Trump attacks anti-minority sentiment his campaign rhetoric had encouraged

Trump attacks anti-minority sentiment his campaign rhetoric had encouraged
Donald Trump has asked all those contributing to a rise in hate crimes against minority groups to 'stop it', despite spewing dangerous rhetoric throughout the presidential campaign.
3 min read
15 Nov, 2016
Hate crimes increased after Trump's victory in the United States [AFP]

After several months of stoking hate against minority groups, US president-elect, Donald Trump said those of his supporters that have harassed America's ethnic minority, including Muslims, should "stop it".

In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes Trump said he is "so saddened" to hear of a wave of hate crimes against Muslims, Hispanics, Black Americans, and the LGBT community - all of which were targeted by the President-elect during his campaign for presidency.

"Do you want to say anything to those people?" he was asked.

 "I say, stop it. If it - if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it," Trump responded on Sunday, affirming his plans to "bring this country together".

The soon-to-be-president's victory shocked much of the world on November 8, largely due to the discriminatory and racist rhetoric used during much of the campaign.   

Despite this, he suggested those who fear him do so out of ignorance and accused some of those demonstrating against his victory on the streets of the United States of being "professional protesters".

"They don't know me," he said, as he requested for "a little time".

"Certainly, don't be afraid. You know, we just had an election and sort of like you have to be given a little time. I mean, people are protesting," he pointed out.

"If Hillary had won and if my people went out and protested, everybody would say, 'Oh, that's a terrible thing'. And it would have been a much different attitude. There is a different attitude. You know, there is a double standard here," Trump said.

The comments come as newly published FBI figures showed that reported anti-Muslim hate crimes rose by 67 percent in 2015, the highest since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he was not surprised to see the large increase in 2015 and said he expects the trend to continue.

"We saw a spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide beginning toward the end of 2015. That spike has continued until today and even accelerated after the election of President-elect Trump," Hooper said.

Two students at a vocational school in York County, Pennsylvania, held a Donald Trump sign in a hallway as someone shouted "white power," an incident captured on video and widely shared on Facebook.

In Silver Spring, Maryland, a banner advertising a Spanish-language service at an Episcopal church was slashed and the words "Trump nation. Whites only" were written on the back.

Authorities on two California State University campuses, in San Diego and San Jose, were investigating reports that two women wearing headscarves were attacked.

"We've seen how words from public figures like Donald Trump translate into violence," said Mark Potok with the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which tracks hate groups in the US.