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Hate attacks sweep US after Trump elected

African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Indians, even transgender people across the country have reported hate attacks since Wednesday’s verdict, from graffiti filled with vitriol scrawled on walls to verbal and physical abuse directed at them.

us presidential election Updated: Nov 12, 2016 16:06 IST
Donald Trump

Demonstrators protest the election of President elect Donald Trump in Denver, Colorado on November 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Jason Connolly(AFP)

It’s only been a little more than a day since Donald Trump was elected the next president of the United States, and already minorities have begun to face the backlash - or “whitelash”, as some have dubbed it.

African Americans, Latinos, Muslims, Indians, even transgender people across the country have reported hate attacks since Wednesday’s verdict, from graffiti filled with vitriol scrawled on walls to verbal and physical abuse directed at them.

Muslims, who were often the target of Trump’s anger during his campaign rallies - he called for a ban on their entry into the US - are now bearing the brunt of the spike in attacks since the election.

A woman wearing a hijab at San Diego State University told police that two men had pulled up next to her, mentioned Trump and Muslims, then robbed her of her belongings. Others reported their hijabs being pulled off or anti-Muslim abuse being hurled at them.

In social media and elsewhere, a sense of dread was palpable among the community.

“I don’t fear Trump as much as I fear the monster he’s awakened. It feels like he’s normalized discrimination, and I’m afraid it’s open season,” Aysha Choudhary, a Muslim American told The New York Times.

But it wasn’t just Muslims.

A transgender woman reported on Friday that her truck was set on fire in her driveway, and the word “Trump” had been spray-painted on its scorched back. A national hotline for transgender people in crisis reported it saw its normal call volume triple on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

An African American woman in Delaware reportedly heard a group of men discussing how they would not have to deal with members of the community any longer, and one of them walked up to her and used racist rhetoric and threats against her.

Senior New York Times journalist Fernanda Santos wrote of how unwelcome she felt in Arizona when she was told for the first time in her life to “speak English” while she was speaking to someone on the phone in Spanish.

Tweets by journalist Fernanda Santos. (Twitter)

On social media, many people described threats and insults against minorities they said were made by apparent Trump supporters.

An Indian in the US, Manik Rathee, on Twitter described verbal abuse hurled at him by a group of men.

Spray-painted messages such as “Black Lives Don’t Matter and Neither Does Your Votes” on a wall in North Carolina and a swastika and “Make America White Again” on a baseball dugout in New York went viral.

Civil rights leaders told a news conference in Washington on Thursday they were hearing of an increase in bullying incidents against children from racial and religious minority groups.

Rights groups monitoring the attacks said the number of hate crime incidents had seen a sharp jump ever since the presidential election verdict, and called on Trump to denounce them.