This Week in Hate: Hate at Starbucks, high school, and online

Hate incidents directed at Muslims in June were at an all time high for 2019. SAALT tracked 13 reported incidents of hate directed at Muslims and Muslim communities in the U.S. in June. Of the 13 incidents, 2 were physical assaults, 9 included a verbal/written assault, and 4 were incidents of vandalism or property damage.

Acts of hate violence occurred across the country and were diverse in nature — showing no clear pattern other than a steady rise in incidents since January.

A Muslim woman with her 3-year old child and 8-month old baby was verbally and physically assulated at a Starbucks in Dallas when she accidentially bumped into a woman in line. Messages saying “Sand [n-word] Die,” and “Arab Terror” were found next to a mosque in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A man in Fremont, CA threw rocks at a man wearing a Muslim cap, brandishing a stick in a threatening manner, and saying “you are not allowed to be here,” according to the Fremont Police Department.

This level of amplified hate is a direct consequence of divisive rhetoric from political and community leaders and the discriminatory policies advanced by government institutions against our communities.

Increasingly, we are seeing hate speech documented in social media from law enforcement. Watchdog group The Plain View Project published data on offensive Facebook posts that promote violence, hatred and bigotry made by police officers across the country. Police Departments in Dallas, St Louis, Philadelphia and Florida are investigating the allegations. Propublica released an investigation in early July revealing CBP officers making racist jokes about migrant deaths.

We documented at least two incidents of xenophobic political rhetoric made by elected officials in June.

SAALT has documented 501 reported incidents of hate and 253 incidents of xenophobic political rhetoric since November 2015. The cycle of vitriolic xenophobic, anti-black, and Islamophobic political rhetoric has fueled violence against our community members. Arab, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, South Asian, Sikh, and Middle Eastern communities continue to be targets of horrific incidents due to race and perceived religious identity.

Despite the continued attacks against our communities, we were encouraged this month by the introduction of the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer NO HATE Act, named after two victims of white supremacy killed exactly one year apart, who were not counted in official FBI hate crime statistics. This legislation is a positive first step in ensuring more accurate hate crimes data collection and providing support for hate crime victims and their families.

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