Countless politically-motivated hate crimes have been carried out since Donald Trump was elected president.
It seems that many people believe that Trump winning the election gives them a free pass to harass and attack minorities and immigrants. One of those incidents includes the random beating of a Hispanic man in the name of Trump, which occurred in Gainesville, Fla.
Caleb J. Illig was charged with simple battery after he struck a Hispanic man in the back of the head and shouted, “This is for Trump!" The Gainesville Sun reports.
The victim was cleaning a parking lot outside of the Gate Food Post convenience store where he works. Illig allegedly approached the man from behind and punched him in the back of the head as he proceeded to yell, “Let’s Trump down.”
When the man of Hispanic heritage asked why Illig struck him, he replied, “This is for Donald Trump,” and continued to punch him several more times.
Illig’s victim did not fight back, but instead tried protecting himself from the blows until another employee who witnessed the attack intervened.
In the same town, a University of Florida fraternity house was spray-painted with swastikas and other hateful rhetoric following the election.
“The University of Florida is an institution where one can express one’s views with no fear of disdain or hostility, and these acts of vandalism should be denounced,” the fraternity said in a Facebook post. “As a diverse community of men with various political and religious backgrounds, the members of Delta Tau Delta advocate for the freedom of speech and political expression.”
According to local authorities, these are just two of three serious incidents related to the election that occurred in Gainesville. The other situation reportedly involved harassing phone calls.
While it is terrifying to think that at any given moment you could become a victim of a random act of politically-charged violence simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Gainesville police have urged residents not to be afraid.
“It’s easy to say, but folks can’t just go around being scared to be a victim of a crime,” said Officer Ben Tobias. “If they think they’re being targeted, definitely contact us."
Authorities nationwide have expressed their commitment to protecting minorities and helping hate crime victims, however, that doesn’t dispel the fear that many Americans are feeling in their own hometowns.
As people are being hurt and threatened, it appears that there is no real safe space to turn to during these tense times.
Presumably, things will only worsen come Inauguration Day when Trump is officially sworn into office — and that is a horrifying reality for minorities and their allies.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @DistinMary