News Release

New SPLC Reports Reveal Alarming Pattern of Hate Incidents and Bullying Across Country Since Election

Human rights leaders demand Donald Trump act strongly to squelch harassment

November 29, 2016

Contact:
Camila Gallardo
cgallardo@nclr.org
(305) 215-4259

Kirsten Bokenkamp
Kirsten.bokenkamp@splcenter.org
334-314-6582

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) today released two reports documenting how President-elect Donald Trump’s own words have sparked hate incidents across the country and had a profoundly negative effect on the nation’s schools.

Joined by human rights and education leaders, the SPLC called on Trump to take responsibility for his actions and to repair the damage he had caused.

“Mr. Trump claims he’s surprised his election has unleashed a barrage of hate across the country,” said SPLC President Richard Cohen. “But he shouldn’t be. It’s the predictable result of the campaign he waged. Rather than feign surprise, Mr. Trump should take responsibility for what’s occurring, forcefully reject hate and bigotry, reach out to the communities he’s injured, and follow his words with actions to heal the wounds his words have opened.”

In Ten Days After, the SPLC documents 867 bias-related incidents in the 10 days following the presidential election. Among them: multiple reports of black children being told to ride in the back of school buses; the words “Trump Nation” and “Whites Only” being painted on a church with a large immigrant population; and a gay man being pulled from his car and beaten by an assailant who said the “president says we can kill all you faggots now.”

In After the Election, The Trump Effect, the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance project details the findings of an online survey of more than 10,000 educators since the election. Ninety percent reported that their school’s climate has been negatively affected, and 80 percent described heightened anxiety and concern among minority students worried about the impact of the election on their families.

The teachers described an increase in the use of slurs and derogatory language, along with disturbing incidents involving swastikas, Nazi salutes and Confederate flags. More than 2,500 said they knew of fights, threats, assaults and other incidents that could be traced directly to election rhetoric.

Since the election, approximately 675,000 people have signed SPLC petitions calling on Trump to distance himself from white nationalists and other extremists and to dump Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist and counselor.

“President-elect Trump’s first commitment to the American people was to be a president for ‘all Americans’ and to ‘bind the wounds of division’ in our country,” Cohen said. “He needs to make good on that pledge by taking decisive action.”

###

The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Alabama with offices in Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. For more information, see www.splcenter.org.

Statements from organizations joining the SPLC at the Nov. 29 press conference calling on President-elect Trump to reject hate and bigotry

“President-elect Trump vowed to be a President for all of us. Today, we're calling on him to make good on that vow by disavowing the hate speech that has infected our public discourse and by telling his supporters – in no uncertain terms -- to stop committing these acts. He must lead by example in both word and in deed. The nation – and the world – are watching.”
Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

"America is hurting right now, and all of us want to come together and feel safe. We truly hope that President-elect Trump responds to this time of need by demonstrating that he is a leader for all Americans. To bring us together as a nation, he will need to disavow dangerous proposals and ideas that single out and demonize Muslims and other communities.”
Brenda Abdelall, charities program director, Muslim Advocates

“This polarized and divisive election has left its mark on all of us but most tragically on our children. We have heard countless stories of harassment, intimidation, and bullying of Latino and other students in schools across the country. This cannot stand. President-elect Trump, we need you to protect and defend all Americans and condemn violence and hate being committed in your name.”
Janet Murguía, president and CEO, NCLR

“The right to live without fear of bullying, intimidation or assault should be a common bond for all of us; any president-elect has a moral obligation to stand against the normalization of hate, but this one even more so because of the actions of hate and bullying being done in his name. Moreover, Trump has claimed he’ll keep Americans safe and stand up for the little guy—but he refuses to speak up for the littlest guys—the children—who are being taunted and bullied in schools by kids who use his name as a weapon. President-elect Trump knows well how to use his voice—he has done so to denounce a Broadway show, media personalities and more; his lack of leadership to end the hate-fueled acts inspired by his divisive campaign rhetoric is deafening. This is especially true for our schools—pre-K through university, public and private—all of which should be safe and welcoming places of learning and acceptance for students, parents and communities, and the educators who serve them.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers