D.C. Is a New Hotbed for Racist Acts

President Donald Trump may not have made much headway on his goal of “making America great again,” but one thing he has definitely accomplished is bringing the simmering racism of our country out into the open.

Perhaps one of the saddest results of President Trump’s influence is how many racist incidents are occurring now in Washington, D.C., and how racism and xenophobia are surging in our nation’s capitol.

In just under a week the Smithsonian Institute had two different racist attacks, with nooses being left first in a tree at the Hirshhorn Museum, and next at a display about segregation at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. According to Smithsonian.com, “On Wednesday afternoon, tourists visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture found a noose in an exhibition on segregation. Park police came to investigate and removed the noose, and the exhibit gallery was reopened within three hours, Smithsonian officials said. ‘The noose has long represented a deplorable act of cowardice and depravity—a symbol of extreme violence for African Americans. Today’s incident is a painful reminder of the challenges that African Americans continue to face,’ wrote Lonnie Bunch, the director of the museum, in an e-mail to staff.”

Nooses have been found in other places in D.C. as well.  A few weeks earlier at American University nooses were used in a display that also involved hanging bananas, a means of attacking an African American sorority on the campus. “American University is investigating what it’s calling a racial incident after bananas were found hanging from strings tied in the shape of nooses in three places on the campus in Northwest D.C.,” WTOP.com reports. “The displays were found in three places around the campus. In a memo to the college community, Fanta Aw, American’s vice president of campus life, said some of the fruits had the letters AKA written on them — which Aw said stood for Alpha Kappa Alpha, a sorority whose members are predominantly African-American.” Investigators suspect that the incidents may be tied to the election of the first black woman as student body president.

It isn’t just the African American community feeling the brunt of the attacks, either. In an obvious attempt to intimidate and harass undocumented immigrants in the city someone posted fake fliers around D.C., pretending they were from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The posters, which bear the ICE logo, list potential penalties for assisting someone in the country illegally, according to ABC News.

“Federal immigration authorities responded to the fake fliers on Twitter,” the news station reports. “‘The immigration enforcement notices appearing across Washington, D.C., were not issued or sanctioned by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),’ spokesperson Carissa Cutrell told ABC News. ‘Just like false reports of immigration checkpoints or random sweeps, notices like these are dangerous and irresponsible. Any person who actively incites panic or fear of law enforcement is doing a disservice to the community, endangering public safety and the very people they claim to support and represent,’ Cutrell added.”

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser responded to the attempt to terrorize those who are undocumented by tweeting “tear it down.” But that’s not the only hate-filled flier incident in the area. Over Memorial Day weekend, in the D.C. suburb of Alexandria, White Supremacists decided to do a little posting of their own. “Racist fliers were found plastered on trees and utility poles and wedged on car windshields in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria during Memorial Day weekend,” WTOP.com reports. “The fliers, bearing a web address of a white nationalist group, carried various racist messages aimed at African-Americans and immigrant groups, and called for fascism to replace democracy in the United States.”

Those posters, too, were quickly removed by locals in the neighborhood.

Obviously incidents like this are happening all over the country, from graffiti to vandalism and slurs and outright violence. Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told Time Magazine that she believes that the campaign season and now Trump’s win has unleashed the racism that was only barely checked before now. “Putting those sentiments in public from a presidential campaign has sanctioned a lot of people,” she told Time. “Things they might have kept inside themselves, that they have kept quiet about, have burst out.”

Still, somehow it seemed as if even as the rest of the country succumbed to their bigotry, it was almost as if D.C. should have been held to a higher level – that the symbolic heart of democracy shouldn’t be experiencing the same hatred that is infecting many states of the nation.

Then again, this is now the home of the President himself, the one who arguably instigated this problem in the first place. Looking at it from that perspective, the nooses and fake ICE flyers aren’t very shocking after all.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.

44 comments

Carl R
Carl R10 days ago

Thanks!!!

SEND
Deborah W
Deborah W13 days ago

Wherever divisionists get the biggest bang for the buck (Washington of course), with the ever-helpful Soros on board as usual.

SEND
Issac H
Issac H14 days ago

America is the 'hotbed' for anti-black racism. It's (((SICKENING))) how white supremacy tries to make black people 'racists' yet we (black people) haven't done a (((FRACTION))) of the things whites have done to us & refused to make restitution for in the open name of racism - not to mention all the things whites do in the 'closed' name of racism. Shameless white America!

SEND
Carl R
Carl R16 days ago

Thanks!!!

SEND
Chad A
Chad A17 days ago

Statehood or at least home rule for DC.

SEND
Rosslyn O
Rosslyn O17 days ago

The winds of despair are, alas, blowing from every direction, and the strife that divideth and afflicteth the human race is daily increasing. The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appeareth to be lamentably defective. I beseech God, exalted be His glory, that He may graciously awaken the peoples of the earth, may grant that the end of their conduct may be profitable unto them, and aid them to accomplish that which beseemeth their station. – Baha’i Faith Writings

SEND
Margie F
Margie FOURIE17 days ago

Why are people so cruel.

SEND
Cruel J
Cruel J18 days ago

Horrible.

SEND
Roberta G
Roberta G18 days ago

Roger E...the latent racism did not become open and blatant until the trump's nomination, campaign and election. He implicitly and explicitly approved of racism and violence against minorities in his speeches. A man speaks what is in his heart and soul, so we all know what is in trump's heart - hate.

SEND
Heather B
Heather B18 days ago

In Scotland we'd say 'We're a' Jock Tamson's bairns' which essentially means 'we're all the same under the skin" - thanks for sharing

SEND