Over a hundred left-leaning groups sent an open letter Friday calling on President-elect Donald Trump to denounce hate acts being committed in his name.
Trump was able to win the presidency Nov. 8 following a vicious election. He was accused by many during his campaign of racism or for being associated with hate groups. Labor unions, civil rights groups and several other left-leaning associations signed onto a letter calling on the president-elect to denounce his violent supporters.
“Throughout the campaign, you and your supporters directed hateful language at people based on what we look like, where our families come from, who we love, how we worship, our abilities, our gender, and other factors,” the letter stated. “In the days since your election, we have seen people—seemingly emboldened by your victory—committing harassment, vandalism, property destruction and even assault based on those differences.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the American Federation of Teachers were the main groups to sign onto the letter. SPLC reported that harassment and intimidation have been on the rise since the election. It notes many of the incidents involved direct references to the Trump campaign and its slogans.
“Though you may not condone this behavior, your silence gives tacit permission to those who perform these acts,” the letter said. “Millions of your supporters would never participate in these actions, but your campaign rhetoric has created an environment that enables and encourages those who want to harm others.”
The letter praises the president-elect for speaking out against bullying, intimidation and hate crimes but questioned the decision to make Steve Bannon his chief strategist. Bannon has been accused of being associated with alt-right hate groups. The letter adds the president-elect has been sending mixed messages when it comes to hate.
“We ask that you keep your promise by loudly, forcefully, unequivocally and consistently denouncing these acts and the ideology that drives them,” the letter said. “We ask you to use your position, your considerable platform and even your tweets to send a clear message that hate has no place in our public discourse, in our public policy or in our society.”
There have been several reported incidences of ethnically motivated attacks by his supporters, reported Heavy. The letter doesn’t mention that demonstrations against the president-elect have also reportedly been violent at times too. Trump denounced his violent supporters Nov. 13 during an interview on CBS News.
“I would say don’t do it, that’s terrible, ‘cause I’m gonna bring this country together,” Trump said during the interview. “I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it– if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.”
Labor unions were among those groups that accused Trump of inciting hate during the election. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka even called him the most racist presidential candidate ever. Other unions released similar remarks. Some of those same unions have reached out to work with the president-elect since the election.
“The President-elect made promises in this campaign—on trade, on restoring manufacturing, on reviving our communities,” Trumka said in a statement Nov. 9. “We will work to make many of those promises a reality. If he is willing to work with us, consistent with our values, we are ready to work with him.”