After Donald Trump’s election, and a spike in hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, blacks and other minorities, it’s a busy time for those in the world of anti-bias activism. Such is the case, too, at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a not-for-profit that tracks far-right hate groups.
Richard Cohen, the SPLC’s leader, told a group of Jewish philanthropists on Monday that it would be stepping up its work.
“We‘ve seen this all before,” said Cohen, the organization’s presidents, in comments at the Washington, D.C. fundraiser reported by Ha’aretz. “George Wallace fought integration, Pat Buchanan campaigned with the motto ‘America First,’ so this is nothing new,” he continued.
SPLC has in recent days emerged as a vehement critic of the incoming Trump administration, documenting a wave of hate crimes against Muslims, Jews, blacks, gays and other minorities that has crested in the wake of the president-elect’s victory. As part of its work, it has launched a digital campaign for Americans to report these violations, asking them to Tweet about the incidents with the hashtag #ReportHate.
SPLC has also demanded the withdrawal of former Breitbart News head Stephen Bannon a chief White House strategist, citing racist, sexist and anti-Semitic articles the the ‘alt-right’ Web site published under his tenure.
“Stephen Bannon, a man who led a media empire into becoming what a former Breitbart editor called a ‘a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers,’ simply has no business in the White House,” the group’s online petition read. It has garnered 270,000 signatures as of this writing.
“In his victory speech, Trump pledged to be the president for ‘all Americans’ and to ‘bind the wounds of division’ in our country,” the statement continued. “Appointing someone like Bannon, who will have the president-elect’s ear every single day, makes a mockery of that pledge.”
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.