That Other Time a Subway Rider Turned a Swastika Into Message of L-O-V-E by the Forward

That Other Time a Subway Rider Turned a Swastika Into Message of L-O-V-E

The New Yorkers who erased racist and anti-Semitic graffiti from a subway car this weekend weren’t the first ones to stand up to hate speech underground.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the riders who went the extra mile to remove hateful messages — and revealed a similar incident in which a straphanger turned a swastika into a message of love.

“This is what New Yorkers do - we turn hate into love,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter.

Cuomo was initially reacting to New York attorney Gregory Locke who enlisted fellow subway riders to clean up the messages of hate using hand sanitizer on Saturday night on a Manhattan train.

Locke posted about the incident on Facebook — and the post had been shared more than 354,000 times as of Sunday afternoon.

Cuomo said a passenger on a different train spotted a swastika scrawled over an image of an American flag a few days ago.

The passenger, whom Cuomo did not name, used a marker to turn the symbol into a box with four quadrants. He wrote the letters L-O-V-E in the boxes, effectively turning the hate speech on its head.—With Reuters


Dave Goldiner

Dave Goldiner

Dave Goldiner is the Forward’s director of digital media. Dave is a veteran journalist who has spent two decades working at newspapers in the United States and Africa. A native New Yorker, Goldiner wrote for the New York Daily News, where he covered some of the biggest stories of our time, including the attacks of September 11, along with thousands of stories of hope and heartbreak. He also studied and worked in Southern Africa and has written for publications in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He holds masters degrees in journalism and public administration from Columbia University. Dave can be reached at, or follow him on Twitter @davegoldiner

That Other Time a Subway Rider Turned a Swastika Into Message of L-O-V-E

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

That Other Time a Subway Rider Turned a Swastika Into Message of L-O-V-E

Thank you!

This article has been sent!