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Hate Crimes Increase in Light of New Administration

By: Veronica Esteves, Spring Reporter

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Attacks directed on specific groups of people seems to have become well known and increasing. Due to constant broadcasting on news sites and social media pages, it seems to have gotten much worse. The stream of news from the media may sometimes be blown out of proportion but evidence suggests that hate crimes have increased, regardless of media coverage, since the latest election.

Advances in technology and social media has made the recent election one of the most followed in history. In a world as connected as today, it is much easier to obtain information and become educated on prominent issues. This constant stream of information can make it seem as though violence and hate crimes in this country are never ending. The question is, are they truly rising or is this the result of media and reporting like we’ve never seen before?

NBC News stated that hate crimes, recorded in nine metropolitan areas, have risen by 20 percent in the last year. There has been much talk as to whether this was fueled by the last election and evidence is showing that it might be.

Misconceptions and failing to learn about a group of people can cause hatred towards entire races, groups, religions, sexual orientations and so many others. These populations are targeted simply because of what they look like, who they worship or another factor about themselves. There are many instances when these hateful ideas cross the line and commit an illegal act of injustice.

ThinkProgress started to track hate crimes since the election of President Trump in the United States. It has shown that, from November 9, 2016 until February 9, 2017 there have been 261 documented incidents of hate that were specific enough to qualify for this study. Of those 261 incidents 41.7 percent of them included specific references to the president, his policies and his election. Among those affected by hate crimes were supporters of Donald Trump as well. They were grouped, with other targeted groups, under the category “other” which made up 14.9 percent of hate crimes.

The 261 incidents cited in this article were only a few of the crimes who managed to qualify the very specific standards and high bar that was placed for this study. The Southern Poverty Law Center counted more than three hundred reports merely a week after the election. After two weeks, the tally skyrocketed to over 700 hate crimes committed.

Rabbi David Vaisberg, a Rabbi practicing in Edison, has noticed this troubling increase in hate crimes. When asked what he believed was the cause he stated, “One hundred percent [believes hate crimes have risen lately]. I blame the energy that has arisen with President Trump coming to power. He knew it [hatred] was there and instead of helping, he empowers people filled with hate, giving them representation. News that isn’t actually news, make it up and call it true. I haven’t seen this in decades.”

It seems as though higher up officials are taking notice to the widespread discrimination in this country as well. These officials are taking certain precautions to aid these communities. Many have funding to repair damages and strengthen their security to attempt to prevent them from being targeted. Rabbi Vaisberg revealed that they, “have received funding from Homeland Security in the past.”

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Hate Crimes Increase in Light of New Administration