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Most Americans believe politicians’ heated rhetoric can lead to violence, report finds

The gunman who killed 51 people in attacks on mosques in Christchurch called Donald Trump ‘a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose’.

A PEW report found that 78% of Americans say aggressive language from elected officials makes violence against targeted groups more likely. Berkman Klein faculty associate Susan Benesch says that the most effective way to decrease dangerous speech is to have people call it out when it happens on their own side.

“It will be only when people have enough courage and love of country to call out dangerous rhetoric on their own side that we will see norms shifting in the right direction,” Benesch said. “It’s a very difficult thing to do.”

Read more in The Guardian

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