Liberals also complain that Trump has legitimized prejudice and given license for people to express it. So far it is hard to find empirical support for this charge in hate crimes reporting. The last year of reporting, which covers Trump’s fiery, odious rhetoric through the 2016 primary and general election campaigns, shows hate crimes increased by 4.6%.
Despite this rise, we are still in a much better place than we were at the turn of the millennium. Hate crimes are lower nationally (down 24%) — as are those regarding race (down 20%), religion (down 14%), and sexual orientation (down 17%) — since 2000. The decline in hate crimes since 2000 was arrested in 2013 before Trump became a national political figure and is now, perhaps, being reversed.
The mild Trump Bump during the 2016 campaign is nowhere near the surge in hate crimes that occurred after 9/11, and it may be that larger social trends are responsible for it and not Trump. Canada, that nice, friendly, tolerant country across the border that in 2015 elected Justin Trudeau, the anti-Trump, saw almost the same percent increase in hate crimes in 2016 as the U.S.