FBI data released last year: Hate crimes are up 17 percent in 2017 over 2016, the third consecutive annual rise.

Vince Hatt’s “Evil in River City” (Feb. 23 Tribune) mentions an incident wherein two men accost a young Muslim woman in line at the Post Office, telling her she’s the “type” that isn’t wanted in the United States.

Why do these guys think they have a license to humiliate? Let’s face it, our president, and his supporters in Congress, have encouraged a toxic atmosphere in the U.S.

Their whole clamor for a wall proclaims there’s a “type” we’re invited and entitled to scorn.

Rationally control the border, yes, but the wall “emergency” is based on wholesale ethnic slander.

If the wall goes up, the Statue of Liberty should come down. Her promise is dead. Ethnic slander, along with coddling the corporate super rich, is classic Nazism.

My father, all my uncles, and their whole generation struggled in a grueling world war to crush Nazism. Now it’s a retread being propped up at the top levels of our government? What a colossal double cross.

There are good people who vote Republican because they sincerely believe in longstanding conservative ideals.

I’d ask those people to check the itinerary of the train they’re boarding.

Today’s Republican Party is not the Republican Party of old. It has turned a couple of corners and is now going backward. Its actual operational values are now total un-American, no matter how many flag pins its leaders may wear.

Don Foy, La Farge

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