President Donald J. Trump finally called racist violence “evil” yesterday – but only after he came under significant public pressure for refusing to condemn the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and neo-Nazis after the violence that occurred over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va.
Over the weekend, a makeshift bomb was thrown into a Minnesota mosque in what many activists are calling the latest hate crime against the Muslim American community. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D), along with other state officials, visited the Bloomington mosque and was quick to call the attack “a criminal act of terrorism,” but on the federal level, President Donald J. Trump remains mum.
By Bruce Gourley
Hate crimes in America against Muslims have risen to levels not seen since 9/11. President Donald J. Trump inflamed and rode Islamophobia to the White House, drawing the overwhelming support of a key anti-Islam voting constituency – right-wing evangelical Christians. Upon taking office, Trump signed an executive order travel ban targeting immigrants from seven Muslim nations, and all refugees. Many of his evangelical Christian supporters cheered, but their joy was short lived as courts quickly blocked the president’s unconstitutional action.
Americans United partnered with the Bridge Initiative yesterday to host a Facebook Live discussion, “Standing With Our Muslim Neighbors.”
Yesterday I attended a panel hosted by the Arab American Institute entitled “Combatting the Trend of Hate: A Discussion on Recent Hate Incidents.”
Represented on the panel were organizations that are working tirelessly to address the rise in hate incidents in the United States, including Muslim Advocates, Southern Poverty Law Center and the Sikh Coalition.
As an organizer with Americans United, I think a lot about how hate crimes and hate speech are deeply impactful for those who subscribe to minority religions in the United States.
On Friday, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. Department of Education will begin collecting data this year to track religiously motivated discrimination or bullying allegations from students.
“Students of all religions should feel safe, welcome and valued in our nation’s schools,” Catherine E. Lhamon, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, said in an announcement.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden visited relatives of the Orlando dead yesterday. While they paid their respects, however, some Christian fundamentalists chose to celebrate the massacre.