Since his campaign launch a year ago, it is undeniable that Donald Trump has encouraged his supporters to physically and verbally lash out against Latinos, immigrants, African-Americans, Muslim-Americans, and other minority groups.
A series of new pieces highlight some of these disturbing attacks from all over America, with Trump-inspired instances of hate documented in hospital waiting rooms, across social media, and even playgrounds and kindergarten classrooms.
Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported the assault of a Black family at a hospital in North Carolina. The aggressor, a hospital volunteer, invoked Donald Trump’s name after physically throwing the family out of the waiting room and calling them the “n-word”:
“You’re getting out,” the volunteer, Donna Bridger, screamed as she lashed out at the family, pushing him and his children out the door of the waiting area and calling them racial slurs. “Shut your mouth up,” she yelled repeatedly, according to a video Baskins recorded during the incident.
The video went viral, and authorities have charged the former volunteer with simple assault. But Justin Bamberg, the lawyer representing the Baskins family, told ThinkProgress that the video leaves out an important detail: The volunteer referenced Donald Trump before Baskins started recording the attack.
“When she’s flipping out on them, she says ‘Get your black kids out of here. Do you even have a job? Do you know what a job is, n-word? This is what Donald Trump’s talking about, people like you.”
“There is no justification that I can think of for her saying these things — telling him to get his black children out of there, calling him the n-word, and mentioning Donald Trump in the same breath,” Bamberg added.
A second ThinkProgress piece describes the ordeal of a prominent New York Times editor who quit Twitter following anti-Semitic attacks from Trump supporters.
Last month, a Jewish reporter filed a police report “after she received messages that superimposed her face over someone in a Nazi concentration camp and others that threatened to take her life”.
The dramatic spike in online abuse has even caught the attention of the Southern Poverty Law Center, with the group saying that “there is no question that online hate on Twitter has exploded over the last few months”:
Times’ Washington bureau editor Jonathan Weisman received a barrage of anti-Semitic messages last month after he retweeted an article criticizing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Within minutes, right-wing users “outed” Weisman as Jewish using “echoes” — three sets of parentheses used to mark individuals who are presumed to be Jewish — and berated him with anti-Jewish slurs and threats. Weisman responded by retweeting the messages and detailing his ordeal in a lengthy op-ed.
Eventually, Weisman finally had enough and announced Wednesday that he would leave Twitter and switch to Facebook because the microblogging company failed to step in.
However, Weisman’s ordeal did bear some fruit — at least in the short term. He told ThinkProgress Wednesday that Twitter alerted him that they suspended at least 10 accounts, including two Weisman linked to as evidence of anti-Semitic harassment, after he threatened to leave the platform.
Weisman’s experiences are part of a rising tide of anti-Semitism online, where a growing number of Jewish journalists are receiving hateful messages via Twitter, Facebook, and email.
The increase in harassment has pushed some in the media to take legal action: Jewish reporter Julia Ioffe filed a police report in May after she received messages that superimposed her face over someone in a Nazi concentration camp and others that threatened to take her life.
Perhaps most disturbing are the reports of harassment on school campuses and classrooms. In a report from The Guardian, children as young as four and five are being subjected to Trump-inspired xenophobia:
A North Carolina high school teacher reported having Latino students who carry birth certificates and social security cards to school because they fear deportation. A Tennessee kindergarten teacher said a Latino pupil, told by classmates he will be deported and trapped behind a wall, asks every day: “Is the wall here yet?”
Incidents in the classroom and on sports fields have made headlines in recent months.
A mother in Fairfax, in northern Virginia, posted on Facebook that two of her son’s third-grade classmates pointed him out because of his dark skin as one of the immigrants to be sent home under President Trump.
A friendly soccer game between Beloit Memorial and Elkhorn high schools in Wisconsin in April turned ugly when some girls yelled “Donald Trump, build that wall” at players of color on the field.
Students from Andrean high school in Indiana brandished Trump signs and chanted “build that wall”, “no comprende” and “speak English” at the largely Latino students of Bishop Noll Institute during a basketball game in February.
At a basketball game in Iowa, students from Dallas Center-Grimes chanted “Trump, Trump, Trump” at Perry high school, which is nearly half Latino.
In Texas, Buzzfeed reports on a high school valedictorian who graduated with a 4.5 GPA was chased off Twitter by Trump supporters after she revealed her undocumented status. One Trumpian even tweeted a screenshot “of what appeared to be a tip to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement” at her:
Mayte Lara Ibarra’s tweet, which she posted on Friday, was retweeted by more than 9,400 people and received nearly 20,000 likes before the account was deleted. While she received some positive responses, many threatened to have her deported and called the David Crockett High School grad a criminal.
Another used an illustration of Donald Trump with the message “You have to go back.”
In another ThinkProgress piece, members from a “Students For Trump” group at Portland State University have used social media to target their fellow students with messages of racism, transphobia, and even death threats:
When Portland State University student Alyssa Pagan woke up on Friday, April 8, she found that she had 500 updates on her phone. Ranging from death threats to racist, transphobic harassment, the messages she received through social media came directly from the “alt-right,” a marginal overlapping sector of men’s rights activism, libertarianism, and white nationalism.
The previous day, Pagan had helped organize a successful demonstration against a meeting of a campus group called Portland State Students for Trump. Led by self-proclaimed “moderate fascist,” Volodymyr Kolychev, members of Students for Trump had found a useful umbrella in the candidate’s politics to spread a range of neo-reactionary and alt-right ideas, as well as obvious racism, on the Portland campus.
Pagan and over 100 other protesters engaged in open debate with the 12 Trump supporters at the PSU student union that day. But the disruption also brought the wrath of the alt-right down on Pagan and her fellow student activists.
On social media, Trump supporters generated pseudonymous profiles, or “sock puppet” accounts, to anonymously spread transphobic and openly racist messages against Pagan and others. Various Twitter handles heaped racist, transphobic, and anti-Semitic abuse on the demonstrators — and in some cases, even threatened them with rape and death. Members of Students for Trump also participated in and encouraged the harassment and doxxing of the activists. On sites like 4Chan and 8Chan, Trump supporters publicly exposed their places of residence and business, deepening the harassment and threats of physical assault.
Since his campaign launch a year ago this month, America’s Voice has documented instances like these on a “Trump Hate Map.” Sadly, these kinds of hateful acts have reached at least two dozen states across the nation.
And with Trump refusing to back off his recent attacks on a federal judge of Hispanic descent — and Republican leaders refusing to disavow and disown his candidacy — we fear they may not be stopping any time soon.