Words matter. It’s a fact that has been highlighted in this election and its aftermath, as the Latino community, immigrants, and other minority groups have been the target of divisive and hateful rhetoric that has not ceased after polls closed on Nov. 8.
That’s why we joined the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and other organizations this week to call for President-elect Donald Trump to protect and defend all Americans and condemn the violence and hate.
“President-elect Trump needs to reassure—or at the very least address—the fears of the communities of which he will now be president,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía in a press conference that unveiled two important reports published by the SPLC. The reports document the concerning pattern of hate incidents and bullying cases that have occurred across the country in the days after the election.
In Ten Days After, the SPLC documents 867 bias-related incidents in the 10 days following the presidential election, including an incident in which the words “Trump Nation” and “Whites Only” were painted on a church with a large immigrant congregation. In The Trump Effect, the SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance project presents the results of an online survey of more than 10,000 educators, which found that 90% reported that their school’s climate has been negatively affected after the election, and 80% saw heightened anxiety and concern among minority students who were worried about the impact it would have on their families.
These vital reports mirror what we have gathered from conversations with members of our Affiliate Network, who represent more than 260 community-based organizations that provide services to communities across the country. We are working with them to provide support, including mental health services and teacher training, to address bullying in schools. But in the wider context, it falls on President-elect Trump to provide leadership that puts a stop to these incidents—particularly those that have been carried out in his name.
“President-elect Trump, we need you to protect and defend all Americans and condemn the violence and hate being committed in your name,” Murguía said.
“Mr. Trump needs to take responsibility and repair the damage that he’s caused,” said SPLC President Richard Cohen, adding that the president-elect must apologize to the communities his rhetoric has endangered and assure them that they will be kept safe.
“His words must be followed by concrete actions in his policies and appointments that repair the wounds of division,” Cohen said.
Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, underscored the importance for President-elect Trump to uphold his promise to be a president for all Americans. “It’s time for our president-elect to use his voice to unequivocally and effectively denounce these acts that are done in his name,” she said.
Have you been a victim or witnessed an incident of hateful intimidation or harassment? Please report it here.
¿Ha sido víctima o presenciado un incidente de odio, intimidación u hostigamiento? Por favor repórtelo aquí.
President-elect Trump’s promise to be a president for all Americans resonates strongly with advocacy groups that have been receiving reports of discrimination during the election cycle. Brenda Abdelall, Charities Program Director at Muslim Advocates, noted her organization recorded nearly 175 hate crimes against American Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim, in the days leading up to the election.
The civil rights leaders pledged to continue fighting for their communities, but also stressed they are reaching out to the president-elect and will work with the new administration on points of common ground.
“We’re asking President-elect Trump to reach out and meet with marginalized communities,” Murguía said.
“You pledged to be a president for all of us, and we want to help you do that,” she added.