Trump-inspired bigotry is already happening. In the 10 days after Trump was elected president, 867 hate crimes were reported across the United States. Not even a week after the election, 18-year-old Nasro Hassan, a Muslim student at the University of Washington, was struck in the face with a bottle while walking on campus. The following week, a vandal destroyed the sign outside of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound mosque in Redmond, which would be defaced again two weeks later. Washington State's Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) declared all three attacks hate-related incidents.
"Trauma lives in the body," explained LaVonne Dorsey, a counselor and executive coach based in Green Lake. "People often feel like they did something to cause it and isolate rather than [seeing it as] something that's happening on a local level and a national level. We need to band together so we can be in alignment with creating solutions."
To work through that trauma, Dorsey suggests self-care methods such as massage, yoga, exercising, and beginning one-on-one or group therapy sessions.
"It's important to talk about it," agreed Rich Stolz, executive director of OneAmerica. "People who may not have felt exposed [before] suddenly feel exposed as a minority because of their race, religion, or identity as an LGBTQ individual."
Stolz, Dorsey, and Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of CAIR-WA, also suggest involving friends and family for support. "[Victims] are often very afraid to go out in public, but life has to go on, especially in school situations," said Bukhari. "Friends or classmates can offer to walk with them from [place to place]. It's a huge help."
Reporting hate crimes to the police is critical. Stolz emphasized that Seattle police officers will not ask about someone's immigration status if they are making a report.
If victims are afraid to come forward with reports on their own, they can seek support from local ethnic groups or advocacy organizations, and people there can help make formal reports to the authorities. For victims with limited English skills, Stolz of OneAmerica suggested reaching out to organizations such as Asian Community Referral Services, El Centro de la Raza, and Consejo Counseling and Referral Service. If there is a hate-related bullying incident that occurs on a school campus, students should notify school officials and also report what happened to the ACLU of Washington.
"From a political standpoint, it's important that the broader community be aware of the scope and frequency of hate crimes," said Doug Honig of the ACLU. "It can be valuable to report them because it can motivate people and organizations to make sure they do something about such incidents and recognize that even in really liberal areas like Seattle, things like this happen."
Places to Find Support
ACLU of Washington
Asian Counseling and Referral Service
Council on American-Islamic Relations of Washington
Consejo Counseling and Referral Service
El Centro de la Raza
Seattle King County NAACP