2016 In Review: America Off The Rails, Part 8
There have always been hate crimes, but now, since Comrade Trump's incessant hateful spew has become a daily segment of news coverage, according to the FBI there has been a 67% uptick in hate crimes just against Muslims. The uptick corresponds particularly well with Trump statements such as a call for a “complete ban on all Muslims.” But, of course, Muslims are not the only target of the President-elect.
He directs his words (doesn't he have “the best words”?) at minorities in general. The tacit, and often overt, acceptance of the endorsements and glowing approvals of every white-nationalist and Aryan-supremacy group in the world has led to an increase in pro-KKK, anti-Semitic graffiti and similar anti-”other” utterances around the country. These groups have been listening to Trump and now feel they have a license. It seems that under Trump all is now permissible.
The campaign and election of Comrade Trump, designed to fear-monger and set Americans against Americans, has emboldened the haters. The embrace of Comrade Trump by the Republican Party has brought bigotry of all kinds, a key component of republicanism for decades, to the forefront. It's all about divide and conquer.
We haven't heard the likes of Trump and people like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or House Speaker Paul “Crazy Eyes” Ryan doing much speaking out against such behavior now, have we? No, instead we have seen them embrace the appointments and nominations of virulent homophobes such as Mike Pence and Rick Perry and white-supremacy advocates like Steve Bannon. In the few instances that repug politicians do speak out about such things, it is gratuitous, insincere, and obviously runs counter to their previous statements, policies, and actions.
Below are just a few representative examples of Trump's Brown Shirts at work, spreading the word and acting out. Republicans can call them all hoaxes. That's been a traditional tactic throughout history. But when you have witnesses and film, the claim of “hoax” doesn't stick. It's getting ugly out there. Now there has been retaliation against Trump supporters, which is just as bad. It will get worse on both sides. This is what Trump and his party have unleashed.
THE GENIE IS OUT OF THE BOTTLE.
WELCOME TO TRUMP'S AMERICA.
In Whitefish, Montana, a white supremacy group headed by Richard Spencer, aka “The Heil Trump Guy,” has decided to take to the streets and has scheduled a “March Against Jews.” Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, editor of The Daily Stormer, says:
We are continuing our barrage against the criminal Jews of Whitefish. We are planning an armed protest in Whitefish. . . . We can easily march through the center of town carrying high-power rifles.
Well, that kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it? It's almost poetic, if one was to interpret it as Andrew Anglin saying, “We can easily march through the center of town naked, carrying our high-power penis-compensation devices.” Anglin rails against what he calls “The Jew Agenda” and has issued reminders of his beloved Nazi Germany by superimposing yellow Jewish stars on photos.
Here where I live, in New York City, a Muslim transit worker was recently shoved down some stairs at Grand Central Terminal as she was reporting for work. The assailant shouted “terrorist” at her and told her to go back to “her own country,” adding, “You shouldn't work here.”
It seems there's no pleasing the righties. They accuse people of not wanting to work. Yet when people are just going about their own business and going to their job, they have an issue with that, too.
Hate crimes in New York are up 115% since Election Day, with 43 hate crimes reported compared with 20 in the same period of 2015. 24 of those crimes were anti-Semitic. 4 were anti-Muslim. Arrests have increased by 45%.
Interestingly, the far-right Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post included the fact, right in their headline, that the transit worker who was assaulted was wearing a hijab, as if that was some sort of a crime, or maybe she was asking for trouble. She was also wearing her transit worker's uniform.
In another New York assault, a man threatened to slit an off-duty officer's throat, calling her “ISIS.” Apparently, part of her crime was that she too was wearing a hijab. The attacker, sounding like he was at a Trump rally, yelled “We can't allow this.”
In Loveland, Ohio, a message of intolerance and racial hate was painted on a park bike trail. The “art” included a 15-foot-wide depiction of Pepe the Frog. Pepe, a once-innocent cartoon amphibian character, has been coopted by anti-Muslim and white-supremacy groups but is mostly used by anti-Semitic types for neo-Nazi propaganda purposes.
Depictions of Pepe were known to show up at Trump campaign events. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recently added Pepe the Frog to its database of hate symbols. The ADL also denounced Trump's campaign for its apparent promotion of the use of Pepe. Wouldn't you love to know what Trump's alleged white-supremacist, anti-semitic chief strategist Steve Bannon thinks of all this?
This sort of graphic art has been found lately all across the country. In Hartsdale, NY (just north of the city) a wall on a path to the local train station was painted with swastikas, the N-word, Trump, and KKK, among other things the day after the election. It was clearly done as a celebration and “in your face” kind of statement. Similar graffiti “art” was found on a park path on Long Island — just one of many post-election incidents on Long Island. At least one, on a sidewalk in Mineola, combined red swastikas with the words “Make America White Again.”
New York Daily News caption: “Police found a red swastika and the words 'Make American White Again' spray-painted onto the sidewalk along Washington Ave. in Mineola on Long Island on Nov. 30.” [Click to enlarge.]
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported in late November that just a week before the election, a historically black church in Greenville, Mississippi, was burned in what even Mississippi authorities believe was an act of voter intimidation. The words “Vote Trump” were sprayed on the walls of the church.
These are the kind of incidents that Trump supporters often claim are fake and done by Trump-haters, but really, is this something a Trump-hater would want to be caught doing? Would a Trump-hater risk fines and imprisonment over this? Would a Trump-hater enjoy explaining to his or her community that he or she is not really an anti-semite or whatever? No, the people who does this are proud of what they are doing. They are true believers.
Speaking of true believers, here's one Trump supporter who got so enthusiastic about the election result that he went and got himself banned from Delta Airlines for life.
Such outbursts on planes are never cool, especially since 9/11.
The SPLC has also reported that in the ten days following the election there were an incredible 900 reports of harassment and intimidation around the country. Many of the assaulters used Trump's name while committing their assaults. If you go to that link, you can see that the SPLC has charted the post-election incidents in great detail, including breakdowns as to specific type of incident.
In an effort to be thorough, the SPLC has also charted anti-Trump-supporter incidents, but, just like police reports from around the nation, the number of such incidents is minuscule compared with the numbers of attacks on Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, and LGBTQ people.
One horrific attack on a young white homeless man did occur recently in Chicago and made national headlines. In this incident, young African-Americans did the attacking and they invoked Trump's name clearly as some sort of retribution. The idiots even filmed their crime and put it on Facebook.
Let's never forget that Trump began his rise to political prominence by leading the racist birtherism idiocy. This is the atmosphere that the Trump campaign has created. Its flames have been fanned by the usual media suspects who incessantly whine about “political correctness.” I have said for years that the republican war against “political correctness” is waged because republicans long to scream the N-word and similar things from the rooftops. Republicans are ridiculously pointing to the Chicago incident and saying that whites are victims just as often as anyone else. Unfortunately for them, FBI data, not just the data of the SPLC, says otherwise and says it loudly and clearly.
Meanwhile, President-elect Trump disingenuously says that he has no idea why white supremacists had been “energized” by his campaign — a campaign filled with incendiary bigoted statements that make the late Alabama Gov. George Wallace sound like a choirboy.
IN TRUMP WORLD,
HATE GETS A PUSH
In a related matter, book publisher Simon and Schuster (CBS Inc.) has given ultra-right extremist Milo Yiannopoulos, a British writer and public speaker (including American college tours) and technology editor for the far, far right Breitbart “News,” a $250,000 advance for a book ostensibly about free speech. The author is known for his own brand of bigoted ravings spun from his virulent homophobic, white supremacist, and misogynistic mind. In other words, Simon and Schuster is peddling hate speech for profit by giving Yiannopoulos a mainstream platform.
I'm all for free speech. After all, it can give people quite an opportunity to reveal how evil they are. However, this is more akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater. Right-wingers have already launched a successful campaign to make this yet-to-be-published book #1 on Amazon's “political commentary and opinion” best-seller list. The book comes out in March on Simon and Schuster's “conservative” imprint, Threshold Editions, also known for their books by Rush Limbaugh and President-elect Trump.
I know we can expect TV appearances with sympathizers and fellow hate-spinners such as Sean Hannity, Bill-O, and Tucker Carlson, who has now been announced as the replacement for the departed Megyn Kelly in FOX's 9pm Bigot Hour. In fact, it would not be surprising if FOX “News” or CNN gives Yiannopoulos his own show before the end of the year. Appearances on CBS would also not be surprising, given its relationship to Simon and Schuster. That's how it is with Trump World. Hate gets a push.
2016 IN REVIEW: AMERICA OFF THE RAILS
Noah's annual Year in Review thus far:
Part 1, “Profiles in Cowardice: The Electoral College” (12/23/2016)
Part 2, “Republican Of The Year Nominee #1: Newt Gingrich” (12/27/2016)
Part 3, “The Trumpf Inauguration Committee Finds The Perfect Inauguration Entertainment At Last!” (12/29/2016)
Part 4, “Republican Of The Year Nominee #2: R-R-Reince Priebus” (1/2/2017)
Part 5, “Comrade Trump: The World’s Worst Cabinet Maker, Believe Me — Meet The New Russian Oligarchs! (1)” (1/4/2017)
Part 6, “Comrade Trump: The World’s Worst Cabinet Maker, Believe Me — Meet The New Russian Oligarchs! (2)” (1/5/2017)
Part 7, “Republican Of The Year Nominee #3: Governors' Edition” (1/9/2017)
Part 8, “Trump: The Art And Acts Of The Emboldened — The Rise In Hate Crimes Under The Influence Of Comrade T” (today)
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis