Libraries Have Been the Target of Numerous Hate Crimes

Since the recent election, some people have felt empowered to spew hateful speech towards others, write racist graffiti, and rip hijabs off of women’s head. This is just a small handful of the hateful acts America is witnessing in late 2016.

According to The Independent, hate crimes in Michigan have increased 65 times since the election. According to CNN and The Council on American-Islamic Relations, “2016 is on track to be the second-worst year on record when it comes to mosque attacks. This year is barely trailing the record set last year: 78 mosques were attacked in 2015.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that there are 892 hate groups operating in the United States. They also reported the following in regards to the number of incidents following the past election:

Image courtesy of The Southern Poverty Law Center 

 Image courtesy of The Southern Poverty Law Center 

It’s appalling to think that we live in a society where hatred still exists. The United States is supposed to be the “best” country in the world, but hate speech/crimes have existed since the nation’s establishment. 

According to The New York Times, libraries have become sites of hate crimes. Holy texts, like the Quran, have been defaced. Karen Danczak Lyons, the director of a library in Illinois, was subject to these crimes. She told the Times, that these incidents are “troubling.” Libraries are a source of education and community, not fear and hatred.

Found in a copy of the Quran/Courtesy of The NYT 

The American Library Association reported a numerous amount of other incidents at libraries including: 

“A student at the University of New Mexico was studying in the school’s library when she was approached by a man who tried to remove her hijab, the BBC reported. She evaded her attacker and was not injured.”

“Administrators at Reed College in Portland, Ore., discovered hateful, threatening messages and swastikas on the walls of the college’s library, KOIN 6 reported.”

The American Library Association told The Times that it is dedicated to keeping track of these incidents. I hope to live in a world where hatred does not exist, but we have far to go. People need to stand up and recognize that these crimes are real, this is the world we live in. Something needs to change and in the words of Maya Angelou, “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” 



Featured image courtesy of VOA News