Since Election Day, which saw Mr. Donald J. Trump – who at times encouraged violence at his rallies and who executed a divisive and hateful campaign that maligned voters and his opponents – named the 45th President of the United States, nearly three dozen reports of hate crimes, violent acts and racist messaging inspired by the soon-to-be commander-in-chief were documented by the Philadelphia Commission of Human Relations, the department of government tasked with ensuring citizens’ civil rights are protected.
Ms. Rue Landau – the agency’s Executive Director who I interviewed Monday afternoon while guest hosting the drive-time show on black talk radio station 900am-WURD – told me that there’s been a “tremendous uptick” in Trump-inspired hate crimes, like the defacing of an abandoned South Philadelphia building with a swastika, which substituted as the “T” in the name of America’s president-elect, but also distinguished between the number of acts reported and how many actually occurred. In other words, several Philadelphians reported about the same incident.
An estimation of unique incidents since Election Day is more than seven but less than two dozen. The racist graffiti was reported numerous times, stated Ms. Landau, who noted that the average for that type of complaint is roughly five a year. The PCHR has communicated frequently with the Philadelphia Police Department.
On Monday night, Philadelphia Mayor Mr. Jim Kenney addressed the proliferation of violent acts, including a recent flash mob where an off-duty police officer was injured, with prepared remarks that a CBS3 news anchor described as “strong.”
Acknowledging that there are those who “feel emboldened by hateful rhetoric to act out in destructive ways,” Mayor Kenney said that he will stand up against hate crimes and that “calling someone by any type of slur, defacing a building, or participating in a flash mob, does nothing to help preserve the values of diversity and inclusion that make Philadelphia strong.”
The PCHR is seeking to partner with community organizations in an effort to both quell the hate and prevent the violent acts which ensue from it. Mr. Asa Khalif of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania, who was in the radio studio yesterday during the interview with Ms. Landau, has already pledged to work with the government agency in building coalitions across the city.
A presenter at Philadelphia Magazine’s ThinkFest on Tuesday morning, Mr. Khalif again expressed his interest in building coalitions across racial and cultural lines, but also offered up his grim reality: America has elected a bigot and the days ahead will be dark and difficult.
“Donald Trump poured gasoline on a fire that was already burning,” Mr. Khalif, who equated every Trump voter to a bigot, said.
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up? Get the best stories from The Good Men Project delivered straight to your inbox, here.
Photo Credit: Getty Images