Acts of hate not only devastate individuals, they target, divide, and destabilize entire communities, sending a message that some of us are not welcome. Overall, the poll found that 84 percent of individuals felt hate incidents were very prevalent or somewhat prevalent today in our country. This shocking finding is felt most by communities of color. Eighty-one percent of African Americans, 83 percent of Hispanic individuals, and 89 percent of Arab/Middle Eastern individuals surveyed felt that hate incidents are either very or somewhat prevalent today in our country. Additionally, most respondents surveyed (66 percent) felt that incidents or expressions of hate are getting worse across our country.
People do not just think hate is increasing overall, they are experiencing hate personally and witnessing hate in their communities. Of total respondents, 43 percent stated they experienced or witnessed a hate expression or hate incident in the past two years. People of color surveyed experienced or witnessed hate expressions at higher rates than the overall population with 47 percent of Black, 59 percent of Hispanic, and 73 percent of Arab/Middle Eastern respondents1 reporting that they had experienced or witnessed hate over that same time. One of the more troubling findings in our database is the number of hate incidents that invoked Donald Trump. Overall, a total of 1,444 hate incidents (39.50 percent) invoked the name of an alt-right hate group or Trump and Trump-related rhetoric. This includes 91 incidents where both alt-right hate groups and Trump were invoked. Alt-right hate groups were invoked in 848 of the total incidents (23.19 percent), and Trump was invoked in 596 incidents (16.30 percent).
The pervasiveness of hate in America takes its toll on communities across the country. Individuals reported in the poll that they experienced depression and anxiety, sought therapy, and even moved after hate incidents occurred. The findings show that after people experience hate incidents, they largely feel unsafe and unwelcome in their communities, which further divides the nation.
While we have made tremendous progress as a nation toward celebrating our diverse communities, the collected data is alarming and underscores there is more to do. America must be a country where national leaders inspire us to reach our nation’s highest ideals. Throughout the initiative the goal was to connect survivors of hate to resources, but also use the data to help make informed decisions on needed policy changes. This report provides concrete recommendations that leaders, organizations, and the public should consider in their efforts to make all communities free of hate.
1. Forty-four (44) percent of the Arab/Middle Eastern sample identified as Muslim and 2 percent of the Black sample identified as Muslim. We oversampled Arab/Middle Eastern people and offered respondents an opportunity to identify their religion to better capture the way anti-Muslim hate affects people who may not necessarily be Muslim.