Increased hate crimes direct effect of President’s rhetoric

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According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), there are over 100 explicitly anti-Muslim groups, 130 active Ku Klux Klan groups and 193 Black Separatist groups. In total, there are about 900 active hate groups nationwide.

This past winter semester, I had a professor share a fact that has been stuck in my brain: Since Donald Trump’s road to presidency, the amount of hate crimes have been increasing at an alarming rate.

The SPLC notes that 2017 is the second year in a row that the number of hate groups has increased since it peaked back in 2011. SPLC states that increase, which began in 2016, is “due to a presidential campaign that flirted heavily with extremist ideas.”

Donald Trump’s actions and words have been a premise for hate in America.

The SPLC issued a report that showed an increase in fear among children of color due to Trump’s expressions of hate.

You don’t even need in-depth research to verify these claims. Head to any classroom, and I am confident that you will hear his words coming out of a 10-year-old’s mouth. I work with teens and pre-teens and witness Trump’s words being repeated among them, both as a “joke” and as an intentional verbal attack, almost daily.

SPLC found that, since 2015, the year that those running for president announced their candidacy, the number of anti-Muslim groups in America increased almost 200 percent. Along with Muslims being a group with a seemingly bigger target, other minority groups have become victims of discriminatory ideology as well.

The Nation recently released an article stating that older fragments of the nation’s racist movements have been brought back into the mainstream of party politics.

To me, that means we’ve taken steps backward opposed to progressing as a nation.

The content on Trump’s Twitter feed is hardly anything more than attack after attack. The tweets do nothing to build anyone up. Instead, they point out everything that everyone else is doing wrong.

Trump’s actions and words have allowed him to be a hot discussion topic and are something that is touched on by many individuals who have a platform.

Singer/songwriter Lady Gaga sings, “It’s chaos … why do people just stand around?” Essayist Megan Stielstra writes, “It would be fascinating if it weren’t so terrifying” in response to events leading to the 2016 election. Pop artist Lana Del Rey sings, “What about all these children, and all their children’s children?” Books such as “Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times” are being written. (Does the term “dangerous times” make anyone else a little uneasy?)

These examples ask questions that need to be thought about and statements that need to be addressed.

I know that famous individuals often use their platforms to bring awareness to important issues, but I think that it is a giant red flag when so many of them reference the current administration.

Whether you voted for Trump or not, I hope that you can understand the hate that has spread since he was able to carry his voice out to a wider crowd. His political beliefs have nothing to do with my views on how his actions and words have affected the nation.

His actions and reactions are the problem, and unfortunately, the presidency gives him a wider audience that looks up to and follow his actions.

In spite of all this, I think it is important to remember that “love is still the most powerful force on the planet,” as Jamie Tworkowski says. Even though Trump’s hate seems to be spilling out everywhere, the love people carry for one another will always come out on top.

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