Though Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States surprised many, it didn’t come as a total shock to those who had been tracking his rise in popularity. His loud and often-inflammatory rhetoric appealed to many Americans who felt left behind by mainstream politics.
But while Trump’s supporters may have felt that he spoke for them, his election has actually emboldened white supremacists and hate groups across the country. In the days following Trump’s victory, there was a wave of reported incidents of racism and bigotry, from vandalism targeting minorities to hate crimes against people who were assumed to be Muslim or Latino.
Trump’s campaign and presidency coincided with the fourth straight year of hate group growth after three consecutive years of decline from the end of the Obama administration.
A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has documented the alarming growth of hate groups in America since Trump took the presidency. The report found that the number of hate groups in the US increased by 30% in 2018. Racist and antisemitic violence has increased and continues to plague the country.
These numbers are alarming, and they underscore the importance of standing up to hate and bigotry wherever it appears. It’s essential that we all speak out against racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and any other form of bigotry. We stand together as a community in support of diversity and inclusion.