By Rosemary Eng
The Southern Poverty Law Center says post-election hate incidents towards immigrants have not only surged but now surpass the reported number of hate incidents towards blacks, the usual target of such attacks, according to the F.B.I.
The Montgomery, Ala.-based SPLC, whose reputation was founded on the legal defense of African Americans targeted by hate groups, is turning to a new road in order to address these post-election hate incidents.
The new tactic is a petition asking for president-elect Donald J. Trump to rescind his appointment of Stephen Bannon as White House strategist and senior counselor.
Bannon, who has been executive chair of Breitbart News, is “a man who led a media empire into becoming what a former Breitbart editor called a ‘cesspool for white supremacist mememakers’,” explains SPLC president Richard Cohen. The civil rights group’s circulating petition states Bannon “simply has no business in the White House.”
On the Breitbart website, the comments sections muster an array of white nationalist opinions.
Ann Coulter, a right-wing columnist, rings the alarm that the United States is descending into a country of mostly people of color.
“In 1960,” writes Coulter, “whites were 90 percent of the country. The Census Bureau recently estimated that whites already account for less than two-thirds of the population and will be a minority by 2050. Other estimates put that day much sooner. If this sort of drastic change were legally imposed on any group other than whites, it would be called genocide. Yet whites are called racists merely for mentioning the fact that current immigration law is intentionally designed to reduce their percentage in the population.”
Others chiming in on the Breitbart website sound the same alarm cry.
Another commenter states, “The left says it’s anti-racist, but it’s really anti-white. Every leftist double standard form supporting mass immigration while claiming to want to raise wages to supporting Muslim immigration while claiming to support women’s rights has one thing in common. Diversity comes first, and diversity means less [sic] whites.”
And, “the democrats support white genocide and the ‘colorblind conservative’ GOP establishment refuses to oppose it for fear of being called racist. Their time has passed. They failed to conserve anything over the last 30 years. It’s nationalism’s turn now. Ann Coulter, Jared Taylor, Pat Buchanan, Steve Sailer, Peter Brimelow, and others on the dissident right shall be the new intellectual vanguard, replacing the neocons forever.”
Adding fuel to the fervor, the Ku Klux Klan reportedly is planning a celebration of Trump’s win.
The North Carolina Charlotte Observer reported, “Within 48 hours of the Trump win, the Loyal White Knights of Pelham posted plans … for a celebratory parade on Dec. 3, though no time or location has been listed. “Victory Klavalkade Klan Parade Dec. 3rd 2016 North Carolina,” is all the site mentions about the event. “Trump = Trump’s Race United My People.”
As the White Knights describe themselves:
“Our goal is to help restore America to a White Christian nation, founded on God’s word. This does not mean that we want to see anything bad happen to the darker races … we simply want to live separate from them … As GOD intended. (Lev.20:24-25) It is a simple fact that whenever these races try to integrate themselves into White society, that society is damaged immensely … perhaps even destroyed altogether.”
The white robes and burning crosses of the KKK have instilled dread and fear in African Americans for decades because of KKK brutality towards African Americans, particularly in the South.
Because the white nationalist goal is a whiter America, expression of hatred goes beyond African Americans to particularly Latinos and Muslims, who have been singled out in election statements as “immigrants.”
The SPLC says election-generated hate incidents have spiked to more than 700. “Around 65 percent of the incidents collected occurred in the first three days following the election.” And, the SPLC says “nearly 40 percent of all incidents occurred in educational (K-12 schools and university/college) settings.”
Though they work at documenting incidents of hate, SPLC advises that cases of hateful intimidation and harassment should be first reported to local law enforcement.
“Submitting the incident to the Southern Poverty Law Center using (their website form) will aid in our work monitoring incidents around the country.
A special form is designed particularly for K-12 educators, as teachers and principals are commonly the first people children frightened by racial harassment turn to.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that an eight-year-old African-American boy in Louisiana was told by white children to “go back to the cotton farm.” The taunting escalated to a scuffle during which the African- American boy was “body slammed” and suffered a broken arm and concussion.
A Gwinnett County (Georgia) high school teacher, says the SPLC, reported she was left a note in class… telling her that her Muslim headscarf “isn’t allowed anymore.” “Why don’t you tie it around your neck & hang yourself with it…,” the note said, signed “America!”
More than two-thirds of the teachers who reported to SPLC said that students—mainly immigrants, children of immigrants and Muslims—have expressed concerns or fears about what might happen to them or their families after the election because of talk about deportation related to the election. Children are going to their teachers crying.
MoveOn.Org, another political action committee, says, there is no place for a white supremacist, anti-Semitic misogynist in the White House.
It is also circulating a rescind Bannon petition to present to Congress:
So far the SPLC has reportedly reached 400,000 signatures in their rescind Bannon petition
To date, Trump has defended Bannon in the media, calling him a “decent guy.”