“We don’t want or need your kind in Floyd County,” read a recent anonymous email. “Why don’t you take your fag friends and leave us Christians alone.”
Nasty emails are part of life for someone who writes about issues. Over the last half century, I have been called obscene names, received threats and faced verbal/physical assaults.
Threats and comments urging me and my wife to leave Floyd County increased over the past year during the combative Presidential campaign.
I’m not alone in being a target of hate. A homophobic in Franklin County spray painted “FAG” on a Hillary Clinton campaign sign in the yard of Rachel and Emily Blankenship-Tucker, a married gay couple near Ferrum after the election earlier this month. To that community’s credit, others came forward to support the two ladies.
Anger and hate appear to be at an all-time high with protests around the nation opposing Donald Trump’s election and screams and shouts from those who support the flamboyant billionaire.
An anonymous voice mail to our home told us to “go to hell” and another posted on Facebook with an anonymous — and incorrect — claim that I’m an atheist.
“You don’t believe in God, you don’t believe in the Second Amendment and you don’t belong in Floyd County,” said the post.
The Southern Poverty Law Center tracked more than 700 incidents of intimidation targeting blacks, other Americans of color, Muslims, immigrant, gays and women between the election on Nov. 8 and Nov. 16.
A woman in Colorado said her 12-year-old daughter was approached by a boy at school and said “now that Trump is President, I’m going to shoot you and all the blacks I can find.” Hate letters have appeared at Muslim mosques around the country and FBI data shows anti-Muslim assaults have reached disturbing levels not seen since the 9/11 days.
Reports The New Yorker magazine:
Such harassment occurred throughout Trump’s campaign, but now appears to have taken on a new boldness, empowered by the election of a Ku Klux Klan-endorsed candidate who has denigrated women and racial and religious minorities. “This represents a big increase in what we’ve seen since the campaign, and these incidents are far and wide: we’re seeing them in schools, we’re seeing them in places of business, we’re seeing them in museums and gas stations,” Richard Cohen, the president of the S.P.L.C., said. “White supremacists are celebrating, and it’s their time, the way they see it.”
Jonathan Grenblatt, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, says the increase of violence and hate is disturbing.
“We’ve seen a great deal of really troubling stuff in the last week, a spike in harassment, a spike in vandalism, physical assaults. Something is happening that was not happening before,” Greenblatt says. “We’ve been inundated with reports; it’s really cray out there.”
“Thousands of people have emailed me incident reports over the past seven days,” says New York Daily News reporter Shaun King, who is mapping post-election intimidation reports.
Hate crimes have increased by 67 percent against Muslims nationally in the past year.
Supporters of Trump in Floyd County, and elsewhere, have posted complaints about violence in some of the protests against their candidate of choice but have remained silent about the hate, anger and assaults from those who support the billionaire.
Hate is a two-say street and there’s a traffic jam on the highway of emotions in America today.