An image of a Texan man wearing a cowboy hat and holding a “You belong” sign outside an Islamic community Center in Irving, Texas, is a sign that not all is lost after Donald Trump’s election victory.
The photograph, first posted online by Redditor Kolmias, shows the bearded man holding a placard proclaiming, “You belong. Stay strong. Be blessed. We are one America.”
Man outside of a mosque in Texas this morning pic.twitter.com/bsbfW1PkA9— Charles Finch (@CharlesFinch) November 26, 2016
The man is apparently standing outside the mosque which became a site for armed, Islamophobic protests last year. The demonstrators openly carried guns and rifles, held the American flags and banners that read “Solution to Islamic terrorism.”
The image, retweeted by author and journalist, Chrales Finch, has garnered more than 140,000 likes and over 54,000 retweets at the time of writing this.
.@CharlesFinch This man is the Real America.— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) November 27, 2016
It is not known who the man is or what prompted him to share this message of love, but it came at a time when hate crimes in America have witnessed a dramatic rise of about 6 percent from 2015 and 67 percent from 2014, according to the FBI.
After Trump’s election, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit organization that records hate crimes across the country, has tracked over 700 reports of anti-minorities and anti-women harassment.
Just this week, three mosques in California were threatened with letters addressed to the “Children of Satan” (apparently referring to Muslims) and calling them “a vile and filthy people” and ordering them to “pack your bags and get out of dodge.”