25 reported incidents of bigotry in Michigan since Trump’s Nov. 8 victory

A Trump supporter held up the Confederate flag when the Republican candidate was in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.
A Trump supporter held up the Confederate flag when the Republican candidate was in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

President-elect Donald Trump’s divisive campaign in which he criticized entire groups of people, including women, people of color and immigrants, has inspired hate crimes and acts of intimidation since his Nov. 8 victory.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights said the number of complaints has doubled since the election. The Southern Law Poverty Center also has reported a large spike nationwide.

Motor City Muckraker is compiling a list of reported incidents of hate in Michigan since Trump’s victory.

The following is only a fraction of incidents reported to the state and law enforcement:

1. Ethiopian immigrant Yemaj Adem was driving his cab when the passenger, who was upset with the fare, began punching Adem in the face, yelling “Trump, Trump, Trump!” The cab driver had bruises on his face, and police said they are investigating the assault as a potential hate crime.

2. The driveway of a family with a Latino member was blocked by boxes taped together that read, “Trump,” “Take Back America” and “Mexicans suck” in Koylton Township on Nov. 12. The family “also found a doll made of balloons hanging nearby and vulgar graffiti spray-painted on the driveway,” according to the Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office.

3. Khadijah Wilson said she was shoved to the ground by a white man after accidentally bumping into him in the Walmart parking lot in Marquette on Nov. 13. She said the man yelled at her, “I hope President Trump does what he says he’s gonna do! He should send all you n****rs back to Africa!” 

4. Four storefronts and the side of a church in Albion were hit with graffiti that included swastikas and other white supremacy symbols on Nov. 14. A rally was held in response to the graffiti.

5. An Indian-American woman in Hartland said a man spit on her, called her a terrorist and demanded she leave the country on Nov. 12.

6. At an elementary school in Ann Arbor, a student told a classmate, “Because Trump won, Jews will need to leave the country.”

7. A white man and his wife attacked a black postal worker while shopping at Kroger in Westland on Nov. 15. The white man yelled, “I’m so sick of you n****rs doing whatever want to do,” according to a witness. Westland police arrested both men, even though a witness said the postal worker did nothing wrong.

8. Staff at Royal Oak Middle School found a noose hanging from the third-floor boy’s restroom on Nov. 18. The student responsible for the noose has been removed from school until further notice.

9. A teacher at Royal Oak Middle school instructed a black student to show the class “how slaves danced for their masters,” according to an ACLU complaint. The superintendent acknowledged there was an incident but declined to divulge details.

10. Two black Detroit police officers who are married found the windows of their SUV shot out in Rochester Hills, not long after someone placed real estate sign outside their home that read, “Price reduced.”

11. A woman wearing a safety pin, which is meant to show solidarity with people of color, immigrants and members of the LGBT community, was cut on the face by a stranger in Ann Arbor. Police are investigating.

12. Racially charged graffiti was painted on an immigrant-owned corner store in Jackson at First and Franklin streets between late Nov. 8 and early Nov. 9. The graffiti read, “GO HOME, fucking Sand N****rs.” Jackson police are investigating.

13. A man threatened to burn a Muslim woman alive near University of Michigan’s campus if she didn’t remove her hijab on Friday evening. The woman removed her hijab and called police.

14. A customer at a TGI Friday’s near Kalamazoo left a note for the server that read, “Fuck you n—-  faggot #PresidentTRUMP.”

15. Traverse City Police Officer Michael Peters flew a Confederate flag from his pickup truck at an anti-Trump rally. He was suspended with pay and later resigned.

16. A Canton police officer posted on Facebook, “go home monkeys” in response to black protesters rallying against Trump’s racism. He was suspended with pay while the department investigates.

17. Students at Royal Oak Middle School taunted Latino classmates by chanting, “Build the wall.”

18. Students at DeWitt Middle School shouted racially charged chants at minority classmates and even locked arms to create a “wall.”

19. Three white students at Wayne State University threatened to hang a Muslim woman by her hijab, according to witnesses. The woman declined to notify police out of fear of retaliation.

20. Two men pushed a woman down a hill at the University of Michigan after yelling at her for being in America and referencing her religion.

21. A suburban Detroit man threatened on Facebook to hang President Obama and “other traitors” from a noose. His comments were above a photo of the president hanging from a noose. He was fired after his employer read our story.

22. A student wrote “Heil Trump” on a wall at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, referencing a gesture used as a greeting in Nazi Germany.

23. A University of Michigan student left his apartment and returned to find a swastika drawn on his apartment door.

24. A Monroe High School teacher assigned her students a lesson in which they were asked to rank the “funniest” jokes about a “Miss Iraq Pageant.” Included in the list were “Getting plastic explosives through airport security,” “Pointing to Mecca after being spun around three times blindfolded” and “Blowing self up in a car in the parking lot.” She was placed on paid leave.


25: A gay couple in Bay City opened their mailbox to find a letter that read, “Faggots Get Out! Trump Country!” A swastika also was included.


If you hear of a similar incident, please email us at tips@motorcitymuckraker.com.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.