A group of NYC subway riders acted fast to scrub anti-Semitic graffiti off the train
New Yorkers are accustomed to turning a blind-eye to all manner of unpleasant things encountered on the subway, but what Gregory Locke and his fellow passengers saw when they boarded a Manhattan train Friday night was not something they were willing to ignore.
The train’s signage and advertisements had been defaced with swastikas and anti-Semitic hate speech.
The passengers were stunned. This kind of thing, in New York City, in 2017?
Not if Gregory and his fellow passengers had anything to say about it. In a post he shared to his Facebook, page, Gregory recounted the steps he and his fellow passengers took to rid the train of the repellent language and imagery.
As he states in the post, almost as soon as they noticed the Sharpie-inflicted graffiti, someone made a suggestion.
“One guy got up and said, ‘Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol.’ He found some tissues and got to work.”
Together, the group wiped away all the hate.
“I’ve never seen so many people simultaneously reach into their bags and pockets looking for tissues and Purell. Within about two minutes, all the Nazi symbolism was gone.”
If only it were that easy to eliminate the source.
It’s no secret that there are many in this country who feel that Trump’s election to President somehow validates their hate for minorities of all stripes. The President installed a Nazi as his right hand man, repeatedly makes his own bigotry abundantly clear, and in his first two weeks in office has actually taken steps to implement laws that make hate and exclusion national policy. The nation has seen a rise in hate crimes since Trump was elected, and Friday night’s incident seems to be yet another example of the alt-right feeling their oats.
Thankfully, as the mounting protests have shown – to the Muslim ban, to Trump’s cabinet picks, to the new administration’s thoughts on women – the bad guys aren’t the only ones feeling inspired to act by the country’s frightening new direction. The people who boarded that subway train Friday night are a perfect example of how we can fight back against hate.
As one of the passengers said upon encountering the hateful graffiti, “I guess this is Trump’s America.”
Not if those of us opposed to it act like Gregory and crew did Friday night. As he himself wrapped up his Facebook post, “No sir, it’s not. Not tonight and not ever. Not as long as stubborn New Yorkers have anything to say about it.”
This article was originally published on