Over 860 hate in­ci­dents since US elec­tions Michelle will ‘never’ run for White House: Obama

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

WASH­ING­TON — Civil rights groups have called for pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump to force­fully and pub­licly de­nounce racism and big­otry, point­ing to more than 860 bias-re­lated in­ci­dents recorded in the 10 days fol­low­ing his Novem­ber 8 vic­tory.

After run­ning a di­vi­sive cam­paign, Trump promised — after win­ning — to be a pres­i­dent for all Amer­i­cans, said rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­tre, the Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence on Civil and Hu­man Rights, the Na­tional Coun­cil of La Raza and the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of Teach­ers.

Trump needs to fol­low through on that pledge and pub­licly de­nounce the bias- and hate-re­lated in­ci­dents that popped up around the coun­try, said Richard Co­hen, SPLC’s pres­i­dent.

“One of our great, great hopes at the South­ern Poverty Law Cen­tre is that Mr Trump might­ily dis­ap­points the white su­prem­a­cists, the white na­tion­al­ists who are cel­e­brat­ing his vic­tory now,” Co­hen said.

In an interview on 60 Min­utes, Trump — when told about some of the ha­rass­ment — said if it was his sup­port­ers for them to “stop it”. In an interview with The New York Times, Trump de­nounced the white su­prem­a­cist move­ment when asked. But he needs to do more, the groups said.

“A pres­i­dent-elect has to cre­ate a cli­mate that keeps all Amer­i­cans safe,” said Randi Wein­garten, pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of Teach­ers.

In the 10 days fol­low­ing the Novem­ber elec­tion, WASH­ING­TON — For anyone who might like to see Michelle Obama run for pres­i­dent as a Demo­crat, it’s time to rein in that early en­thu­si­asm. Or so says her hus­band, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

“Michelle will never run for of­fice,” the pres­i­dent said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine done the day after Don­ald Trump’s sur­prise win, and amid some so­cial me­dia swirl urg­ing the first lady to con­sider throw­ing her hat in the ring.

“She is as tal­ented a per­son as I know. You can see the in­cred­i­ble res­o­nance she has with the Amer­i­can peo­ple. But I joke that she’s too sen­si­ble to want to be in pol­i­tics,” Obama said.

Her con­fi­dence and style struck a strong chord on the cam­paign trail, where she sup­ported Hil­lary Clin­ton.

SPLC said it col­lected 867 hate-re­lated in­ci­dents on its web­site and through the me­dia from al­most ev­ery state, with Hawaii, Wy­oming, North Dakota and South Dakota the only ex­cep­tions. Their num­bers ex­clude re­ports of on­line ha­rass­ment. The group has not in­de­pen­dently ver­i­fied each claim, but said it has weeded out any re­ported hoaxes.

Anti-im­mi­grant hate in­ci­dents tar­get­ing Lati­nos, Asians and Africans made up the largest num­ber of claims, even though many Lati­nos and Asians in the The first lady slammed Trump’s at­ti­tude to­ward and treat­ment of women. Obama, who will be 53 when she leaves the White House, is the first black first lady in Amer­i­can his­tory. Her hus­band is 55.

A Har­vard-ed­u­cated lawyer, she will leave the White House on Jan­uary 20 en­joy­ing sky-high rat­ings — ap­proved by 79 per­cent of the Amer­i­can pub­lic, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Gallup sur­vey. That makes her more pop­u­lar than her hus­band, the first African Amer­i­can pres­i­dent of the US.

Asked about her am­bi­tions in the past, Michelle Obama has re­peat­edly said that she would not fol­low in the foot­steps of Hil­lary Clin­ton, who ran for the pres­i­dency her hus­band Bill held from 1993-2001. — AP

US are se­cond- or third-gen­er­a­tion Amer­i­can cit­i­zens. Those in­ci­dents were fol­lowed by anti-black and an­ti­Semitic in­ci­dents.

Schools and uni­ver­si­ties were the most com­mon places for in­ci­dents to hap­pen. Most of­ten the in­ci­dents were through graf­fiti and ver­bal ha­rass­ment, ac­cord­ing to SPLC’s in­for­ma­tion.

For ex­am­ple, SPLC said a Colorado mother re­ported that her 12-year-old African-Amer­i­can daugh­ter was ap­proached by a boy who said, “Now Trump is pres­i­dent, I’m go­ing to shoot you and all the blacks I can find.” A Wash­ing­ton state teacher re­ported that “Build a wall” was chanted in their lunch­room the day after the elec­tion.

A Louisiana woman said she was get­ting ready to cross the street when a truck with three white men pulled up and shouted vul­gar words at her. “One be­gan to chant ‘Trump’ as they drove away,” the black woman said. And a les­bian cou­ple in Austin, Texas, re­ported that “DYKE,” ‘’Trump” and a swastika were painted on their door.

In a sep­a­rate sur­vey, more than 10 000 teach­ers told SPLC they knew of more than 2 500 fights, threats and other in­ci­dents re­lated to elec­tion rhetoric, and re­ported an in­crease in slurs and deroga­tory lan­guage, swastikas, Con­fed­er­ate flags and Nazi salutes.

“This po­larised and di­vi­sive elec­tion has left its mark on all of us, but most trag­i­cally on our chil­dren,” said Janet Mur­guia, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Coun­cil of La Raza. “We have heard count­less sto­ries of ha­rass­ment, in­tim­i­da­tion and bul­ly­ing of Latino and other stu­dents in schools around this coun­try. This can­not stand.”

The num­ber of in­ci­dents has slowed in the days fol­low­ing the elec­tion, but anyone ex­pect­ing the hate to just van­ish is be­ing naive, Co­hen said. “It’s not just go­ing to go away,” he said.

In fact, the groups ex­pect more hate-re­lated in­ci­dents around In­au­gu­ra­tion Day, said Brenda Ab­de­lall, char­i­ties pro­gram direc­tor of Mus­lim Ad­vo­cates. “To bring us to­gether as a na­tion, [Trump] will need to dis­avow danger­ous pro­pos­als and ideas that sin­gle out and de­monise Mus­lims and other com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

Wade Hen­der­son, pres­i­dent of the Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence on Civil and Hu­man Rights, said it is clear that not all Trump sup­port­ers are racist. But Trump “needs to lead by ex­am­ple in both words and in deed”, Hen­der­son said. — AFP

Michelle Obama

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