Attacks on women in Islamic head scarves, racist graffiti and stories about bullying of immigrant children indicated a backlash against U.S. minorities from Donald Trump supporters after his presidential win.
The reports of intimidation and violence came as people protested Trump's victory in cities across the country, citing concerns that the Republican's campaign rhetoric about women and racial and religious minorities could result in persecution of these groups once he takes office in January.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a leading Muslim civil rights group, said it was monitoring reports of several incidents targeting Muslims in the United States since Tuesday's election and called on Trump to denounce the attacks.
“It’s the inevitable result of the mainstreaming of Islamophobia we’ve seen in recent months with the presidential campaign,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said in a phone interview on Thursday. "Unfortunately, it really is up to Donald Trump to repudiate this kind of bigotry.”
Trump's campaign could not be reached immediately for comment.
During the campaign Trump called for a ban Muslims from entering the country for security reasons but the wealthy businessman, who won his White House bid with strong support from white voters, has made calls for unity since the election.
Hooper said the president-elect's supporters appeared to be getting a different message.
Many people took to social media to describe threats and insults they had received or witnessed against minorities. Spray-painted messages such as "Black Lives Don't Matter and Neither Does Your Votes" on a wall in North Carolina and a swastika and "Make America White Again" on a baseball dugout in New York went viral.
WOMEN IN HIJABS
A female student wearing a hijab near the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was hit on Wednesday with a metal object, had obscenities shouted at her and had her head scarf removed by two suspects, including one wearing a Trump hat, university police said on Thursday.
Another female student in a hijab at San Diego State University was assaulted and robbed on Wednesday, the university said. The assailants were reported to have made comments to the victim in support of Trump and hurled anti-Muslim insults at her, the school said in a statement, adding the case was being investigated as a hate crime.
Civil rights leaders said at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday they were hearing of an increase in bullying incidents against children from racial and religious minority groups.
“That is the reality of what Trump has created," said Christina Jimenez, executive director of United We Dream, an immigrant advocacy organization.
Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center civil rights advocacy group, said he had not seen such a rash of hate crimes in the United States since Barack Obama was elected president in 2008.
A similar wave also occurred when Great Britain voted in June to leave the European Union, Potok said.
"I don't really expect it to go on for four years," he said. "In the case of Brexit, it calmed down after a couple of weeks."
Trump supporters said they, too, were being targeted by ugly rhetoric and worse.
A Palm Bay, Florida, high school student carrying a Trump campaign sign was punched in the face by another student during gym class, local media reported.
Two signs congratulating Trump and thanking volunteers outside North Carolina's Republican Party headquarters in Raleigh were vandalized overnight, party leaders said on Twitter.
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