By Amanda Salazar
Last month, a Murrow junior walked her friend into the train station, where a man holding a guitar eyed both of them.
A few minutes later, the stranger approached Juliana Clark after her friend walked through the turnstile, and began yelling racial slurs at her.
“I started leaving and he yelled at me asking if I had my green card,” said Clark, an Asian-American student. “He later cornered me as I made my way up the stairs and threatened me.”
While she can’t be sure, Clark said she believes that this incident has to do with the rash of racial incidents right after President Donald J. Trump’s won the election.
“No mentally unstable person would take the time to think if someone belonged or not based off of their race unless influenced,” Clark said. “And that’s where Trump comes in. He has negatively influenced people by discriminating against probably every group of people by this point.”
Immediately following the 2016 Presidential Election, there have been hundreds of reports of hate and bias crimes across the nation.
According to HateIndex.com, a website sponsored by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism which tracks all reports of biased crimes through January 10th, it states that there have been 318 reported hate crime encounters since the election.
In New York State, 11 of those 51 incidents occurred in Brooklyn. According to The Hate Index, there have been no reports of biased crimes in any New York high school.
However, these are the incidents that have been formally reported – there are ones like Clark that go unreported.
As Murrow is such a racially diverse school, it was not unexpected that there would be some reports of incidents involving students.
One student, David Huang, witnessed a Muslim girl being verbally harassed by another girl. The girl was being told similar things to Clark, such as to return to “her country”.
“When that bully said that to the innocent girl, I feel like it’s not right,” Huang said. “It’s really a disgraceful thing. Why are you doing this? Like, it’s not right. People came here to America to have their own freedoms and to find their own opportunities.”
The senior said that he even defended the girl who was being verbally harassed.
“I actually went up and said ‘Hey, that’s not right. We all have the freedom and the opportunity to stay here. It’s not right to say what you want or you don’t want in this country,’” explained Huang.
Senior Ayisha Siddiqi, who is Muslim and wears a niqab that covers her face, said she witnessed a verbal attack on a friend of hers after the election in November.
“You get more dirty looks than you would normally,” she admitted. “My friend and I were walking, we were going home, and some guy decided that he would stop my friend and stare at her [hijab]. He just stared at her. I’m kind of defensive towards people I care about, so I was like, ‘What are you looking at?’ And he’s like, ‘Just her. What is this [the niqab]? You know this will be illegal.’”
But the harassment has not only been going one way. Trump supporters say that they too are feeling backlash in light of the recent election.
“When I put a [Trump] sticker on my shirt I definitely got some weird looks,” said Trump supporter Brian Zolotnikov. “Even some person was like ‘He’s about to get his a** kicked.’ Not saying that anything happened to me in Murrow, as I feel safe in Murrow.”
Other students have not had any encounters of biased crime, but are fearful for their future under the presidency of Donald Trump.
“I’ve had three or four students who are citizens, but their parents are not who are worried,” said mandated school counselor Ms. Kelly Carnevale. “I had a few kids who are on food stamps who were also worried that things could be taken away from them. They were really upset.”
The general consensus seems to be that these fears and occurrences are due to the recent election, if not specifically the candidate who was elected.