This Week in Hate: Sixteen Years after 9/11 and Hate Violence is on the Rise

Pre­pared by Rad­ha Modi

Sep­tem­ber 11, 2017 marked the 16 year anniver­sary of 9/11, and hate vio­lence against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Arab, Mid­dle East­ern, and Asian con­tin­ues to rise. While the cam­paign and elec­tion of Don­ald Trump is her­ald­ed as the impe­tus for the grow­ing hate speech and vio­lence nation­al­ly, Islam­o­pho­bia, anti-Black­ness, and anti-immi­grant sen­ti­ment had become nor­mal­ized and insti­tu­tion­al­ized in the U.S. over the last six­teen years: from pro­fil­ing by TSA to police bru­tal­i­ty to exces­sive delays in pro­cess­ing of immi­gra­tion appli­ca­tions. Trump as well as oth­ers would not have been able to advo­cate and sanc­tion white suprema­cy so deft­ly had it not been for the con­tin­ued embed­ding of these prin­ci­ples in the foun­da­tions of U.S. gov­er­nance.

The lat­est num­bers in hate show that in the ten months since the elec­tion, a total of 168 inci­dents of hate have occurred against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived to be Mus­lim or immi­grant. Fig­ure 1 illus­trates that the per­cent increase is up by 29% as com­pared to the year pri­or to the elec­tion which had a total of 130 inci­dents.

There is a per­sis­tent increase in all cat­e­gories of hate vio­lence as shown in Fig­ure 2. Ver­bal and writ­ten hate speech — at 68 unique inci­dents and prop­er­ty dam­age at 40 unique inci­dents  — have sur­passed the totals from the pri­or year. Acts of phys­i­cal vio­lence, now at 60 inci­dents, will soon exceed the total of 64 from last year. Recent exam­ples of these hate­ful acts occurred over the pre­vi­ous week. On Sep­tem­ber 4th in Ohio, a truck dri­ver fired a gun thir­teen times at a Mus­lim woman in her car. She was struck four times and is cur­rent­ly recov­er­ing at a local hos­pi­tal in Colum­bus, Ohio. CAIR is urg­ing police to inves­ti­gate this crime as a hate crime. Then on Sep­tem­ber 6, a Sikh Tem­ple in Hol­ly­wood, CA was van­dal­ized with hate speech. The words, “Nuke all Sikhs,” was scrawled on the walls of the tem­ple. Fur­ther, a Fil­ipino-Turk­ish man was beat­en by a white suprema­cist in a park­ing lot in Fuller­ton, CA on Sep­tem­ber 7th.

Fig­ure 3 demon­strates that the rise in the num­ber of hate inci­dents are region­al­ly rel­e­vant. The West Coast con­tin­ues to lead in hate inci­dents with a third of inci­dents occur­ring in that region of the U.S. The hate vio­lence occur­ring in the East­ern and Mid­west­ern regions make up about half of all inci­dents. South­ern regions of the U.S. have the low­est num­ber of inci­dents mak­ing up 16% of the total. The high­er pro­por­tion of doc­u­ment­ed hate crimes in cer­tain regions is due to a vari­ety of issues: 1) a high­er pro­por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion that is of col­or and immi­grant, 2) an ease and access to report­ing struc­tures, 3) the vis­i­bil­i­ty of the crime, and 4) the vis­i­bil­i­ty of the vic­tim.