This Essay observationally assesses the connection between Donald Trump’s rise to control and the ongoing increment in detailed abhor violations. Many have anticipated that President Trump’s troublesome talk amid the presidential battle and his consequent race would encourage hate crimes, in this way adding to more despise violations. The media has named this the Trump Effect.
Proof will be given to help the Trump Effect theory. Utilizing time arrangement investigation that demonstrate that Donald Trump’s race in November of 2016 was related with a factually huge flood in hate crimes all over the United States. Further, demonstrating regions that voted in favor of President Trump by the broadest edges in the presidential race additionally encountered the biggest increments in announced hate crimes.
It was not simply Trump’s incendiary talk all through the political battle that caused detest wrongdoings to increment. Or maybe, that it was Trump’s resulting decision as President of the United States that approved this talk according to culprits and energized the loathe wrongdoing flood.
Donald Trump’s unorthodox presidential campaign was historically anomalous—at least in recent American history—in its use of inflammatory and divisive rhetoric.1 At the start of his campaign, he called Mexican immigrants “criminals and rapists” responsible for “bringing crime” and “drugs” to the United States.2 He called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States.3 He demanded that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, born in Indiana to Mexican immigrant parents, recuse himself from hearing a case involving Trump University.
1 For an excellent recounting of many of President Trump’s more controversial statements during his campaign for President, see German Lopez, Donald Trump’s Long History of Racism, from the 1970s to 2018, VOX (Jan. 11, 2018), https://www.vox.com/2016/7/25/12270880/donald-trump-racism-history. 2 Perhaps the most memorable paragraph from then-candidate Trump’s speech announcing his candidacy for President on June 16, 2015. Trump claimed that, “when Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people who have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bring drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” See Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Donald Trump’s False Comments Connecting Mexican Immigrants and Crime, WASH. POST (July 8, 2015), https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donaldtrumps-false-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime (quoting this paragraph in its entirety and fact-checking many of the more inflammatory statements in his speech); see also David Catanese, Donald Trump is a Candidate for President, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REP. (June 15, 2015, 1:50 PM), https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/run-2016/2015/06/16/donald-trump-is-acandidate-for-president (calling Mexican immigrants whole come unlawfully enter the United States “criminals and rapists”). 3 Patrick Healy & Michael Barbaro, Donald Trump Calls for Barring Muslims from Entering U.S., N.Y. TIMES (Dec. 7, 2015, 4:26 PM), https://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/12/07/donald-trump-calls-forbanning-muslims-from-entering-u-s/ (describing Trump’s recommendation “an unprecedented proposal by a leader American presidential candidate, and idea more typically associated with hate groups”).
because of the “conflict of interest” inherent in Judge Curiel’s “Mexican heritage.”4 Trump has been slow or reluctant to condemn white supremacists, including those that openly supported his candidacy.5 On multiple occasions, Trump retweeted anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim messages,6 and Trump continues to refer to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” in reference to contested claims of Senator Warren’s Native American lineage.7 Despite these controversial comments, the American people ultimately elected Donald Trump the forty-fifth President of the United States.8 Numerous commentators predicted that President Trump’s rhetoric during and after the campaign would embolden perpetrators of
4 Brent Kendall, Trump Says Judge’s Mexican Heritage Presents ‘Absolute Conflict,’ WALL ST. J. (June 3, 2016, 10:03 AM), https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-keeps-up-attacks-on-judge-gonzalocuriel-1464911442 (quoting Trump as saying “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest.”).
5 Melissa Chan, Donald Trump Refuses to Condemn KKK, Disavow David Duke Endorsement, TIME (Feb. 28, 2016, 12:23 PM), http://time.com/4240268/donald-trump-kkk-david-duke (describing how, despite previously publicly denouncing David Duke in 2000, he claimed he “didn’t know David Duke” and he did not “know anything about him” when asked for his reaction to receiving a public endorsement from the former Klansman). More recently, Trump made headlines in his failure to quickly condemn the murder of Heather Heyer at the hands of a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia. Michael D. Shear ; Maggie Haberman, Trump Defends Initial Remarks on Charlottesville; Again Blames ‘Both Sides,’ N.Y. TIMES (Aug. 15, 2017), https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/us/politics/trump-press-conferencecharlottesville.html.
6 Sarah Wildman ; Jen Kirby, Trump Retweeted Anti-Muslim Propaganda Videos From a British Hate Group, VOX (Nov. 30, 2017, 10:30 AM), https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/29/16714788/trump-retweetbritain-first-islamophobia (describing the President’s retweeting fake videos of Muslims allegedly engaged in acts of violence; also discussing how in early 2016, Trump retweeted and then deleted a message from an openly racist and anti-semitic user who expressed white supremacist views); Louis Jacobson, Donald Trump’s ‘Star of David’ Tweet: A Recap, POLITIFACT (July 5, 2016, 3:31 PM), http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/jul/05/donald-trumps-stardavid-tweet-recap (describing Trump’s retweeting of an image disparaging Hillary Clinton as the “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever,” along with the Star of David).
7 Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Trump Mocks Warren as ‘Pocahontas’ at Navajo Veterans’ Event, N.Y. TIMES (Nov. 27, 2017), https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/27/us/politics/trump-elizabeth-warrenpocahontas-navajo.html (detailing how President Trump referred to Senator Warren by this derogatory name both during his campaign for President, and after he assumed office, including at an event honoring Native American veterans).
8 Karen Tumulty, Philip Rucker, ; Anne Gearan, Donald Trump Wins the Presidency in Stunning Upset Over Clinton, WASH. POST (Nov. 9, 2016), https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/election-day-an-acrimonious-racereaches-its-end-point/2016/11/08/32b96c72-a557-11e6-ba59a7d93165c6d4_story.html.hate crimes.
9 Indeed, over the last two years, a number of hate crime victims have described being targeted by perpetrators who explicitly reference Trump during the attack. For example, in Boston, two men returning home after a Red Sox game came upon a homeless Mexican immigrant sleeping near a train station.10 They proceeded to beat the man with a metal pipe, urinated on him, and used racial slurs during the attack.11 When police apprehended the men shortly thereafter, one of them told the arresting officer “Donald Trump was right. All these illegals need to be deported.”12
In New York, a white businessman faced criminal charges after assaulting an airline worker in a hijab by telling her, “Trump is here now, he will get rid of all of you.”13 in Michigan, an undocumented immigrant reported that two men stapled a note with a racial slur to his stomach and told him that, “Trump doesn’t like you.”14 One analysis found that a quarter of recent hate crime perpetrators in states like Florida allegedly invoked Trump’s name.15
9 Mark Potok, The Trump Effect, SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER (Feb. 15, 2017), https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2017/trumpeffect (“The campaign language of the man who would become president sparks hate violence, bullying, before and after the election”).
10 Lorenzo Ferrigno, Donald Trump: Boston Beating is ‘Terrible,’ CNN (Aug 21, 2015, 1:04 PM), https://www.cnn.com/2015/08/20/politics/donald-trumpimmigration-boston-beating.
12 Kyle Scott Clauss, Southie Brothers Jailed for Trump Inspired Hate Crime in Dorchester, BOSTON MAG. (May 17, 2016), http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2016/05/17/southie-brothers-trump (also quoting then-candidate Trump as both condemning the attack, while also noting that his supporters are “very passionate” and that they “love this country. They want his country to be great again.”).
13 Lindsey Bever, Trump ‘Will Get Rid of All of You’: Man Allegedly Attacks Muslim Airline Employee, WASH. POST (Jan. 27, 2017), https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/01/27/trump-will-getrid-of-all-of-you-man-allegedly-attacks-muslim-airline-employee (describing the attack and further quoting the man as saying “You can ask Germany, Belgium, and France about these kid of people. You will see what happens.”).
14 Dan Barry & John Eligon, ‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How a President’s Name Became a Racial Jeer, N.Y. TIMES (Dec. 16, 2017), https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/trump-racial-jeers.html (relaying this story among other similar accounts).
15 Jessica Lipscomb, Hate-Fueled Attacks Rattle Florida After Trump’s Election, MIAMI NEW TIMES (June 20, 2017), http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/hate-crimes-on-the-rise-in-florida-underpresident-trump-9432845.
Trump’s rise to power and the recent rise in reported hate crimes. President Trump’s rise to the presidency was associated with one of the largest upticks in hate crimes in recorded American history—second only to the spike in hate crimes after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. While attributing causation is challenging given the preliminary nature of the data, two pieces of evidence suggest that President Trump’s heated rhetoric and subsequent election is likely to blame for this surge in hate crimes.
The number of hate crimes reported to the FBI in the United States has generally declined over the last ten years, roughly mirroring the national decline in crime.16 But there have been a couple of periods over the last ten years when hate crimes have spiked, despite the continued national decline in crime rates. For example, in 2001 the United States saw a hate crime rates increase by over 21%, during the same time when national crime rates increased by only 2%.17 Past
16 http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/content/nacjd/guides/ucr.html hereinafter FBI, UCR National crime rates are highly predictive of hate crime rates in the United States. That is, as national crime rates increase and decrease, hate crime rates generally follow suit. A simple Pearson product-moment correlation suggests there is a predictive relationship between the two variables. This test measures the linear relationship between two variables on a coefficient scale of -1 to +1. The closer a coefficient is to +1, the more significant the relationship between the two variables. See Frank Zimring and Stephen Rushin, Did Changes in Juvenile Sanctions Reduce Juvenile Crime Rates? A Natural Experiment, 11 OHIO ST. J. CRIM. L. 57, 67-68 (2013) (using this same methodology to examine the relationship between two trend lines). Specifically, the correlation coefficient between the two variables is
17 In 2000, law enforcement agencies reported 9,430 hate crimes to the FBI. In 2001, this number spiked to 11,451. Controlling for population, this means that the rate of hate crimes went from 3.4 hate crimes per 100,000 residents to 4.0
researchers have attributed this spike in national response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.18 Additionally, in 2015 and 2016, hate crime rates increased by around 13%, as the overall crime rate dipped by 2%.19 Thus, as a preliminary matter, it appears that the general timing of Donald Trump’s rise to power roughly correlated with an anomalous increase in the overall number of hate crimes and hate crime rates.20
` 18 See, e.g., Jeffrey Kaplan, Islamophobia in America?: September 11 and Islamophobia Hate Crime, 18 TERRORISM & POL. VIOLENCE 1 (2006) (examining the “sharp rise in hate crimes directed at Muslim or those perceived to be Muslim following the September 11 attacks on the United States); Ilir Disha, James C. Cavendish, & Ryan D. King, Historical Events and Spaces of Hate: Hate Crimes Against Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 America, 58 SOC. PROBS. 21 (2014) (investigating the variation in hate crime offending against Muslims I the months before and after September 11th).
19 In 2014, local law enforcement agencies reported 6,418 hate crimes, or 2.0 hate crimes per 100,000 residents. By 2016, that number had increased to 7,321, or 2.3 hate crimes per 100,000 residents. Meanwhile, overall crime rates (grouping together all seven index crime categories) during this time period went from 2,935.7 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2014 to 2,837 crimes per 100,000 residents in 2016. FBI, UCR, supra note 21.
20 Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States on June 16, 2015. Catanese, surpa note 1. He became the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party on May 3, 2016. Jonathan Martin & Patrick Healy, Donald Trump All But Clinches G.O.P. Race With Indiana Win; Ted Cruz Quits, N.Y. TIMES (May 3, 2016), https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/04/us/politics/indianarepublican-democratic.html. And Trump won the 2016 presidential election on November 8, 2016. Tumulty, Rucker, & Gearan, supra note 8
In conclusion this Essay uncovers compelling empirical support for the Trump Effect. It finds that President Trump’s election coincided with a statistically significant surge in hate crimes, even when controlling for alternative explanations. And counties that voted for President Trump by the widest margins experienced the largest increases in reported hate crimes.
Nevertheless, this should be just the beginning of an ongoing examination into the relationship between political rhetoric, electoral validation, and hate crimes. If the Validation Theory that was proposed in this Essay is correct, then the surge in hate crimes will continue throughout President Trump’s time in office.
Indeed, the early estimates suggest that the number of reported hate crimes has continued to creep upwards during President Trump’s first full year in office.21 As this debate continues, it is important to not to lose sight of the human consequences of acts of hate—even if such acts of hate do not lead to death or serious injury, or even constitute a criminal act. Acts of hate, particularly when perpetuated in support of a political leader, can have serious emotional and dignitary harms on their victims. Take, for instance, the pain experienced by students of color at Salem State University in Massachusetts when they discovered graffiti on campus that read, “Trump #1 Whites Only USA.”22 Or consider the dignitary harm done to the predominantly Black and Latino students on a high basketball team in Connecticut that faced chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and “He’s our president” from the largely white fans at a game at a nearby suburban high school.23 If nothing else, this study should be a sobering reminder that words matter, particularly when those words come from the President of the United States.
21 Christopher Mathias, Exclusive: New Report Offers Proof of Hate Crie Rise in the Trump Era, HUFFINGTON REPORT (Sep. 18, 2017), https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hate-crime-rise-2016-united-statestrump_us_59becac8e4b086432b07fed8 (“An analysis of official police hate crime data from 13 large cities, Levin said, shows 827 hate crimes so far this year, a nearly 20 percent rise in those cities compared to the same period in 2016.”).
22 Julie Manganis, Racist Graffiti Found at Salem State Field, SALEM NEWS (Sep. 29, 2017), http://www.salemnews.com/news/local_news/racist-graffitifound-at-salem-state-field/article_9da0e6b2-0628-5f60-873e-dae959d0d7ff.html.
23 Ken Byron ; Vanessa de la Torre, Canton School Officials Apologize for ‘Trump’ Chant Against Hartford Basketball Team, HARTFORD COURANT (March 2, 2017), http://www.courant.com/community/canton/hc-canton-basketballgame-trump-chant-0302-20170301-story.html.