By Carla Feinkind (HAIR ON FIRE IS BACK!)

 Data collected by the FBI, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and various universities have documented that until Trump’s 2015 election campaign, reported hate crimes had never risen above 1500 a year. But by 2018, reported hate crimes climbed to 2000!  Indications are that in 2019 numbers will be higher again.

What were those hate crimes?  

·        Bullying in person or online for religious, racial or sexual identity  

·        Acts of vandalism:  to personal property, to cemeteries, to Houses of worship  

·        Acts of violence: Driving into marches, attacking and beating people in religious garb, beating people of other races, burning black churches, shooting up black churches, mosques, synagogues, and other houses of worship

From 2016-2017 Hate crimes rose by 17%. In 2017 the DOJ documented 7175 hate crimes: 

Of those, 2013 were hate crimes against Blacks, 102 crimes against Arabs, 427 crimes against Hispanics, 938 Anti-Jewish acts, 273 Anti-Muslim acts.  1130 hate crimes were recorded against homosexuals.  These are the largest categories of all recorded incidents. NOT ALL incidents are recorded.  

WHY is this happening?

Factually, the rise coincides with Trump’s campaign and administration. Counties that hosted Trump rallies in 2016 saw hate crimes rise by 226%!!  President Trump saw “very good people on both sides” of the KKK/ Nazi rally in Charlottesville that killed Heather Heyer who was protesting the hate rally.  Trump has welcomed the support of White Nationalist leaders like David Duke.  Even the shooter in New Zealand referred to Trump as a “renewed symbol of white identity” before he shot up a mosque.

Trump uses hate to gather and solidify his base (basket). Like Hitler, Trump uses and manipulates hate for political gain.  “BE AFRAID–THEY ARE INVADING US”, and Trump’s supporters screamed, “THEY WILL NOT REPLACE US.”                        

But, why is the GOP so silent?  

Southern voters had been FDR New Deal Dems.  But, by the 1960’s the Democrats were the party of civil rights and those rights kept growing!  So, in 1981, Lee Atwater, Reagan’s campaign director, developed his Southern Strategy to attract the southern whites.  He knew you could not say the N word, so his strategy was to dog whistle hate. Remember Reagan’s “Welfare Queens”, “Takers” and Busing?  Since then, the GOP has been dog whistling hate.  Some presidents have whistled with greater gusto, but none more so than Trump.

Trump rode that escalator ranting about really bad Mexicans rapists and drug dealers, and he has ramped up the hate each time he needed to distract from some unpleasantness like the Mueller probe.

Why does it matter?

 HATE LINGERS!  HATE METASTISIZES!  The numbers show that what started with Mexicans and Muslims flowed onto Jews and Homosexuals, etc.

We just honored the memory of the 6 million Jews that the Nazis slaughtered and the millions who were merely starved, tortured and enslaved…Many survivors were the sole survivors of their families.  

REMEMBER the Holocaust did NOT begin with concentration camps and gas chambers.  The Holocaust began with endlessly spewed and manipulated HATE.  NOT every German was a Nazi hater/killer. BUT, too many looked away.  Too many went along to get along.  The few who stood against hate were isolated and eventually sent to the camps with those they tried to defend. 

What can we do? 

We must BUILD a BLUE WAVE to wash out Trump’s hate AND the complicit GOP that has watched and benefited from the hate.  WE MUST also DENOUNCE ALL the haters and their hate. 

The Skokie Holocaust Center teaches, “Don ‘t be a By Stander! Be an Up Stander!”  Stand Up to hate against everyone.  It is NOT just about dead Jews 70 years ago!  WE ARE FACING VERY DANGEROUS HATE NOW!  History teaches us that later is often too late!   IF NOT NOW, WHEN?