Friday, November 25, 2016
A woman reported that she took her kids to a park in Brooklyn and found swastikas and "Go Trump" spray-painted on a "jungle gym." I couldn't figure out how anything intelligible could be spray-painted on a framework of bars, so I looked it up and found this. Aha. It's on the side of a play locomotive.
Anyway, a lot of people, including politicians, Ben Stiller and a member of the Beastie Boys (The park is named for a member of the band who died of cancer.) had a big rally to say they won't stand for hate crimes. I'm with 'em there. Only, having been trained by the last of the crusty old journalists to set aside my own biases and look carefully at what really happened, I had to slow down and take a look at the evidence. That thing on the left looks like a big P with part of a 5 superimposed. If it stood alone, would you think it was a swastika? I don't think I would. The one on the right is a little closer. It sort of has the "broken cross" arms, but it's backwards from the Nazi symbol. Voila. -->
As I wrote to a NY state senator who commented on the "hate crime," it looks like your local Nazis don't know their own symbol very well. Maybe we should assemble a little more information before we freak out altogether. Given the numbers of faked hate messages out there, could this not be, you know, a faked hate message? Furthermore, its incoherence makes me think of a little kid who has just discovered a dirty word that can send the adults into a tizzy. He has no idea what it means, but is it ever fun to hear them gasp. Might the miscreant be a dopey teenager who scarcely knows what he is spray-painting, but likes the idea of causing a kerfuffle? It reminds me too of losers who start forest fires just so they can observe the excitement. They don't hate trees or Bambi; they simply lack any sense of accomplishment, and if destroying things and scaring people is the only thing they can think of to make their mark, that's what they do.
I don't know for sure what the ignorant artiste's motivation was, and neither does anyone else. May we please find out for sure before we get our Lederhosen in a twist that we can't undo?