Trump spews hate and inspires others to commit hate crimes. Now there’s clear evidence that wherever Trump holds one of his notoriously anti-immigrant, anti-media campaign rallies, he leaves an increase in hate crimes in his wake.
New research reported Friday by the Washington Post shows just how dangerous Trump’s rhetoric really is. The report found hate crimes increased 226 percent in counties where Trump held a 2016 campaign rally compared to counties that did not hold a rally.
The new research is especially relevant after a string of terror attacks inspired by Trump dominated the headlines.
In New Zealand, a white supremacist terrorist who killed 50 Muslims at a mosque said that Trump was a “renewed symbol of white identity.” Trump’s campaign often demonized Muslims, going so far as to call for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States. Trump also repeatedly attacked Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, the Gold Star parents of Humayun Khan, who died while serving in Iraq.
Anti-Muslim terrorists in Kansas even used Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric to plead for a shorter sentence. Attorneys for the terrorists said, “As long as the Executive Branch condemns Islam and commends and encourages violence against would-be enemies, then a sentence imposed by the Judicial Branch does little to deter people generally from engaging in such conduct if they believe they are protecting their countries from enemies identified by their own Commander-in-Chief.”
Trump’s repeated attacks on Democratic politicians and the media also seemed to inspire the so-called “MAGA Bomber,” who lived in a van plastered with pro-Trump paraphernalia and sent pipe bombs to high-profile Democratic politicians Trump regularly attacked, including Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and President Obama. He also mailed bombs to other Trump targets, including CNN, philanthropist George Soros, and political activist Tom Steyer, and recently pleaded guilty to 65 criminal charges.
There is even frequent violence at Trump rallies. During the campaign, Trump encouraged those at his rallies to physically assault protestors, even promising he would pay their legal bills. More recently, Trump’s repeated tirades about the free press being “the enemy of the people” inspired one supporter to attack a member of the media covering a Trump rally. The publisher of the New York Times called out Trump’s rhetoric for “encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad.”
FBI data also supports the theory that Trump is inspiring hate crimes, showing hate crimes continue to spike in the Trump era, increasing by 17 percent in 2017 compared to 2016.
Trump not only inspires terrorists, but he defends them as well. After neo-Nazis and white supremacists held a hate-fueled rally in Charlottesville and murdered a protestor, Trump defended the white supremacists there as “very fine people.”
After years of decline, the Trump era has seen an increase in hate groups, reports the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Rather than trying to tamp down hate, as presidents of both parties have done, President Trump elevates it — with both his rhetoric and his policies,” Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, said.
No matter how much damage and violence he inspires, Trump adamantly refuses to stop spewing hate. Now, with the 2020 campaign around the corner, more counties will be forced to deal with the violent aftermath of Trump invading their community.
Published with permission of The American Independent.
IMAGE: President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 2016 as part of “USA Thank You Tour 2016”. REUTERS/William Philpott