Thursday, January 23, 2020
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Swastikas, antisemitic graffiti in Ohio, IL, Md.

Law enforcement officials are investigating possible hate crimes in connection with the discovery of racist, homophobic, antisemitic, and other graffiti in Ohio, Illinois, and Maryland over the last week.

Ohio

At Withrow University High School in Cincinnati, for example, a swastika and the words “F*** N****** and F******” were spray-painted on the sidewalk, the Enquirer reports. The school serves about 1,250 students, 97 percent of whom are non-white and many of whom are immigrants.

The police have released a 10-second video of the perpetrator, and they’re asking for the public’s help in identifying him. The word “Trump,” referring to President Donald Trump, was also spray-painted near swastikas at other locations at the school.

“This unfortunate event is further evidence of our need to heal and grow as a community,” the paper quoted Dawn Grady, a schools spokesperson, as saying in a written statement. “If this awful act encourages anything, we hope that it sparks continued dialogue among families about our need to come together as one country. Our diversity is an asset and should be celebrated.”

The paper also identified other incidents in the region, including a white nationalist symbol and the words, “Obama the N***** King” in front of a memorial bench and swastikas and the words “white power” on an interracial couple’s home.

Illinois

Last Wednesday, a swastika and the word “Trump” was found in graffiti at the Northbrook Public Library, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“A number of different libraries have had similar instances with this,” the paper quoted library executive director Kate Hall as saying. She was referring to Evanston Public Library books about the Qur’an, which were defaced with swastikas and anti-gay slurs just after the election.

Maryland

Antisemitic messages and drawings were found throughout a building on the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, on January 14, the Retriever reports. Campus police are investigating the vandalism, along with posters and fliers covered with hate speech and symbols directed at the Jewish faith, as a hate crime.

President Freeman Hrabowski released a campus-wide email on January 18, telling students that “racist language and imagery had been found” and that “our community views racist and discriminatory language, imagery, and actions as deeply harmful and counter to our values.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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