If you experience election-related harassment, vandalism or violence in the Lone Star State, e-mail us at [email protected]
More than 1,000 incidents of hateful intimidation and harassment were reported nationwide in the wake of the November election, many of them apparently committed by supporters of President-elect Donald Trump, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Observer has been documenting incidents of election-related harassment, vandalism or violence in Texas. We will update this list with additional incidents that show a reasonable probability of being linked to the election or Trump. If you are the victim of a possible crime or witness one, you should first contact law enforcement. To report an incident to the Observer that isn’t listed below, email [email protected].
White Supremacist Group Posts Fliers at UT-Austin
— Kristie (@thehistoriann) February 13, 2017
Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant fliers were found at the University of Texas at Austin on February 13, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The fliers appeared to be the work of American Vanguard, a white supremacist group whose members posted fliers in late January at other Texas schools, including Rice and Texas State universities (see below). A UT-Austin spokesperson said the fliers, found on three buildings and a utility pole, violated school policy and were being removed.
Vandals Paint Over Anti-Trump Sticker on Dallas Woman’s Car
Dallas resident says vandals spray-painted over homemade anti-Trump “RESIST” sticker attached to inside of rear windshield pic.twitter.com/7zw50x8EkV
— John Wright (@lsqnews) February 10, 2017
A Far North Dallas woman said vandals spray-painted over an anti-Trump sign on the rear windshield of her car February 3. Sandy Lewis, 60, told the Observer she’d attached the homemade “RESIST” sign to the inside of the glass because she’s “terrified about what’s going on politically.” When she discovered the vandalism, Clayton said she was “angry that someone tried to gag me.” She removed the paint with a razor blade and some acetone, reporting the incident to police but leaving the sign in place. “I decided I’m not going to lose this way,” she said.
Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found in Beaumont
Vandals wrote “Stupid Fucking Jews” in spray paint on a footbridge in Beaumont’s Riverfront Park in early February, the Beaumont Enterprise reports. According to Allison Nathan Getz, president of nearby Temple Emanuel, it was the latest in series of anti-semitic incidents that included rocks being thrown through windows at the congregation on January 20 — the day of President Trump’s inauguration. “It’s happening too many times in a short period of time and so it’s something we need to think about,” Getz told KBMT-TV.
Customer Leaves Racist Note on Receipt in San Antonio
my dad’s friend owns a restaurant and he got this today in one of the receipts.
This is Trump’s America, disgusting. pic.twitter.com/u0E9ZNbPmu
— Luis Botello Faz (@luisbotello41) February 4, 2017
A Mexican-American restaurateur in San Antonio said a customer left a racist note on a receipt February 3 that included one of President Donald Trump’s campaign slogans, KSAT-TV reports. “The food was tasty, and the service attentive. However the owner is ‘Mexican.’ We will not return. ‘America first,’” the note read, according to Fernando Franco, owner of Di Frabo, an Italian restaurant. Franco, who was born in Mexico City but has operated businesses in San Antonio since 2012 under an E-2 investors visa, called the note a “slap in the face” and blamed the current political climate, WOIA-TV reports. Franco said he’d received an outpouring of support since publicizing the note and vowed to continue “living the dream.”
Vandals Draw Swastika, Write ‘TRUMP’ on Rice University Statue
Vandals used chalk to scrawl “TRUMP” above a swastika on a statue of Rice University’s founder in the school’s academic quad, the Houston Chronicle reports. “I have had it with this behavior,” undergraduate dean John Hutchinson wrote February 4 on Facebook in response to the graffiti, which reportedly marked the third similar incident on campus in a month. Hutchinson added that if the vandals are students, they could face expulsion. CNN reported that the incident was one of three involving swastikas in major cities on the same weekend.
Houston High School Students Make Nazi Salute in Class Photo
Seniors at Houston’s Cypress Ranch High School raised their arms in an apparent Nazi salute during a 2017 class photo on January 31, resulting in national headlines and disciplinary action. A student who witnessed the incident said up to 70 students participated, with some yelling “Heil Hitler” and “Heil Trump,” according to KPRC-TV. In a letter to parents, Principal Bob Hull called the incident “extremely disappointing” and “not an accurate representation of our student body.” Hull said participants would be disciplined according to the Student Code of Conduct, which prohibits “ethnically offensive” language and gestures.
Vandals Post Trump Sign With Swastika in Fort Bend
Vandals painted swastikas on fences, signs and homes in Fort Bend County’s Sienna Plantation community in late January, KTRK-TV reports. On January 29, a Trump-Pence campaign sign with a swastika was found on a homeowner’s fence. On January 31, swastikas were found painted on another homeowner’s garage and fence, as well on a fence in front of a homeowners’ association building. Sheriff Troy E. Nehls, whose office is investigating the incidents as hate crimes, warned that the vandals could face jail and “hefty fines,” according to the Houston Chronicle. Crime Stoppers was offering a $5,000 reward.
White Supremacist Fliers Found at Two Texas Universities
White supremacist fliers were found at Texas State University in San Marcos and Rice University in Houston in late January, according to reports in the San Marcos Corridor News and the Rice Thresher. The fliers included the logo, website and Twitter handle of American Vanguard, a group whose manifesto begins, “White America is under attack.” The group, which prohibits both nonwhite and LGBT members, says it seeks to “win the hearts and minds of white youth” and be “at the forefront of reawakening white racial consciousness.”
Racist “Alt-Right” Posters Reported in Tyler
— Fashy Haircut (@NathanDamigo) January 24, 2017
Posters promoting the white nationalist “alt-right” movement reportedly went up in Tyler in late January. Nathan Damigo, a leader in the so-called “alt-right” and the founder of a white nationalist group, shared images of the posters on Twitter. “Occupying space is how we will win this fight,” Damigo wrote. In an email obtained by the Observer, one person reported being “very concerned” after a friend saw one of the posters at a Tyler business. “We knew Trump’s election would give cover to the alt-right, but seeing it out there really made it sink in,” the person wrote. “How do we fight it? Do we ignore it? Spread it around? I don’t even know.” Tyler Police Department Spokesperson Don Martin told the Observer he’d seen a Facebook post about the fliers but had no further information.
Women in Hijab Says Man Called Family ‘Terrorists’
An Islamophobic remark reportedly triggered a tense encounter in Sugar Land on New Year’s Eve, with part of the confrontation captured in a viral Facebook video (above). Shifa Abuzaid, a 21-year-old Muslim student who was wearing a hijab, said an unidentified man referred to her family as a “bunch of terrorists” while walking past them at Sugar Land Town Square. Abuzaid, who was out to lunch with several younger siblings and cousins, followed the man into the Sur La Table store and confronted him, the Houston Chronicle reports. Abuzaid said the man, who was accompanied by a woman, responded by denying their account of the incident, mocking her family and even shoving her 15-year-old brother. Store personnel intervened and the man left. Police also responded but told Abuzaid they couldn’t do anything because no one had been physically harmed.
Conspiracy Theory Leads to Threats, Vandalism Against Austin Chain
East Side Pies became the target of threats and vandalism over a fake news story promoted by Donald Trump supporters that falsely alleged the iconic Austin pizza chain is part of a child sex-trafficking ring linked to Hillary Clinton. East Side Pies co-owner Noah Polk told the Austin American-Statesman he reported the incidents to law enforcement on December 5, a day after a gunman fired a shot inside a Washington, D.C. restaurant that had been implicated in the same conspiracy theory, known as #pizzagate. In response to the harassment, East Side Pies launched a special in which customers can add a $1 donation to every pizza sold that will go toward an anti-bullying nonprofit, KXAN-TV reports.
Anti-Immigrant Fliers Found at Texas State
The president of Texas State University sent an email to faculty, staff and students December 7 advising them that officials had found and removed several fliers encouraging people to report undocumented immigrants. “The university, following current law, does not and will not report undocumented immigrants to authorities,” President Denise M. Trauth wrote. The Observer obtained an image of the flier from an employee at the LBJ Student Center, who said it had been posted “multiple places” in the building the night before.
Bacon Smeared On Muslim-Owned Business In Galveston
A Muslim restaurateur in Galveston found raw bacon smeared on the front of his business November 27, the Houston Chronicle reports. It is a religious practice for Muslims to abstain from pork. Asad Khan, a Pakistani immigrant who opened ZaZa Bar & Bites about nine months ago, said the restaurant began receiving threatening phone calls in the wake of the election, and he also discovered bacon grease smeared on the front door handle November 24. The Council on American-Islamic Relations-Houston is calling on police to treat the incidents as hate crimes, and supporters of Khan planned to gather at the restaurant December 8 for an event called, “Galveston Strong: Stand Up To Hate.”
Neo-Nazi Fliers Found at Houston Apartment Complex
Residents of an upscale Houston apartment complex found racist, threatening fliers featuring a swastika and warning that “non-American[s]” who don’t leave the “alt-left” property by December 1 will be removed, KPRC-TV reports. The fliers were found near the Houston Galleria at the Avenue R apartments, which one resident described as “very diverse.” They included the logo and initials of the National Socialist Movement, which the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as one of the nation’s largest neo-Nazi groups. “We are very excited for our new supporting president and there is no room for you left here,” the fliers stated, referring to immigrants as “animals” whose “time is up.” Property managers sent a letter to residents saying they were assisting with a police investigation.
White Supremacist Fliers Found at University of Houston
Racist fliers decrying “anti-white propaganda in college” were posted on bulletin boards, utility poles and trash cans at the University of Houston in mid-November, KRIV-TV reports. “White Americans your country is your Birthright,” one of the fliers stated. UH student Morton Sager predicted that “we’re going to see a lot more of this” given President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of right-wing officials to key cabinet posts. “Donald Trump is not going to be saying what he was saying before but he’s going to leave it up to other people to say it now,” Sager said. The university issued a statement saying it had “removed materials that were not posted in locations designated by University policy.”
Xenophobic Graffiti in Downtown Austin
Molly Clayton found “Foreigners Go Home” scrawled in permanent marker on a utility box outside 1604 Rio Grande St. in downtown Austin on November 23. Clayton told the Observer she reported the graffiti to one of the businesses that occupies the building. Sarah Saxon, office manager for the business, said locks to the utility boxes were also cut. Saxon contacted the city and was told the graffiti would be removed within 15 business days. Clayton said she later donated to Refugee Services of Texas, “which made me a feel a little better.”
Swastika Scrawled in Chalk on Dallas Sidewalk
Lisa Fleury found a swastika drawn in chalk on a sidewalk in Dallas’ Lower Greenville neighborhood on November 27. Fleury said she was “shocked and outraged” by the graffiti, which she discovered while walking with her children near 5410 Monticello, a few blocks from their home. After using water from a sippy cup to wash away the swastika — which included the number 1488, a Neo-Nazi numerical symbol — Fleury began to downplay the incident in her mind. “But then I realized that it’s already happening: I’m starting to get de-sensitized to hate speech,” she told the Observer. “If this scene would have occurred a few months ago, I would never have minimized it.”
Food Bank Receives Hateful, Racist Letter
The Central Texas Food Bank received a hateful letter November 21 suggesting that most of its clients are “illegals” seeking “free stuff” and “Africans” who “find work too much trouble,” according to GivingCityAustin.com. The letter, sent in a response to a direct mail campaign and signed “Robespierre,” also alleged that many of the food bank’s clients are “marching around whining” that Democrat Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election. Spokesman Paul Gaither noted in response to the letter that one-third of the food bank’s clients are children, one-third are white, and two-thirds are households with at least one working adult. “All we can try to do is chip away at these misconceptions,” Gaither said.
Racist, Threatening Letters Found in McKinney
Residents of one McKinney neighborhood were greeted with racist, threatening fliers on their doorsteps a few days before Thanksgiving,NBCDFW.com reports. The fliers referred to President-elect Donald Trump as “God’s gift to [a] white nation,” and warned that “Muslims, Indians, blacks and Jews” who don’t leave Texas will soon face “torture.” The fliers also cautioned recipients against contacting police, claiming the unidentified group behind them is “watching every move” and has “members in law enforcement and government.” Immigrants from India who reported the fliers to NBCDFW.com said they were “disturbed and confused about our future here.” McKinney police said they were taking the incident “very seriously.”
Trump Supporter Accused of Assaulting Black Man in San Antonio
A self-identified Donald Trump supporter was one of two white men who allegedly assaulted a black man at a San Antonio convenience store on November 16. Dusty Paul Lacombe, 32, told the victim he was a “Trump supporter” before grabbing him by the dreadlocks, putting him in a headlock and punching him in the face repeatedly, the San Antonio Express-News reports. Lacombe and Blake Manshack, 30, who also allegedly punched the victim in the face several times, were arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury, before being released on bond. The victim, who said his head hurt and he was feeling dizzy, was treated by paramedics at the scene.
Nazi Flier Found at UH-Victoria
A flier with a swastika, a confederate flag and the words “Trump 2016” was found on a wall inside a residence hall at the University of Houston-Victoria on November 10, according to Jay Lambert, vice president for enrollment management and student affairs. Lambert told the Observer the administration investigated the incident but was unable to determine who posted the flier. “We do everything within our power to make sure all of our students feel included and that they belong,” he said. “This is definitely not something we want to see on our campus. I think we’re fortunate that it was just one flier.”
Trump Supporter Sprays Protesters with Exhaust
Jaron Mora, a Donald Trump supporter, told the Observer he sprayed exhaust fumes from his truck on anti-Trump protesters in a drive-by attack in Nacogdoches on November 13. “Because they’re a bunch of cry baby’s [SIC] that didn’t get their way and I think they’re annoying [as fuck],” Mora wrote. Asked whether the anti-Trump protesters have a right to free speech, Mora said, “After the election is over and there’s nothing they can do about it? It’s pointless.” Mora’s friend filmed the attack, which was perpetrated using what he called a “highly modified race truck.”
Asian Student Says Teacher Harassed Him
An Asian-American student at Rowlett High School said a teacher told him November 9 that Trump would build a wall and deport him. Austin Ngo, a first-generation American, told The Dallas Morning News the incident upset him but he tried not to show it. Ngo’s mother said he called her from school in tears. Ngo, a senior, reported the incident the following day. The Houston Chronicle reports that the school district investigated the matter but would not reveal the result.
Fans Shout “Build a Wall” at Team From Border School
Student-athletes from a predominantly Hispanic high school near the Texas-Mexico border were confronted with chants of “Build a Wall” at a girls’ volleyball match on November 11. The incident took place during the class 2A regional contest between Fort Hancock High School, which is 97 percent Hispanic, and Archer City High School, which is 83 percent white, in Snyder. Archer City Superintendent C.D. Knobloch later apologized to Fort Hancock district officials for the incident and said the Archer City students involved would be disciplined. “If we hadn’t had that election last week, this wouldn’t have happened,” Knobloch told the Star-Telegram. “Our students are not racists. It’s as simple as that.”
Black Student Assaulted at Baylor
— Jaileene Maite (@ijaileene) November 9, 2016
In a viral Twitter video, Baylor University sophomore Natasha Nkhama said another student shoved her off a sidewalk and called her a “nigger” while she was walking to class November 9. After being confronted by a third student, the perpetrator allegedly said, “I’m just trying to make America great again.” On November 11, following an #IWalkWithNatasha campaign, interim Baylor President David Garland joined hundreds of students to walk Nkhama to class in a show of support. “When we love others like this, we make ourselves so much greater,” Garland said in a statement. Baylor is encouraging students to report bias-motivated incidents, but the student who shoved Nkhama has not been identified. “To me it doesn’t matter, because now he knows that he can’t do that anymore and he can’t get away with it on campus,” Nkhama told the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Racist, Threatening Fliers Found at Texas State
— *insert meme* (@RestlessYouth_) November 9, 2016
A pro-Donald Trump group calling itself the “Texas State Vigilantes” reportedly posted racist, threatening fliers on bathroom mirrors throughout the Texas State University campus on November 9. One flier (above) advocated the arrest and torture of university administrators who support diversity, while another proposed adding dangerous reptiles and webcams to the Rio Grande River so viewers can watch a “gladiator spectacle of illegal messicans try to rush the wall only to get stanched and eaten by predators,” according to The Dallas Morning News. Texas State President Denise Trauth issued a statement saying university police were investigating, adding that attaching fliers to restroom mirrors amounts to criminal activity. “Texas State strives to maintain an atmosphere of free speech, but one that is respectful to other members of the Bobcat community,” Trauth said.
Racist “Alt-Right” Fliers Found at SMU
— D Fernandez (@DemondFernandez) November 15, 2016
Fliers warning white women not to date black men were discovered in residence halls at Southern Methodist University on November 13. The fliers claimed black men are more likely to have STDs and abuse women, and that, “Your kids probably won’t be smart,” according to The Daily Campus. The SMU fliers, similar to ones found at the University of Michigan and the University of Oklahoma this fall, featured a logo and text linking them to the “alt-right,” a white nationalist movement that supported Donald Trump’s campaign. SMU President R. Gerald Turner issued a statement commending students for organizing in response to the fliers. “The entire community must recommit to discouraging and eliminating such unacceptable behavior,” Turner said.
Racist Graffiti Found at Plano East HS
THIS IS ON MY SCHOOL FLOOR. This is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. And people are praising this. pic.twitter.com/ijRTt39evA
— Natasha (@Natushiii_) November 9, 2016
Students at Plano East Senior High School discovered a depiction of a border wall drawn in chalk on the sidewalk of a campus breezeway November 9. Alongside the wall were the words, “Build that wall,” “Can’t stop Trump” and “Hillary for Prison,” according to The Dallas Morning News. The graffiti was among several racially charged incidents at Plano East, where some students reportedly wore Donald Trump apparel and hurled slurs at black, Hispanic and Muslim classmates. A day later, Plano East added security due to rumors about a gun on social media. “I fear for my friends and I fear for my family,” one Hispanic student told the Morning News. “Being at school that day was the worst day I’ve ever experienced there.”
Abilene Christian Expels Two Students Over Blackface Video
Two Abilene Christian University students were expelled in connection with a blackface video that began circulating on social media November 14, the Star-Telegram reports. In the seven-second video originally posted on Snapchat, a white female student in blackface says, “I am a strong black woman,” before putting on bright red, oversized lips as people laugh in the background. The caption of the video states, “this is why black lives matter exists.” In a letter posted later Monday, ACU President Phil Schubert said those involved with the video “are no longer students at ACU.” Schubert added that “this kind of hurtful behavior has no place on our campus,” regardless of whether it’s on social media or in person.
Racist Graffiti Found at Texas A&M University-Kingsville
A custodian at Texas A&M University-Kingsville discovered graffiti in a dorm restroom reading, “Beaners go home! Trump!” according to KZTV Channel 10. The graffiti was immediately removed, and campus police are investigating. The university sent a letter to students November 15 saying it is “proud of the diversity and tolerance that exists in Javelina nation,” and assuring them that officials will investigate “any incident of racism, discrimination or intolerance.”
Gay Texas State Student Attacked
A gay Latino student at Texas State University was attacked for wearing high heels while walking home from an LGBT nightclub in San Marcos on November 13, according to the Austin-American Statesman. Alejandro Camina said his attacker called him a “faggot” and punched him in the face before running off, leaving him with a bloody nose, swelling and bruising. On Instagram, Camina linked the attack to President-elect Donald Trump’s victory. “It was bad before, but now it’s worse,” he wrote. On November 14, the body of a gay, black student was found on the Texas State campus in an apparent suicide. About 100 people attended a vigil for Travis Green on November 15, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Anti-Trump Protesters Doused in Nacogdoches
Some anti-Trump protesters in Nacogdoches reportedly got wet after a city worker opened a fire hydrant near their rally on November 13, before giving a thumbs-up sign to pro-Trump protesters across the street. City Manager Jim Jeffers told KTRE-TV that the employee, who was suspended for one day without pay, may have engaged in inappropriate political activity. However, the city said later on Facebook that the employee’s actions weren’t intentional, adding that he was performing routine maintenance by flushing water lines and taking chlorine samples.
Hispanic Student at Coppell HS Receives “Goodbye Card”
— Jobin Panicker (@jobinpnews) November 15, 2016
A Hispanic student at Coppell High School reportedly discovered a “goodbye card” on his desk suggesting he would be deported. “We are very sad our school will not stay very clean anymore but if we need you, we will stay in touch,” the card stated, according to the Coppell Gazette. “Make America Great Again! Adios!” The card was one of two racist incidents reported at Coppell High the week of the election. In the other, someone left a note on a whiteboard saying, “Trump 2016! Build the wall deport them all!” The school sent an email to parents about the incidents and was investigating them as possible violations of the student code of conduct, according to WFAA-TV.
Anti-Gay Graffiti Scrawled on San Antonio Couple’s Car
— H. Drew Galloway (@hdrewgalloway) November 13, 2016
A gay couple in San Antonio found “It’s over faggots” written in magic marker on their one-month-old car on November 12, according to the San Antonio Current. Drew Galloway and his partner Martin believe one of their neighbors may be responsible for the incident, since they live in a gated community and the car contained no stickers indicating they’re gay. The San Antonio Police Department is investigating the graffiti as a hate crime. The Current also reported that a black man riding a scooter was cut off and approached by another motorist with a Trump bumper sticker who called him a “nigger” and said he should “go back to Africa.”
No Free Lunch For Black Veteran
A black Army veteran says a manager at a Chili’s restaurant in Cedar Hill snatched away his food after another customer in a Donald Trump T-shirt suggested he didn’t serve in the military, according to The Dallas Morning News. Ernest Walker was enjoying a free Veterans Day meal when an elderly white man in a Trump shirt told Walker he was in Germany and blacks weren’t allowed to serve there. The manager later emerged and said another customer had questioned Walker’s veteran status because he was wearing a hat indoors. Although Walker provided proof of his service, the manager confiscated his to-go box. Chili’s later fired the manager and apologized to Walker.