Rising signs of hate in the US

Three alarming incidents in the past week in the US – the pipe bombs sent to a number of individuals and companies, two black people shot in a grocery store, and the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting – have raised concerns that hate crime is on the rise.

President Donald Trump has inevitably been included in discussions in reaction to these incidents. It is difficult to judge how much Trump may have encouraged this sort of hate violence, but how he responds may make a difference – and while he has played lip service to outrage and condemnation, his actions continue to be troubling.

This apparent rise in hate crimes, the tip of a large iceberg of online intolerance and hate, is happening on Trump’s watch.

NY Times editorial: The Hate Poisoning America

What is going on in this country? Can’t we be safe in our homes, in our schools, in our most sacred places? Once again, Americans are left to ask each other these sorts of questions, after a gunman burst into the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on the Jewish Sabbath and opened fire on families in the contemplation of their faith.

The attack came a day after a man was arrested in Florida for mailing pipe bombs to politicians and journalists across the country. In both cases, the suspects had nourished their animus online, on social media platforms where they could easily connect with people who shared their hatreds.

After the attack on Tree of Life, Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and dean of Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Times, “I’m afraid to say that we may be at the beginning of what has happened to Europe, the consistent anti-Semitic attacks.”

Alongside anti-Semitism, anti-black hatred appears to be rising. It has been expressed recently not only in incidents in which white Americans have harassed black Americans for gardening, coming home, swimming, working or campaigning for public office, but in deadly attacks like the one by a bigot who shot two black people at a Kentucky grocery last week, after he tried but failed to enter a black church.

At least some of the hate behind attacks like this is fomented online.

The suspect in the Pittsburgh killings, Robert Bowers, had found a home for his hate on Gab, a new social network that bills itself as a guardian of free speech, unlike somewhat less permissive platforms like Twitter. There his online biography read, “Jews are the children of Satan,” a statement of personal values that he evidently expected to earn him not opprobrium but followers.

Mr. Bowers’s hatred of American Jews was apparently motivated in part by the generosity and empathy many of them have shown for non-Jewish refugees of conflicts worldwide. In their humanity, he found cause to dehumanize them. “It’s the filthy EVIL jews Bringing the Filthy EVIL Muslims into the Country!!” he wrote online.

Gun laws come up again after mass shootings, but little ever seems to change. And guns are just tools of extreme merchants of hate, many of whom build their bravado online.

What can be done? Certainly, common-sense gun safety regulation might make attacks like the one on Tree of Life synagogue less deadly— universal background checks, red-flag laws that take guns away from the mentally unstable, bans on high-capacity weapons like the AR-15 rifle that the alleged killer wielded.

Measures like these would help contend with the hardware of hate. It is far harder to disable the software, the ideas that now spread so readily.

It is difficult to confront online hate. Some of it ferments in protected bubbles.

Leadership that is unequivocal about condemning intolerance and hate would help.

Good speech may not be enough in itself, but that doesn’t mean that American society couldn’t benefit from much more of it today, particularly from its leaders.

So it was reassuring to hear President Trump condemn the attack in Pittsburgh, as he did the pipe bombs. And it was disappointing to see him immediately head back out on the campaign trail, as he did on Saturday, to disparage his opponents and critics all over again.

Until next week’s mid-term elections it seems that hate and division as tools of politics will continue.

It isn’t simply a Trump issue, but as the leader and commander-in-chief of the country he must take some responsibility for the escalations and do more than speak out of both sides of his mouth.

But there are alternate views, like this opinion from Steve Hilton from Fox News who blames it on Barack Obama: Trump and his supporters are being blamed for a climate of rage and hate – but here’s the truth

Predictably, the establishment is blaming President Trump and his supporters for a climate of rage and hate.

But let’s be honest, a lot of Americans have had a lot to be angry about for an awful long time.

This anger we’re seeing, it didn’t start with Donald Trump. I think it goes back at least a decade.

In 2008 you saw the elite bail themselves out while working people paid the price for their recklessness and incompetence.

And you saw a new tone enter our politics.

Reagan, the Bushes, Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton perhaps a bit too much – they weren’t haters. You got the sense they loved everybody.

But then we saw something new. A cultural elitism came in. Condescension. Even contempt.

Remember when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama said on April 6, 2008, “They get bitter, and they cling to guns or religion.”

How about when his wife Michelle said this on February 18, 2008; “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.”

We saw hate and divisiveness — from the top. And remember, from the left, not the right. From the elitists, not the populists.

What he claims is debatable (very much so) but there is one truth that can’t be denied – the current levels of division and hate are happening on Trump’s watch.


  1. The Consultant

     /  30th October 2018

    Seems worthwhile to re-post the following from yesterday’s “Media Watch”. Interesting commentary from a guy who just drove coast to coast in the US, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-10-26/road-trip-america-takes-us-beyond-news-media-politics?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&cmpid=socialflow-facebook-business&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_content=business

    Now that I’m back in New York and my media diet is back to more or less normal, the sense of calm, remove and, yes, optimism that pervaded my long days of driving has begun to dissipate. Maybe this just means I’m returning to the real world after an escapist journey. But I also wonder if it’s an indication that my normal media diet — even though it’s mostly free of such known toxins as Facebook and cable TV news, and heavy on old books — is driving me a little nuts.

    What we’re seeing is the result of an MSM that’s throwing everything and the kitchen sink at trying to get Democrats elected to stop the evil TrumpAdolph. But if this was happening while Obama was President – and there were plenty of “hate” incidents if you cared to look at that eight years – they’d say it was because of all the racists and haters who can’t stand Obama.

    Remember. Hate is always the fault of the Right-Wing.


    • No, political hate and division is a symptom of a sick system in the US. Both sides of the political divide are to blame. But right now shit is happening on Trump’s watch. The current leader has a responsibility to be responsible, but seems more intent on trash to win.

      • The Consultant

         /  30th October 2018

        So at a rally yesterday in Tennessee, a GOP Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn called for a moment of silence to honor the victims of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

        I don’t think even a moment passed before someone yelled, “Marsha Blackburn is a white supremacist!”

        Still, I can see their point. Why should you be civil to sky-fairy fakers who call for prayers and refuse to increase gun control and who support the hateful rhetoric from the White House, amiiright?


    • Kitty Catkin

       /  30th October 2018

      Hitler’s name was ADOLF, not ADOLPH.

      I read about one black man who was abused and harassed for swimming in his own swimming pool when someone saw him.

  2. MaureenW

     /  30th October 2018

    Why try to link lunatics to political entities anyway? Reminds me of the 70’s when nutters were linked to pop groups and rock bands.

    • Gezza

       /  30th October 2018

      Charles Manson’s the one I always think of there, with his strange and brief connection to Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. Who else?

      • MaureenW

         /  30th October 2018

        Columbine killings were linked to Marilyn Manson. Richard Ramirez (night stalker) linked to ACDC, I recall there being a think about playing music backwards to reveal satanic lyrics as well.

        • Gezza

           /  30th October 2018

          Ah yes, the Beatles White Album Revolution 9 track was supposed to be one of those – in fact I think Charlie Manson claimed to hear satanic messages in that.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  30th October 2018

            I have heard that playing music backwards reveals nothing but odd sounds.

            We had the record of ‘They’re Coming to Take Me Away.’ and the B side is the A side played backwards. Nothing was discernible, it was gibberish.

  3. The Consultant

     /  30th October 2018

    …. is a symptom of a sick system in the US.
    Really? I don’t recall hearing that sentiment expressed much before November 8, 2016 – although I was informed that all the devils would be unleashed unless Hillary was elected President, so there’s that.

    BTW – for humour, here’s a clip from the series American Horror Story,


    When I first saw that I assumed it was some clever writers having a bit of satirical fun: a parody. But sadly, no. They and their episode were entirely serious. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde on Little Nell’s death, you’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

    • MaureenW

       /  30th October 2018

      Speaking of devils, the Pope has been mentioning them/it lately for sullying the RC church. I don’t know if there’s one devil or many – you don’t happen to know by any chance? Anyway, the devils must have finished their work at the Church and moved on to politics.

      • Gezza

         /  30th October 2018

        He’s taking a leaf out of the Muslim book, in my opinion. “How can you blame Mother Church for the actions of a rogue few who are not true believers. You must not criticise religion?”

        Bullshit. They should all be criticised and their nonsense debated until people stop believing in myths and superstition and contradictory rules and regulations that are supposed to be God’s divinely revealed demands that have led to so much misery, cruelty, intolerance, abuse of believers and non-believers, and general mayhem – because people only talk about the kind stuff in them, but some also follow the bad stuff, because Jaweh God or Allah – by whatever name you call him – said evil, & did evil, and sanctioned evil, but because he’s God, it must be good.

        • MaureenW

           /  30th October 2018

          Don’t need to convince me:) But seriously I am intrigued by the Pope referencing “the devil” like there’s a “one”. Maybe there’s a devil for each God? What do you think?

          • Gezza

             /  30th October 2018

            Quite likely, Maureen ! In fact you can be a bit of a devil yoursel,f I reckon, but – you know – ❤ – don't get me started … 😉

  4. Corky

     /  30th October 2018

    Of course let’s not forget thirty years of everyone telling ‘Whitey’ it’s his fault while everyone else gets a free pass. Forgotten in all of this is a continuing epidemic of black on white crime that started before Trump..and which the media fail to report like they do some white nutter who shoots a black man because the victim looked a little suspicious.

    The book ” Don’t Make The Black Kids Angry” says it all.

    • Gezza

       /  30th October 2018

      Fair point. I think this is true. Black celebrities or pastors who admit and speak out about Black on Black violence are criticised for it but even Martin Luther King, at the height of his campaign against discrimination in the segregated South, said that Black on Black violence had to be stopped, by Black people; this was not something that was up to White people.

      Nevertheless, I think the ramping up of hatred and intolerance is firmly associated with the rhetoric and dog whistling of Trump and many of his past and possibly still present closest allies.

  5. David

     /  30th October 2018

    The US is going through quite a cultural change with an extreme liberal coastal based elite finding themselves not in the ascendancy any more, the university educated hoi poli indoctrinated in identity politics have had their bubble pricked and its been done by a brash real estate developer from Queens and they dont like it. For the first time in their precious lives they are getting a look at how others view the world and it was a shock.
    Instead of the Dems and the media and the commentariat taking stock like they do in any other country after being voted out they have blamed Russia to deligitimize a result they dont like, they have screamed hysterically with no one telling them to calm down, in fact the opposite. A sleepy media have all of a sudden found themselves with a growing audience and the lead Trump haters have found themselves being feted so have doubled down and the rest have piled on.
    Trump doesnt help but I have never seen a politician anywhere attacked like he has been and he is a counter puncher, the Washington Post this morning is comparing him to Hitler this morning ffs. Where is the condemnation of Maxine Watters, Eric Holder, Hilary Clinton who have all called for incivility and violence in the last week, why hasnt anyone called out the extreme rhetoric from De Niro, Jim Carey, Chelsea Handler, Kathy Griffin, Madonna, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakan, Snoop Dogg..nothing because its permissible against Trump and his supporters.
    Aside from beating Hilary what has Trump actually “done” aside from words to cause such extremeness. 330 million people and one guy with a history of criminality and drug use has mailed out fake bombs so lets all change ? Shut down Twitter for a couple of weeks and that is probably all you would need to do.

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  30th October 2018

    Haters complaining about hate.

    • Blazer

       /  30th October 2018

      haters gotta hate..swivel headed loons…gotta…loon.

  7. The talk needs to be backed by walking back the divisive rhetoric of her boss.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  30th October 2018

      Trump says something, MSM hates him, Left complains he caused hatred.

      • Corky

         /  30th October 2018

        And Sarah has to explain everything and take the lumps from a hate filled press gallery of liberal prats.

      • Gezza

         /  30th October 2018

        Trump says something hateful, MSM reports it, Left complains he causes those who hate to now express & act on their hatred openly.

        Trump-besotted supporters make excuses because that’s just what they do.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  30th October 2018

          The Left don’t need any excuse to express and act on their hatred openly. They just need to ban or shout down any other opinion.

          • Gezza

             /  30th October 2018

            It’s possible I could be wrong Al but it would be very unusual. 😉
            Gotta go. Ma’s gone into theatre. I better get organised.

  8. Griff.

     /  30th October 2018

    In Florida there is a choice between a Harvard/Yale educated man named @RonDeSantisFL who has been a great Congressman and will be a great Governor – and a Dem who is a thief and who is Mayor of poorly run Tallahassee, said to be one of the most corrupt cities in the Country!
    4 hours ago · Twitter
    Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!

    Donald J. Trump
    ‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump
    7h7 hours ago

    ….of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony. Fake News Must End!
    15,043 replies 14,147 retweets 55,933 likes
    Donald J. Trump
    ‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump
    7h7 hours ago

    There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news. The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open & obvious hostility & report the news accurately & fairly. That will do much to put out the flame…

    This is from a guy who has endorsed infowars and gets most his “news” from the fox news network documented as the most often fake MSM news source in America .

    Trump is proven to lie frequently something that even our rabid trumpies admit.

    • MaureenW

       /  30th October 2018

      Fox News documented as the most fake news etc – do you have a valid source or is this more of your own fake news dribble?

    • David

       /  30th October 2018

      Gillum accepted goodies from an undercover FBI agent, there are some discrepencies that he wont answer on who paid for his family holiday and he has been caught on tape in his current role being quite ambiguous about the awarding of contracts.
      The Department of Homeland Security has identified MS13 gang members in the caravan.
      This is normal political discourse not hate speech or incitement to violence.

      • Griff.

         /  30th October 2018

        A caravan of phony claims from the Trump administration
        When i googled most hits were from infowars and breibart hardly reliable sources .
        The DHS guy is an ex Republican pr dude he offers no support and is a reliable as any else paid for PR.
        I dont doupt the caravan has some criminals and M13 members in it . Such is the nature of the societys it comes from
        It will not be the bigly scary numbers trump is projecting .
        Thats just playing to the fears of his base.

        Gillum accepted goodies from an undercover FBI agent, there are some discrepencies that he wont answer on who paid for his family holiday and he has been caught on tape in his current role being quite ambiguous about the awarding of contracts.
        Hardly a thief.
        Probably corrupt in excepting favors .
        But then again so is Trump… bigly in fact he is lining his own pockets using his resorts to sell favor and influence.

        • David

           /  30th October 2018

          So in all of that you agree there are gang members in the caravan and Gillum is dodgy. Thank you that is exactly what I said.

  9. The Consultant

     /  30th October 2018

    The current leader has a responsibility to be responsible, but seems more intent on trash to win….. walking back the divisive rhetoric of her boss.
    So it is all Trump’s fault?

    Of course.

    “Responsible”. Tricky word that. Unless you are making the argument that Trump’s rhetoric is responsible for the pipe-bomb guy and the Synagogue shooter, then what is he responsible for? Calming down his political enemies – by doing what they want?

    I thought I’d seen it all in cartoons, posters, and online langauge during the Bush era, but I have never seen Democrat politicians and their activists as unhinged as in the last two years. And I don’t recall seeing any anguished op eds from the NYT during the Bush era about The Hate Poisoning America. But I suppose that when you’re faced with the fundamental evil that is the tax-cutting, planet-destroying GOP it’s all justified.

    Are Democrat leaders going to stop trashing Trump and his “Deplorable” supporters to win? Trump should just sit down, shutup and get called everything under the sun anyway and respond with policy talk? Like Bloodthirsty Warmonger McCain did. Like “Binders Full of Women” Romney did. For that matter like BushChimpHitler did! Would you like me to haul out some of the stuff, written and cartooned about the woman who first trod this populist path in the USA, Sarah Palin? Some of the worst attacks came from Leftist women.

    Which just brings the argument back to that of all Democrats all the time: that it’s Trump and his rhetoric that is the problem. It’s a greasy, disengenuous, one-sided argument and another funny aspect is that it was already attempted in 2016. The overwhelming message of the Democrats and the MSM (but I repeat myself) was that Trump is a disgusting, hideous, misogynistic, racist piece of scum – and if you vote for him so are you.

    And it failed. I guess we’ll find out in a few days if it has failed again.

    Just as an counter-example, you could make a pretty good argument that the Synagogue shooter was just as an enraged by all the language associated with the BDS movement to boycott all investment in Israel. But I’d bet every Leftie in the world, let alone the US, would vehmently reject the idea that their rhetoric was responsible, along with a lot of huffing and puffing of How dare you.

  10. Corky

     /  30th October 2018

    Jim Bell has what he considers is the answer to our political woes. He is one of the Internet’s most famous essayists and the world’s most notorious crypto-convict ( according to some).


  11. The Consultant

     /  30th October 2018

    https://althouse.blogspot.com is a law professor in Madison, Wisconsin (heart of Leftie land in that state), and has blogged on law and politics for years. Obama voter in 2008 and 2012. Don’t know who she voted for in 2016 as she seemed to detest both Trump and Clinton, but it’s been interesting watching her seemingly change her views over the last couple of years – as have a number of Never-Trumpers.

    As such I thought https://althouse.blogspot.com/2018/10/blame-trump-and-trump-blames-you.html:

    The “calls for him to cool his overheated rhetoric” are what I’ve been calling “civility bullshit” for years. It’s always only aimed at the other side. They want you to stop fighting them with vigor, and they have no intention of stopping fighting you. Trump obviously knows this and can’t be played. You might think just this once — because 11 people were massacred — he’d go presidential, bow his head, and sing “Amazing Grace,” but his opponents didn’t refrain from closing right in on him and kicking him, and he kicks back.

    Civility bullshit. I like that. Better than the drab “tone policing”.

  12. The Consultant

     /  30th October 2018

    You know what else is a rising sign in the USA? That the Democrats iron grip on Black and Hispanic voters is slipping.

    Let’s take the latter first, in this article from the San Francisco Chronicle:

    As a Never Trumper, I didn’t get it. So, I interviewed some Latinos for Trump and I got an earful. Many of them saw themselves not as Latinos but as Americans, and so they weren’t hung up on Trump’s anti-Latino screeds. They didn’t like or trust Clinton, appreciated Trump’s frankness, wanted a strong leader, and thought he was right about a lot of issues, including trade and immigration.

    Yes, immigration. What most non-Latinos don’t grasp is that Latinos are ambivalent about illegal immigration. They have a front-row seat not just to the pain of deportations, but also to how many immigrants commit crimes or abuse social services.

    In 2016, an astounding 29 percent of Latinos voted for Trump.

    And now, two years into his presidency, polls show that his support among Latinos is somewhere between 33 and 41 percent. That’s insanely good for a president who is so bad on issues that Latinos supposedly care about.

    And Blacks? Well, there’s the Blexit movement. Yes, that tee shirt design is by Kanye, former great love of the Democrats when he was trashing Bush as a racist a decade ago, but now – HATE OBJECT:

    – If you’re a black person who likes hanging out with racists, you have some new fashion choices that don’t include pairing running shoes with Dockers, All Lives Matter haircuts or tucking a polo shirt into your jeans.

    – Kanye West lent his creative skills to Candace Owen [sic] when he designed a T-shirt line for the conservative negro darling’s new website dedicated to luring black people away from the Democratic Party and into the arms of the party of white supremacists.

    – …held a conference for young, black conservatives who don’t mind Trump, the Republican Party or white people asking to touch their hair.

    – Why do black conservatives’ lips always look like they just finished eating powdered doughnuts?

    – Blexit just happens to be Candace Owen’s new website that seeks to draw black people away from the antiquated thinking of the Democratic Party by opening their minds with testimonials from MAGA Negroes and reminding everyone that Republicans aren’t racist because Lincoln freed the slaves and Kanye hugged Donald Trump

    Heh. As Candace Owens herself said, she’s been called a:

    “self-hating black, Nazi-sympathizer and rather astonishingly – a white supremacist,”
    ….”The underlying sentiments are clear; black people are meant to think and act within the confines of what white liberals deem acceptable

    If the Black vote for Democrats drops below 95% they’re in huge trouble. Hence the hate.

    • Corky

       /  30th October 2018

      Post of the day. I now wonder why I need to turn up and support Trump. Like his employment stats, these numbers are really unbelievable.

  13. The Consultant

     /  30th October 2018

    Oh – and the inevitable follow-up: have any of you seen any of this reported in the NZ MSM?

  14. unitedtribes2

     /  30th October 2018

    The Dems got consumed with hate the day Trump won. They get tormented with every new point he puts on the board. Get used to it theres plenty to come. and its all Trumps fault as usual.

  15. Zedd

     /  30th October 2018

    I saw Sarah H-S (MrTs press sec.) on AlJz.. again; just trying to make MORE excuses for his nonsensical rhetoric, denying he has ever made, racist comments about anyone ?! :/

  16. sorethumb

     /  30th October 2018

    I see Snopes thinks Sarah Jeongs tweets were false
    Not so Quillette

    Google Sarah Jeong’s Tweets throws 50,000links to liberal poo-bah sites

  1. Rising signs of hate in the US — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition