MSNBC national security analyst Clint Watts said Wednesday on “Deadline” that a 2020 rise in hate crimes occurred because former President Donald Trump’s “violent rhetoric” led to more violence.
Anchor Nicolle Wallace said, “Obviously unforgettable moment of an unforgettable presidency of Donald Trump when he talked about good people on both sides, but want to put up some data. I want to ask about the political rhetoric and any ties to this data. The FBI updated data on Monday. The number of hate crimes reported in 2020 was the highest recorded in two decades. Eight-thousand-and-fifty-two crimes motivated by one kind of bias involved 11,126 victims in total. Nearly 62% of crimes were tied to an individual’s race, ethnicity, or ancestry across this country. Do you have sort of a theory on the case of why that is? Is it more than a political climate, our political rhetoric, our last president?
Watts said, “No, Nicolle. It’s our last president. Violent rhetoric leads to more violence. It’s pretty much a straight line. During the global war on terror years, we were very concerned about violent rhetoric from people like Osama bin Laden or Anwar al-Awlaki. Today, we see this all the time in our own country, and it comes oftentimes from political leaders. The more they talk or justify violence, the more they amplify that and continue it, and the more they do it around racial, religious, and sex, men versus women. The misogynist angle is overwhelming right now, and it wasn’t even there, really, four to five years ago. The more they do that, the more you will see violence over time. It’s what’s called the stochastic phenomenon. The more the support grows for these groups, the smaller percentage, even if it’s just one percent that turned violent, that gets larger over time. I think that’s what we see here now.”
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