(CNN) – Hail victory translated into German, Seig Heil. This surreal scene happened just days after the election and just steps from the white house. A gathering of a so-called alt-right group cheering Donald Trump’s victory with Nazi salutes.
After an uproar, Trump’s transition team released a statement two days after the incident denouncing racism. When the president-elect himself was pressed on it by the New York Times the day after that statement he said he disavowed the group.
Back then, many people wished he’d sent a stronger message against hate. In the three months since, a rash of anti-Semitic threats. One such bomb threat against a Jewish community center, caught on audio tape – the caller using voice masking technology.
A phone call from January 18th had this message, “In a short time, a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered. Their heads are going to be blown off from the shrapnel.”
Just in January, nearly 60 bomb threats were called in to 48 Jewish community centers across 26 states and one Canadian province – that according to the JCAA, an association of the centers.
Rich Wallace, Chief of Police and fire for Amberley Village, Ohio said, “The last few weeks there’s been a number of threats at Jewish community centers throughout the united states. Unfortunately it’s what we’re dealing with today in the world.”
The FBI and DOJ are currently investigating. Beyond the threats, anti-Semitic vandalism across the country. This Nazi swastika spray painted on a car in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Florida.
One rabbi said, “That symbol is a symbol of hatred. That symbol is a sign of anti-Semitism which is virulent, awful, despicable and deplorable”
And while none of these incidents has led to physical violence, a community is on edge leaving one person to say, “People are scared. They’re saying what’s next? What is this about?”
The FBI, which tracks hate crimes, does not yet have national statistics for the time period since the election. But we do know, President Trump’s hometown of New York, according to a NYPD report, has seen a dramatic rise in hate crimes against Jews so far this year. That was the backdrop for this testy exchange from President Trump’s press conference yesterday
And why, even some of his most ardent supporters wish that President Trump would be clearer and unequivocal in condemning bigotry.