On the evening of November 15th, State Senator Brad Hoylman found a swastika etched inside his Greenwich Village apartment building. In a tweet he wrote: “Swastika found in my apartment building this evening in Greenwich Village. Anti-Semite named to #Trump White House post. Connect the dots.” In the following days, the Senator also received an anti-Semitic pamphlet in his mailbox.
“It’s certainly disconcerting getting anti-Semitic hate in the mail,” Hoylman said. “But I’m also concerned about the trend nationally.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, nearly 900 separate incidents of bias and violence against immigrants, African-Americans, women, LGBT people and Muslims occurred in the ten days after Donald Trump was elected. The organization called it a “national outbreak of hate.”
Hoylman believes that this trend has become prevalent because Trump coddled individuals who spread hate crimes during his campaign. “Racist and bigoted Americans seem to have been given license to spread hate,” he said.
Hoylman works closely with minorities, particularly in the LGBT community, and many are concerned that hate crimes will be directed toward them and their families.
The NYPD has also been concerned about the trend. “We’ve had an uptick in hate crimes,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said on John Catsimatidis’s radio show. “Actually a little bit more than an uptick. We’re up 31 percent from last year. At this time last year we had 250, this year we have 328. Specifically against the Muslim population in New York City we went up from 12 to 25 and anti-Semitic is up too by nine percent from 102 to 111.”
But, O’Neill added, “rest assured if you’re going to ... engage in this type of behavior the New York City Police Department is going to make an arrest and you’ll be fully prosecuted.”
Before Trump takes the White House, Hoylman would like to help ensure that transgender rights are protected and that Supreme Court rulings like Roe vs. Wade are not able to be overturned. The Senator knows these issues are important to his community, and hopes that he will be able to defend their rights.
“New York needs to protect its own right now,” he said.