Despite president-elect Donald Trump’s pleas via his 60 Minutes interview for supporters to stop committing hate crimes in his name, both the Anti-Defamation League and The Southern Poverty Law Center report increases in racist and xenophobic harassment since the presidential election. One such case was the vandalism of The Adam Yauch Memorial Park in Brooklyn, New York.
Swastikas and the phrase “Go Trump” were found spray-painted in various areas of the park Saturday. While the New York Police Department and other authorities investigated the incident, New York state senator Daniel Squadron, congresswoman Nydia Velazquez ,and city council members Stephen Levin and Brad Lander joined fans and fellow Beastie Boys member Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz in a rally at the park. Horovitz began by stating the obvious.
“Spray-painting swastikas in a children’s playground is a messed up thing to do,” Horovitz said. “And for many of us, it has special meaning because this park is named for Adam Yauch, who was my friend and bandmate for over 30 years.” The sobering message was hammered home with specific references to the type of harassment reported by the SPLC and the ADL.
“This is real. It’s happening at a rapid rate,” Horovitz added. “We’ve got to stand up against hate.”
The founding Beastie Boys member urged concerned citizens to protest, donate money to Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood, and The United Way of Flint, Michigan. He also recommended volunteering to help marginalized groups.
In addition to Horovitz’s condemnation of Trump-related harassment, Councilman Lander took a more direct approach condemning Trump for not going after those who commit hate crimes the same way he went after the Hamilton cast.