Since the launch of his Presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s violent rhetoric has become an inspiration for unapologetic racists. We launched the “Trump Hate Map” as a result of this disturbing trend of physical and verbal violence, with one of the first entries that of the brutal assault of a homeless Latino man at the hands of two Trump supporters in Boston in August 2015.
Tragically, the “Trump Hate Map” has become a resource we’ve had to update with disturbing frequency over the 16-month course of Donald Trump’s dangerous Presidential run, with news of recent attacks on a Muslim-American child, a Muslim-American woman and her baby, and an African-American woman coming to light.
According to Buzzfeed, seven-year-old Abdul Usmani, a North Carolina student on his way to elementary school, was assaulted by five of his fellow students on a schoolbus “while they made reference to Muslims and the boy’s Pakistani heritage”:
Abdul Usmani’s father, Dr. Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani, told BuzzFeed News that his wife and three sons have left the US for Pakistan after this latest incident in a long history of discrimination towards his children and family.
“These are six and seven year old kids calling him names, with one kid punching him in the face, while two other kids attacked him, kicked him, and held his arms back,” Usmani said of his son.
He described his son “as American as you can get.”
“They keep beating him all the way from school to home on the bus,” Usmani said of the ride home from Weatherstone Elementary School in Cary, North Carolina, last Friday. Abdul, his father said, is traumatized by the attack and has a sprained arm.
Lisa Luten, a spokesperson for the Wake County Public School System, told BuzzFeed News that the principal of the school immediately began investigating the alleged incident after the family told them about it.
Abdul’s father attributes the harassment he and his family have endured directly to Donald Trump’s rhetoric and dark vision for America. “Times are changing and it’s not the America we always thought of and believed in. It’s not the America that I studied in,” he told Buzzfeed. “If Trump wins, America will be great again, but a great that nobody will care about.”
Sadly, Abdul’s story is not unique. An April report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on our Nation’s Schools,” noted not only more fear and anxiety from immigrant and minority students, but also an increase of “more openly racist and vicious bullying” of immigrant and minority students since the start of the 2016 Presidential election:
Overall, more than two-thirds of the teachers who took the survey reported that their students — mainly Muslims, immigrants and children of immigrants — were worried about what could happen to them and their families after the November election.
And more than one-third of the teachers said they’ve noticed a rise in anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment among their students as well.
Imraan Siddiqi, Executive Director of the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, shared another recent incident involving a Muslim-American woman and her two-year-old daughter in Arlington, Texas.
According to the Facebook post, the victim’s sister says three people began pounding on the victim’s car windows while yelling expletives, terrorizing her and her child. When law enforcement finally arrived, next to nothing was done to reprimand her attackers. In fact, the victim was forced to share her insurance information with them, which included her home address:
Yesterday, my older sister and her 2 year old baby daughter were attacked in Arlington, TX.
As she stopped at a red light while driving back home, a woman (50-60 y/o) and her two sons (20-30 y/o) got out of their car and started hitting her windows, screaming, and verbally assaulting her. They even tried to open the passenger door, when they saw it was locked, they headed to the backseat, where my baby niece was sitting, and they tried to open her door too. They kept hitting her windows until the light turned green and my sister drove away.
They continued to follow her and drove dangerously around her, that’s when she called 911 and reported the incident. 911 instructed her to keep driving around until the officer was near enough for her to park and wait. After she was told to park, the two men and their mother, attacked my sister again. One of the men climbed the front ramp of her Jeep, the other climbed the back ramp, and they started jumping until the car shook out of control. They continued to verbally assault her. Some of the things they said were:
“You think you’re better than me? With your fancy ass car!”
“You’re a piece of shit!”
“I’m gonna follow you home, pretty girl.”
“I’m gonna show you, I’m gonna show you.”
“Trump’s rhetoric might sound harmless to some,” wrote the victim’s sister in her Facebook post, “but the racism and islamophobia his words spread are dangerously real.”
In a third incident, a Donald Trump supporter yelled a racist slur and threatened to physically assault an African-American woman outside a convenience store in upstate New York. The assailant, Todd Warnken, invoked Trump’s name during the attack, and was soon after arrested and charged with misdemeanor aggravated harassment:
Warnken, 55, was asked to leave the store after “being disruptive inside,” Albany police spokesman Steve Smith told the newspaper.
On his way out, Warnken allegedly harassed a black woman waiting for a taxi, calling her a racial slur and threatening her physically.
“Trump is going to win and if you don’t like it I’m going to beat your ass,” he yelled, according to Smith.
In recent days, Donald Trump has only tripled-down on his violent rhetoric, instructing his largely-white supporters to “watch other communities” — that’s code for “minorities” — on Election Day because “we don’t want this election stolen from us.”
Make no mistake: this kind of talk is fundamentally dangerous. Yet instead of standing up to Trump’s incitement, elected leaders from the Republican Party — including House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Richard Burr and others — condone it by falling in line and refusing to withdraw their support for Trump’s candidacy.
Each and every observer of contemporary American politics should be under no illusions about the forces Trump is helping to unleash and mainstream, with no sign of it slowing down before Election Day. Just see our Hate Map for a reminder.