Hate crimes have dominated news headlines in recent months. A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center highlighted more than 860 incidents of hateful intimidation and harassment nationally in the 10 days following the presidential election alone.
The center said many of the incidents were allegedly committed by supporters of new President Donald Trump, reported the Texas Observer.
Of these incidents 57 were reported in Texas, the third highest number after California and New York.
Not all of these incidents resulted in arrests for hate crimes and the group acknowledged that many were anecdotal in nature.
The Observer report alluded to reports of vandalism, violence, and harassment. At least two people who reported incidents at schools in Texas declined to publically discuss them because of fear of retaliation from their employers.
The report said the president of Texas State University emailed staff, faculty and students on December 7 to advise them fliers encouraging people to report undocumented immigrants had been removed.
In Galveston, a Muslim restaurateur discovered raw bacon smeared on the front of his business. It is a religious practice for Muslims to abstain from eating pork. Asad Khan is an immigrant from Pakistan who opened ZaZa Bar & Bites about 10 months ago. He said the business began receiving threatening phone after the election. He discovered bacon grease smeared on the front door handle November 24.
The upsurge in hate crimes after the election was even more marked than after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to USA Today.
Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery in Alabama told USA Today.
“Since the election, we’ve seen a big uptick in incidents of vandalism, threats, intimidation spurred by the rhetoric surrounding Mr. Trump’s election.”
Texas has had a hate crimes statute since 2001. Despite the fact the legislation has been in place for more than 15 years, few convictions are made under the statute.
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