Holocaust Memorial Vandalism Highlights the Growing Intolerance in Trump’s America
AntiSemitic Incidents are On The Rise in America and This is Just the Latest Example
Trump’s America is becoming an increasingly hostile place where antisemitism has been on the rise alongside anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions. And yet another example of the intolerance that minority groups are facing was on display in Boston in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
As the Boston Globe reports, 21-year old James E. Issac decided it would be a good idea to vandalize the city’s Holocaust Memorial. He tossed a large rock through a glass panel etched with numbers that Jews in Nazi concentration camps had tattooed on their arms.
Fortunately, there was a witness who contacted police. They were able to apprehend Issac who has been charged with “willful and malicious destruction of personal property and willful and malicious destruction of a place of a monument.”
— Elliott Hamilton (@ElliottRHams) June 28, 2017
— Anna Meiler (@AnnaMeiler) June 28, 2017
There is a disturbing historical connection with the breaking of a pane of glass and the events of Kristallnacht, “Night of Crystal” or also called “The Night of Broken Glass” that took place in Germany and Austria on November 9 and 10, 1938. It was an event designed to terrorize and intimidate the Jewish population that would end up facing absolutely brutality and genocide under the Nazi regime.
CJP, the Greater Boston area Jewish Federation, released a statement regarding the vandalism on it’s website.
“Early today one of the Memorial’s 132 glass panels was shattered in an act of vandalism. Each panel is etched with thousands of numbers representing the infamous tattoos inflected on the arms of many of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Even as we are angered by this act of desecration against a Memorial remembering the darkest chapter in human history, we are grateful for the rapid response of the Boston Police Department. …We are heartened by the outpouring of concern we have already seen by members of all communities as a result of this sickening crime.”
The vandalism in Boston is part of a growing problem with hate and intolerance that has been seen since Trump took office, as the New Statesman pointed out back in late February.
They highlighted the desecration of a St. Louis Jewish Cemetery, where more than 100 headstones were vandalized. Also pointed out was the increase in antisemitic hate speech being seen on the internet and a growing number of graffiti swastikas being found, particularly in New York City.
As the Anti Defamation League (ADL) reported, based on it’s yearly report of anti-semitic incidents, there has been a startling increase with a one-third rise in 2016 and a whopping 86 percent within the first quarter of 2017 alone. And it all corresponds with the 2016 election, with incidents increasing in late November of last year.
The New Statesmen spoke with Jewish writer David Samuels who expressed great concern over what he is seeing taking place in Trump’s America.
“American Jews are threatened by rising anti-Semitism on both the right and left, which FBI statistics show to be more serious and more deadly than any animus directed towards Muslims or any other religious group. I feel sad that this is now my country, not because I am Jewish but because anti-Semitism is a degenerative thought-virus that makes people crazy by promising to explain everything that happens in the world with reference to a single prime mover – the Jews.”
And yes, although statistics do confirm that antisemitism is a major problem that too often is overlooked, there is no doubt that other groups are facing growing hostility, in particularly Muslims. Donald Trump’s travel ban affecting citizens of six Muslim majority countries is a prime example.
Over the course of the election cycle, as Donald Trump pulled no punches when it came to demonizing Muslims, the Huffington Post ‘Islamophobia Project‘ found that there were at least 13 incidents where Trump supporters harassed, attacked and even plotted to kill Muslims.
One of the most prominent recent cases of violent anti-Muslim hate revolved around the killing of two men and the injuring of another by a man in Portland, Jeremy Christian, who had been verbally attacking two Muslim women using anti-Muslim insults, as the Seattle Times reported.
What is clear is that Trump’s America has become a scary place for certain minority groups. Quite literally, what is happening is the polar opposite of making America great again for millions of Jews, Muslims, immigrants and refugees.
Feature image (left) National Archives and Records Administration/ (right) Elliot Hamilton/twitter
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