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Why Oregon is the number one state for post-election hate

Why Oregon is the number one state for post-election hate

When it comes to haters spewing racist, antigay and other incidents of white supremacist violence and threats since Election Day, Oregon leads the nation, based on analysis of a survey by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In the aftermath of what the SPLC labeled Donald Trump’s “incendiary racial statements, the stoking of white racial resentment, and attacks on so-called ’political correctness,’” the nonprofit social justice organization tracked almost 900 reports of harassment and intimidation from across the nation — in just the first ten days following the election.


“Many harassers invoked Trump’s name during assaults, making it clear that the outbreak of hate stemmed in large part from his electoral success.

“People have experienced harassment at school, at work, at home, on the street, in public transportation, in their cars, in grocery stores and other places of business, and in their houses of worship. They most often have received messages of hate and intolerance through graffiti and verbal harassment, although a small number also have reported violent physical interactions. Some incidents were directed at the Trump campaign or his supporters.”


Just one week after the election someone vandalized two bathrooms at Reed College in Portland, Oregon’s biggest city. The library bathrooms’ walls were spray-painted with a swastika, profanities and the words, “The white man is back in power.”

Another incident involved an Oregon City high school freshman who found a racist threat scrawled on a piece of paper stuffed into a textbook, telling her to “Go back to Africa,” and included a racist slur. In Hillsboro, three men attacked an African-American woman in a supermarket parking lot, throwing a brick at her and breaking her ribs. Kara Stevens told KOIN-TV: “I heard someone yell ‘Stupid n***** bitch.” She continued: “Then they yelled ‘Are you scared? Are you scared now? Because you should be,’ and then they said ‘Now we got a president who finally feels how we feel.’”

Stevens said the men threatened to rape her and made references to President-elect Trump.

Oregon has a troublesome history when it comes to white supremacy. The most infamous example was the arrest of two dozen people who stafed an armed 41-day standoff at Malheur Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon last winter. The Anti Defamation League identified members of the “Patriot” group behind the uprising as white supremacists. The defendants were subsequently acquitted.


An analysis of the SPLC’s accounting put Oregon at the top of the list in incidents per capita, or per person. The state, with nearly 4 million people, has a far smaller population than nine other states in the rankings, so even though it is rated 10th in the nation overall, with 33 incidents reported, those nine other states with bigger populations did not have as many incidents per person. Hawaii, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota were the only states with zero incidents reported.


For the incident to be counted, it had to take place in what NewNowNext called “the real world,” not social media; online harassment was excluded. Most incidents took place in schools, stores and other public locations.

For the complete listing, click here.

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