Amid reports of harassment and threats directed at minorities and immigrants in the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a Facebook post on Saturday that his state is a refuge for those who feel they are under attack.
“Whether you are gay or straight, Muslim or Christian, rich or poor, black or white or brown, we respect all people in the state of New York,” Cuomo (D) wrote. “It’s the very core of what we believe and who we are … We don’t allow a federal government that attacks immigrants to do so in our state.”
Cuomo’s statement is his first public Facebook post since election night, when he congratulated Hillary Clinton after New York’s 29 electoral votes were called for the former first lady, senator and secretary of state.
His message also comes as law enforcement officials in New York are investigating two incidents of apparently racist vandalism that have occurred in the past few days.
The governor said he had ordered police to investigate an alleged hate crime that occurred Friday at the State University of New York College at Geneseo. A swastika sign and the word “Trump” were scrawled on a wall inside a university dorm.
On Wednesday, a softball dugout at Island Park in Wellsville was vandalized with the words “Make America White Again” and a swastika sign, according to the Buffalo News.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 200 incidents of harassment and intimidation have been reported as of Friday. Many were directed toward African-Americans, immigrants, Muslims and the LGBT community.
The nonprofit group tallied individual incidents reported on the news and on social media, as well as those reported directly to the organization’s website. The center, however, cautioned that not all incidents involved direct references to Trump and that not every incident could be independently verified. Many of the incidents involved vandalism, while others involved direct attacks.
In his victory speech, Trump tried to strike a unifying tone and promised to be a “president for all Americans” – a departure from his campaign rhetoric, which energized white supremacist groups and members of the alt-right movement.
Trump’s victory was followed by a wave of protests across the country that continued Sunday, five days after the election.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Kristine Guerra