Various media sources reported that some hours after International Holocaust Day, a suspect--without a home or some such euphemism--spray painted over 100 swastikas and racist epithets on the facade of Union Station. The national news media did not find the story sufficiently exciting to bring it to the attention of citizens. CNN, local news, and the Washington Post sent out short blurbs on the event.
Why? I suppose something else caught their attention on that day. Oh, I know, a "cyclone bomb"was blowing up the eastern seaboard, previously known as a "Nor'easter." The old time fisherman and boatmen of the New England coast laughed in their graves over this nonsense. Massachusetts and Maine are known for wicked storms. So people in the D.C. area stocked up on toilet paper, bread, eggs, and milk while there were over one hundred symbols painted on the outside of Union Station, the train depot mere steps from the U.S. Capitol. "Never mind, oh well, who cares." Merely defacement of public property I was told, when I mentioned the situation to a leader in the Jewish Community of the metropolitan D.C. area. Disturbing yes, but not a hate crime.
I, for one, do not care if drawing swastikas on public property is a misdemeanor or meets the defintion of "hate crime." What bothers me is the uptick of obvious hatred in our country while civic authorities dismiss certain actions and blow others out of proportion. Certainly, graffiti is not a bombing, shooting, or taking of hostages. No one was hurt. However, hate is expressed in symbols, pictures, and words. Amtrak police may not care particularly, and someone is covering up a lack of security. But swastikas are swastikas and send a strong message.
© 2022 Karen Levi