The country’s post-election hate crime wave has now hit Williamsburg, where residents at the Independence Towers in the southern part of the Brooklyn neighborhood discovered swastikas and the slogans “KKK” and “Trump” graffitied on the stairwell Friday.
“Such messages are extremely painful and when dismissed and ignored, it can escalate into physical attacks, God forbid,” Rabbi David Niederman, president of United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn, told DNAInfo. Williamsburg contains one of the largest Hasidic Jewish communities in the world.
Since the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented a rise in bias incidents, with 700 of them occurring in the week after the results were announced. Some of the episodes have taken place even in liberal bastions like New York, including anti-Semitic vandalism against a Brooklyn park named for Beastie Boys star Adam Yauch and swastikas found in the lobby of New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman’s apartment building.
“[W]e will prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, the perpetrators of any of this ugliness and divisiveness,” he told a crowd at a church in Harlem. “Because it’s not happening in this state.”
Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.