Donald Trump

‘Rash of Hate Crimes' Reported Day After Trump's Election

"We have seen Klan literature drops, we have seen that suicide hotlines are ringing off the hook, and we are hearing of very extensive bullying in and around schools," a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center said

Hate crimes and other racially tinged incidents, ranging from vandalism to threats to beatings, are being reported across the country in the aftermath of the presidential election.

Some of the incidents were reported by police, though many more appeared on social media as anecdotes and not all have been verified.

Most of the recent cases appear to involve graffiti or violence directed at racial or ethnic minorities and in some reports the perpetrators indicated support for Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, detectives in Chicago are investigating one video that appears to show a man being beaten for voting for Trump. 

Trump's candidacy was marked in part by promises to deport undocumented immigrants and monitor and ban Muslims, and one of Hillary Clinton's arguments for voting against Trump was to denounce race-baiting rhetoric by voting for tolerance. Trump pledged in his acceptance speech early Wednesday "to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans." And President Barack Obama, with whom Trump met Thursday, said he was "heartened" by Trump's speech.

Still, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate crimes, is "seeing a rash of hate crimes, of hate rhetoric, racist graffiti in campuses around the country," said Mark Potok, an SPLC senior fellow, who called the uptick extraordinary.

"We have seen [Ku Klux] Klan literature drops, we have seen that suicide hotlines are ringing off the hook, and we are hearing of very extensive bullying in and around schools," he added.

Trump has not commented on the hate crime incidents and his presidential transition team has not responded to NBC's requests for comment on Thursday and Friday. In an interview that aired Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes," Trump said he did not hear about the violence and harassment in his name or directed at his supporters, other than "one or two instances."

He also 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," Trump said.

Among the reports of events occurring in the aftermath of the election:

  • A San Diego State University student walking to her vehicle had her purse, backpack and car keys taken by two men making comments about the president-elect and the Muslim community, university police said. She walked away to report the incident, and then returned to discover her vehicle was missing. Police are investigating the attack as a hate crime.
  • A short video posted Wednesday and viewed at least 250,000 times on Facebook showed students at a school carrying a Trump sign while someone can be heard saying "white power." Two students at York County School of Technology in Pennsylvania walked with a sign into the lobby and chanted "white power" twice before the director "squelched it," said communication outreach coordinator Renie Mezzanotte, who added that "the administration has been absorbed by" the incident for two days, the outcry has become disruptive to instruction, and that instruction and student and staff safety are always the school's priorities. An officer at the York Area Regional Police Department confirmed that they investigated the incident. 
  • Police were investigating the appearance of a swastika, the word "Trump" with a swastika replacing the T and the words "Seig Heil 2016," on a store front in South Philadelphia hours after the election was called. The Anti-Defamation League said it was disgusted to learn of the graffiti.
  • A representative of NYU's Tandon School of Engineering confirmed that someone had wrote the word "Trump!" in graffiti on a door at the school's Muslim prayer room. It has since been removed and Dean K. R. Sreenivasan said in an email to students that any violation of civility and mutual respect in the community "is an offense against us all."
  • In Chicago, video posted to Twitter and shared thousands of times appears to show a man being beaten by a group of people who say he voted for Trump. The victim appears to be white, the assailants black. The attack happened just before 1 p.m. Wednesday on Chicago's West Side, police said. Chicago detectives have the video but a representative did not elaborate about political affiliations of those involved.
  • And the Times-Dispatch of Richmond, Virginia, reported that the words, "Your vote was a hate crime" were spray-painted on several monuments to figures from the U.S. Confederacy.
  • Black students at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia recieved racist texts Friday from an account on an app called GroupMe."The account contains violent, racist and thoroughly repugnant images and messages," university spokesman Ron Ozio said in an email.

An 18-year-old woman of Middle Eastern descent in Louisiana said she made up a story that she was beaten by two white men who were yelling racial obscenities, according to the Acadania Advocate. She had told city police, according to a statement, that she was repeatedly struck in the back near the University of Louisiana Lafayette by the males, who she said also took her hijab and wallet and fled. Lafayette police confirmed the woman retracted her story to NBC.

There were 5,479 hate crime incidents reported in 2014, according to that year's FBI hate crime statistics report, the most recent one available. The 2015 report is due out Monday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center's president released a statement Wednesday saying the group has begun holding Trump to his promise to serve as president for all Americans.

"Today, we're facing a new reality – a president-elect who has denigrated people because of their race, their religion, their ethnicity, their gender, and more," SPLC President Richard Cohen wrote.

Potok, the SPLC senior fellow, said the last time he saw such a similar rash of attacks was after Obama was elected, but "they tended to be more hidden."

"This time around we are seeing people more emboldened," he said.

Potok said that there hasn't been an uptick on black-on-white crime.

The attacks on minorities are drawing comparisons, including from Potok, to the days after Brexit, when Britain voted to leave the European Union. Those attacks died down in a few weeks, Potok said.

But he added that American white nationalist groups are declaring victory online after Trump's election.

"One would hope that well-meaning citizens would stand up and defend their fellow Americans against this kind of hatred, and I think that's starting to happen, especially in schools," he said.

The SPLC has created an online forum where people can report hate incidents:

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