When one New Yorker got on the subway last night, he didn’t expect to find anti-Semitic graffiti everywhere he looked. But that’s what happened: Nazi symbolism on a subway car in New York City in 2017. This is Donald Trump’s America.
Trump’s election and presidency has empowered bigots and bullies. A survey by the Human Rights Campaign shows that anti-LGBTQ bullying has gotten worse since the election. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there has been a rise of incidents of violence against Jews, Muslims, immigrants, black people, women and the LGBTQ community since the election. Just last night in Chicago’s Loop neighborhood. windows were broken out and swastika stickers were placed on the front door of a synagogue.
Well, when something similar happened in New York City, people fought back.
On the subway coming home, Gregory Locke found Nazi symbolism written on every advertisement of a subway car. Hateful sentiments like “Jews belong in the oven” cluttered the walls of the subway car, making everyone extremely uncomfortable.
Passengers sat in silence at first not knowing what to do until one man came up with a solution. “One guy got up and said, ‘Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol.’ He found some tissues and got to work,” Locke documents.
“I’ve never seen so many people simultaneously reach into their bags and pockets looking for tissues and Purel. Within about two minutes, all the Nazi symbolism was gone.”
Thousands of people have shared Locke’s post on Faecbook, writing their own responses to the horrific yet heartwarming story. One person writes, “We can be better, we can be nicer, we can learn. And the change does start from within each of us.”
While the story is horrendous, there is a message of hope that Locke eloquently points that out. When one passenger noticed this is the reality of living in Trump’s America, Lock re-frames this thinking.
“No sir, it’s not. Not tonight and not ever. Not as long as stubborn New Yorkers have anything to say about it.”