Hate Rising: Jorge Ramos Delves Deep Into Racial Hatred in America

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos talks to The Root about his new documentary, Hate Rising, which discusses how hate is contagious and how many have been emboldened in their hate by the Donald Trump campaign.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump fields a question from Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos during a press conference held before his campaign event at the Grand River Center on Aug. 25, 2015, in Dubuque, Iowa. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has been thinking a lot about hate recently.

Ever since Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump ejected the Mexican immigrant, who is also an American citizen, from a press conference in August 2015 with a dismissive “Go back to Univision,” the experience has been on his mind.

“Just a few seconds later, one of his followers told me ‘get out of my country.’ It was very clear to me from that experience that hate is contagious, so I spent the last nine months exploring hate in America,” Ramos told The Root of his experience last year.

That prompted Ramos to go to several corners of the United States. Out of his research and reporting comes the documentary Hate Rising, which will make its television premiere Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. on Fusion (English) and Univision (Spanish).

What Ramos found is that the number of hate groups in the country has grown immensely in the past year. Ramos told The Root that according to data from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of organizations linked to the Ku Klux Klan grew from 72 in 2014 to 190 in 2015, which was the same year Trump announced his campaign.

“I think that he has allowed his racist remarks to become the norm,” Ramos mused. “Many people feel that if the candidate said it, why not them. He has given permission to many people to say things that are politically incorrect.”

The SPLC has called this more mainstream rhetoric that mimics much of what we hear on the campaign trail “the Trump effect.” And it is rhetoric that speaks to the small, radical segment of white non-Hispanics who feel as if their time as a majority is coming to an end.

“When a group of white non-Hispanics, when they feel threatened and attacked and when they feel that they’re going to become a minority—which they will in 2044—they find leaders and messages that they can rely on. They found Trump and his anti-immigrant rhetoric,” Ramos added.

Ramos has spent the past few months going to small towns across the country and speaking to neo-Nazis, members of the KKK and the alt-right, as well as Muslims and Latinos who have been victims of hate crimes. And he hopes that his finished project shocks those who watch and leaves them uncomfortable.

“I hope that the documentary makes you uncomfortable with the reality that we’re living in right now. I hope that you don’t like it,” he said. “I hope that it’s going to make you want to leave the theater or turn off the TV because those expressions of hate and racism are happening right now in this country.”


Hate Rising will make its television premiere Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. during an unprecedented dual broadcast on Fusion in English and on Univision Network’s Aqui y ahora in Spanish. The film is directed by Emmy-nominated Catherine Tambini (The State of Arizona), reported by award-winning journalist Jorge Ramos and produced by Univision Story House in conjunction with Fusion.

Breanna Edwards is news editor at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.

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