Across America, reports of politically related harassment have soared in the wake of the presidential election.
To list a few incidents that have happened in Michigan:
MLive reports police say a man in Grand Rapids beat a cab driver of East African descent and repeatedly yelled, “Trump.”
Students at Royal Oak Middle school taunted Latino classmates by chanting, “Build the wall.”
In Ann Arbor, a white man demanded a Muslim woman remove her hijab or he would burn her alive.
There are more. Too many more.
Susan Demas joined us today to talk about how the post-election bullying has impacted her family.
“To see hate crimes really spike after an election is deeply alarming, and it should be for everybody, regardless of who you supported,” she told us.
Demas recently wrote a column for Eclectablog titled “When Post-Election Bullying Hits Home.” In it, she describes how her daughter took a homemade sign to her high school.
On the sign, her daughter wrote, “We
have failed will fight for America.” The sign also displayed her support for marriage equality, gun control and women's rights.
Demas' daughter was confronted in the hallway at school by a group of older boys who began chanting, “Lock her up.”
“I think we’re all familiar with the phrase. We heard it a lot at Donald Trump rallies in regard to Hillary Clinton,” she said. “I was rather surprised that it would be used on my 14-year-old daughter.”
Demas told us the school district handled the matter swiftly and with sensitivity. She said she’s fortunate to live in a diverse community averse to division, and laments that parents and children elsewhere have had much different experiences.
“I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m equating her experience with some of those hate crime incidents … because those are really violent incidents,” Demas said. “I understand that we’re very fortunate that we didn’t have that experience.”
“All I hope is something good comes from it, and that maybe people are basically nicer to each other, and that other kids who feel targeted feel like they’re not alone.”
Listen to our conversation above for more.