In an MSNBC discussion, Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Projects Director Heidi Beirich explained that hate crimes have seen a dramatic increase since the 2016 election.
“President Trump has used divisiveness as a tool since the day he announced his run for office in 2015,” she told host Ayman Mohyeldin. “What we have seen is a rise in hate crimes including against the Jewish community. But also against others, Muslims and immigrants and so on that reflect in many ways the tone of the national discourse on these issues.”
In the Jewish community in particular, however, “has been hit very hard” by the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States, the Anti-Defamation League said.
Beirich attributed the rise to two main factors: President Donald Trump making “lots of divisive statements” and the ability for hate to flourish online. People can become more radicalized online after connecting with others like them.
“You used to not be able to get access to this stuff in the mass way the modern web has allowed, and GAB, in particular, is just a cesspool of white supremacy and anti-Semitism,” she said.