crimes committed as a result of Trump’s victory.
The implication is that white, heterosexual, Christian, Republican Americans, filled with latent hatred for anyone perceived as “other,” have had their underlying violent tendencies loosed by Trump’s election rhetoric and are now acting on that hatred by committing crimes against anyone who might be anti-Trump.
At least, that’s what the Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) and Anti-Defamation League (ADL) would like you to believe. The amount of free promotion the SPLC is receiving is surely a dream come true for its development and PR teams.
The SPLC reported, just three days after the election returns were in, “More than 300 incidents of harassment or intimidation have been reported following Donald Trump’s election Tuesday night,” mostly among K-12 students and universities. The “incidents” included in their tally were gathered from social media, news reports and submissions to their website.
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CNN, leading the frenzy, reports that Trump’s rhetoric has unleashed these “ugly episodes of racist or anti-Semitic pro-Trump graffiti along with threats or attacks against Muslims.” Graffiti, including “Heil Trump” in one instance and a swastika next to Trump’s name in another, are being displayed as examples.
The possibility is not considered that these were instead created by people who oppose Trump and bought into the “new Hitler” moniker applied by his detractors during the campaign, as an expression of their fear.
CNN in particular has been incessantly railing about this alleged Trump-inspired hate-crime wave, parroting SPLC announcements in most of their articles as the go-to “experts” tracking hate crimes with a few alarming statements from the ADL thrown in for good measure, but other media outlets are joining in.
USA Today quotes SPLC president Richard Cohen as saying, “The white supremacists out there are celebrating [Trump’s] victory and many are feeling their oats.”
Adding fuel to the media-fire, on Nov. 14 the FBI released its annual “Hate Crimes Statistics,” which revealed the number of “bias-motivated incidents” reported to law enforcement officials in 2015 rose 6%. “[T]he vast majority . . . were targeted because of their race or ethnicity,” reports the FBI. Because white Christians are not yet a minority in America, “bias-motivated” crimes against them are not included in the reporting. Yet even in its coverage of the report authored by the FBI, CNN turned again to the SPLC for analysis.
On the other hand, the media mentions only in passing, if at all, recent “hate crimes” attacks on Trump supporters. “Daily Caller” writes, “Several liberal media outlets have ignored well-documented cases of violence toward Trump supporters and instead have been focusing on unconfirmed reports of Trump supporters attacking minorities.”
Likewise, media is essentially ignoring “the flood of Trump assassination threats,” the article continues. One UK journalist actually tweeted, “about time for a presidential assassination.” A particularly brilliant American Twitter-user shared his thoughts, as well: “I just pray that the first nigga who tries to assassinate Donald Trump don’t miss.”
The fact that this “rash” of hate crimes consists of mostly unconfirmed and in many cases unsubstantiated reports, which include acts of verbal bullying by elementary school students, is also brushed over by the corporate media. Even “Snopes,” which reduces seemingly every report of government wrongdoing to the imagined concoctions of “conspiracy theorists,” has begun debunking some of these incidents.
The SPLC notes that included in its tally are social media posts, yet any Facebook or Twitter user knows much of what’s posted is exaggeration or outright fabrication, like the Louisiana university student who claimed two white men, one wearing a Trump hat, screamed racial epithets at her as they ripped off her hijab and stole her wallet—only to later admit her story was entirely fabricated.
That so many of these “victims” of assault, supposedly singled out for attack solely because of their race, religion or sexual orientation, are not reporting the vicious crimes to police should also lead a thinking person to question such reports.
Unquestionably, hatred of “the other” exists in America, as it does throughout the world, and it should not be surprising that in this atmosphere of generalized frustration—as people awaken to the reality that the American dream has crumbled before our eyes and is no longer attainable by the vast majority—people are taking out their anger and aggression on each other in a desperate attempt to blame someone for our demise. Time after time, determined efforts to hold those in power accountable for undeniable crimes including treason have failed, only increasing the widespread anger.
Yet in a nation of 325 million people, the idea that 400 of them, including elementary school students, verbally or physically assaulted someone they don’t like, or spray-painted an expression of outrage, should not be either horrifying or outrageous. Even the FBI’s report of “5,850 hate crime incidents reported to police in 2015” does not lend credence to these breathless reports of America exploding with hate crimes.
Nonetheless, for his part, President-elect Trump addressed his supporters directly during a “60 Minutes” interview broadcast Sunday night.
When interviewer Lesley Stahl told him his supporters “were harassing Latinos, Muslims . . . ” and asked if he wanted to say anything to them, Trump replied: “I would say don’t do it. That’s terrible, because I’m going to bring this country together. . . . I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: ‘Stop it.’ ”
Originally from the Midwest, Sophia Meyer is a freelance writer and editor, small farmer and avid gardener now living on Florida’s sunny east coast.