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Increased hate circulating in the wake of 2016 election

Samantha Cupolo, Staff Writer

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“You don’t belong in this country.”  This is a common phrase reverberating throughout America following the recent win for Donald Trump. This election season has created an air of tension amongst the people of the country; the results have created a backlash.

During Mr. Trump’s campaign, he made comments that some considered islamophobic, xenophobic, and sexist. As massapequa high school junior Erin Russo stated “when Trump was elected it validated all of the hateful things he had stated”.

These words have been followed up by criminal acts against communities, neighborhoods, and individuals and the FBI reported that these incidents have “increased by nearly 7%, driven by a 67% surge in such offenses targeting Muslims.”  

This statistic, however, only takes into account the incidents that have been reported, and it is unclear how many go unreported. The FBI has determined that the majority of these “hate crimes [are] committed against Jewish people, African Americans, and LGBT individuals.”  This response to a certain event is sadly not new as similar occurrences followed the September 11th attacks.

One of these incidents was in Wellsville, New York, where a softball dugout in Island Park was found with graffiti. Pictures from Buffalo News show the back wall of the dugout inscribed with the words “Make America White Again” accompanied by a large swastika; the community of Wellsville quickly painted over the message.  

According to the Wellsville daily reporter the, the Wellsville Police Chief saw no need to take actions since the dugout was considered private property. Unfortunately, no one was held accountable for this horrendously offensive act.

A similar incident occurred at the New School in Manhattan. In some of the dorms, multiple swastikas were drawn on the doors of Jewish students and women of color. According to the New School Free Press “the President of the New School has condemned these actions and will be following up with an investigation into these hate fueled acts.”  No students have been caught or reprimanded yet.  

Some people believe that this isn’t their problem because it isn’t happening in their community, but there is hatred at home.

One one occasion, an Asian-American woman was walking in Stony Brook had “heil Hitler” yelled at her. At another point in East Northport, a Hispanic man walking on the sidewalk was yelled at from another man in a truck. This man shouted such derogatory terms as “wetback” and went on to tell him to get out of the country because “Trump is president now.”  These are just a few of the hundreds of comments reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group dedicated to battling social injustice.

A main focus of the group is where these negative feelings and acts stem from, and this answer can be found through extremist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

This can be seen in Patchogue, where the Long Island Press reported that, in late November, residents found fliers in a parking lot saying “Our race is Our nation” which was signed from the “Loyal White Knights of the Klu Klux Klan.” This group is considered an extremist reactionary group and is classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. Following the event of the racist fliers, the Suffolk County Police Department made a statement saying that “there was no action being taken as this was not seen as a criminal act”.

All of these incidents illuminate the darker side of what humans are capable of when they are driven by hate. History is repeating itself in some sense and it will continue to do so until someone takes a stand; but that someone has to be everyone, only a united force can combat hate. Love trumps hate.

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Massapequa High School's chief source of news.
Increased hate circulating in the wake of 2016 election