“Hate Crimes, Hoaxes, and Hyperbole” Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason.com, 18 November 2016

“While the public expression of nativist, racist, sexist, or anti-LGBT sentiments may have experienced a post-election upswing, incidents of actual altercations or attacks have still been very rare. (...) [This is]  simply an attempt to separate what is really happening in America right now from what is hyperbole, hysteria, or hoax”

Swastikas spray-painted on softball dugouts. Steve Bannon getting appointed to the White House. Lots of spooky stuff going down in America since Donald Trump was elected President. When I reported last Friday that there had been "no violent hate-crime wave" happening --emphasis on the word violent-- it was to dispel widespread rumors of a post-election surge in physical attacks on gay, transgender, and non-white Americans by emboldened and bigoted Trump supporters. Thankfully, this still holds true. While the public expression of nativist, racist, sexist, or anti-LGBT sentiments may have experienced a post-election upswing, incidents of actual altercations or attacks have still been very rare. Several of the most prominent early reports of Trump-inspired violence against people of color were later admitted to be fabrications or directly contradicted by police statements. Pointing this out seems to really anger people, who assume my intent is to discredit all such reports, or to deny that there's any bigotry among Trump supporters. Neither is true. Rather, I saw a lot of distortions being spread and a lot of people who were really scared. I heard from LGBT and Jewish and non-white friends of mine, in private communications and on social media, who honestly believed it was open season on them this week. This isn't helped by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which states that more than 400 hate crimes have been committed in America post-election. But the vast majority of the examples SPLC gives involve incidents like one elementary student telling another that he would be deported, or a white woman laughing at a black woman who overheard her saying racist things. I simply attempt to separate what is really happening in America from what is hyperbole, hysteria, or hoax. When it comes to physical aggression inspired by this election, we are looking at a little more than a dozen incidents reported, over a 10 day period, in a country of roughly 318.9 million people—none of which resulted in serious injuries.

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“Hate Crimes, Hoaxes, and Hyperbole” Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason.com, 18 November 2016

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