Donald Trump and racist violence: Research points to a clear connection
The FBI, the Southern Poverty Law Center and other organizations have documented a large increase in hate crimes and other right-wing political violence beginning with Donald Trump's campaign and through to the third year of his presidency. In 2018 there were at least 1,020 hate groups in the United States. This is a record number, one that has only increased during Trump's time in office. As seen in incidents across the country, this hate groups have too often unleashed lethal violence.
In total, the president of the United States helps to set the moral tone for the nation. In that role he or she gives permission, both active and tacit, for individuals' and the public's behavior. New research by University of North Texas political scientists Ayal Feinberg, Regina Branton and Valerie Martinez-Ebers offers additional evidence on the relationship between Donald Trump and racial violence in America. Their new paper, "The Trump Effect? Political Rallies and Hate Crime Contagion," will be presented at the 2019 meeting of the Western Political Science Association.