After Trump election win, wave of hate attacks hit Canada

Protesters against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump shout slogans in Manhattan, November 20, 2016.
Protesters against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump shout slogans in Manhattan, November 20, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich)

Since the November 8 election south of the border, which saw Donald Trump successfully win the presidency of the United States, there has been a rise in racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic attacks in Canada.

Ottawa, Ont. has seen a slew of hateful graffiti being painted on several synagogues, a mosque and a church with a black pastor, within a few days of each other.

Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents in Canada. Even before the U.S. election was decided, a B.C. man was caught hurling racist insults at a parking attendant who was writing him a ticket. About a week after the election, Richmond, B.C. residents received flyers urging white people to stand up against their Asian neighbours who they claim are “taking over” the city.

Last week in Toronto, Ont., a man on a TTC streetcar was caught on video harassing another TTC passenger in a racist tirade. Another Toronto incident, during that same week, saw a slew of posters put up that urged white people to join the “Alt-Right” movement. The movement centers on far-right ideas of white identity and the preservation of “western civilization.”

These attacks have been widely condemned by Canadian politicians at all levels:

South of the border, one of the most recent hateful incidents saw the Adam Yauch Memorial Park in New York being defaced by swastikas and pro-Donald Trump graffiti. Yauch was one of the three Jewish members of the American hip hop group, the Beastie Boys. This incident is just one of many hate crimes that has been happening in the United States, post-election.

These incidents, both in Canada and the U.S. have been blamed on president-elect Donald Trump’s supposed enabling of the alt-right movement. However, very little is known about the people who are committing these hate crimes, because few have been caught by police so far.

Though the alleged perpetrator of the hateful Ottawa graffiti incidents was arrested and charged, his identity can’t be revealed, because the Youth Criminal Justice Act, which forbids publishing the identity of a young offender. We know little about the teen who was arrested, except that he’s a teenager and male. We also don’t know if he was working alone or whether he was responsible for all the graffiti incidents.

Even before the teen’s arrest, one of the Ottawa synagogues that was defaced organized a multi-faith, anti-hate solidarity event. The event drew over 600 people, including politicians, from many faiths and communities.

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