It is now two weeks after the election, and the paint of hate written along walls of public areas, schools, homes, and business fronts are being washed away with pressure washers and mops.
Bathroom graffiti, vandalizing of mosques, Nazi slogans and symbols drawn, rainbow flags burned, acts of assault, cafeteria chants conducted, black dolls with nooses, involuntary racist social media account adds. These are some of the images of the recent wave of hate crimes occurring throughout the United States since the election. Real time posting of these events through social media has captivated the country and has created more divisiveness.
Despite the recent news, the pot of hatred has been boiling for quite some time. Since September, experts identified a spike in hate crimes. Through the hate crime statistics report provided by the FBI and reported on November 14th, it shows that anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States occurred 154 times in 2014 and rose to 257 occurrences in 2015. Throughout the 25 years of reporting these numbers, that was the highest number ever. Per the Council on American-Islamic Relations, preliminary data shows that 2016 is on track to finish just behind last year’s numbers.
The US has taken major political steps in recent years to ensure the freedom and liberty of the highly targeted LGBTQ community, African-Americans, Muslim and other minorities; however, we are still experiencing a backlash of xenophobic and racist culture that is ingrained within our communities. Whether or not it has been exacerbated by the political rhetoric over the past year, this violent behavior has been on the rise in recent years and needs both education and security to address it.
It is vital for businesses, schools and communities to set up security protocols and take precautions to minimize the potential to be targeted by hate crimes. Educational institutions serve as a setting for a high percentage of these crimes. While serving as the setting for a large percentage of hate crimes, schools and universities also have an opportunity to prevent further occurrences through ongoing education and institutional policy. Many have acted to create comprehensive anti-hate policies that involve every facet of the community: students, parents, teachers, staff, administrators, and other partners.
At Integrated Security, we are committed to assuring our partners’ safety by identifying risks motivated by hate, terrorism, or any other factor. Above all, the challenge that we and all communities must face is how these crimes can be prevented from ever occurring in the first place. This is a highly fractious time for our country, but it is imperative to work together, accept our differences, legitimately strategize, and adopt regulation that can help build our morals, bury hatred, and ultimately protect our society.