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Hate crimes up in Michigan since Trump’s election

7 December 2016 13:25

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The US state of Michigan has seen a dramatic increase in hate crimes ever since Republican Donald Trump hammered his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the November 8 election, according to a report.

At least 65 incidents of hate crimes have been reported in the state, according to Agustin Arbulu, the executive director of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission.

This is a significant rise given the fact that only about 5 to 10 such incidents, on average, are reported in an entire year based on the department’s data.

“That’s very concerning … people being scared,” said Rasha Demashkieh, co-chair of the commission. “It is incumbent upon us to protect the civil rights of the most vulnerable.”

At a public meeting in Detroit on Dec. 5, 2016, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission discussed the spike in bias crimes in Michigan post-election. (Photo by freep.com)

Arbulu said the incidents targeted minorities, adding 36 of them happened at primary, secondary and high schools as well as colleges and universities.

Some people of color “feel very vulnerable” after the election, he noted, encouraging victims to report any similar incident.

“They should reach out to us,” he said.

During the first 10 days after Trump’s election, almost 900 instances of hate crimes happened across the US, with Michigan reporting the highest number of all the midwestern states, the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) found.

During his first major appearance since the election last week, Trump condemned “bigotry and hatred in all its forms.”

The SPLC released a statement, saying, “We hope that he (Trump) is now ready to take responsibility for the damage his divisive campaign caused and to follow his words with actions proving he means what he says.”

During his campaign, Trump made several controversial remarks, including a call to ban all Muslims from coming to the US as well as stopping migrants by building a wall along the US-Mexico border.

In the latest hate crime in New York City on Monday, a female transit employee, Soha Salama, was pushed down the stairs at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

Soha Salama (file photo)

She was taken to hospital due to knee and ankle injuries.

Also on Saturday, Aml Elsokary, an off-duty police officer, suffered a hate crime in Brooklyn.

The hijab-wearing officer was out with her 16-year-old son when she was harassed by a man.

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