In a recent Washington Post perspective piece, Arjun Singh Sethi, a lawyer, activist, and writer explored the response to Jeremy Joseph Williams alleged killing of two men in Portland last month as they defended a Muslim woman Williams was harassing on the city’s light rail.
Sethi argues that when we attribute hate crimes perpetrated by whites to mental illness rather than hate or terrorism “we obscure how white supremacy informs hate violence in the United States and lose an opportunity to combat it, just as we would other hateful ideologies.”
Donald Trump was slow to condemn the killings of the two men in Portland, another sign that Trump’s actions and rhetoric encourage the proliferation of hate groups. “Hundreds of hate groups now champion white supremacy and draw inspiration from President Trump,” Sethi writes, “whose rhetoric and policies have emboldened their nativism and prejudice. The number of hate groups in the nation increased in 2016 for the second consecutive year. Some of these groups skulked in the shadows before Trump; now they bask in the limelight.”
Photo credit MICHAEL B. THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images
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