Community Outrage After Hate Speech Graffiti Discovered
The spread of hate speech graffiti targeting the black, Jewish, and LGBT communities in Brooklyn has caused a lot of concern locally, and questions were raised as to how to best report it after a series of U.S. postal stickers with hate speech was discovered last week along McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint.
North Brooklyn Democratic District Leader Nick Rizzo condemned the hate speech and in a statement pointed out the connection between Nazism and White Nationalism.
This incident shows the connection between Nazism, which we all know is un-American, and White Nationalism, which a bunch of American politicians openly support. Please be alert to rising Far Right incitements: We cannot allow hate to gain strength in Brooklyn. Know that ’14 words’ and 88 (code for ‘Heil Hitler’) are both White Nationalist symbols.
Brooklyn resident Mallory Seegal, who discovered the stickers on Sunday, adds that she was ‘disgusted’ by the language.
When I found these stickers on Sunday, I was disgusted but by no means surprised. This is just one example, out of many, of how white supremacy manifests. The complex and ongoing system of white supremacy is the disease, and the individual actions of white nationalists and white supremacists are a symptom. We are looking at two sides of the same coin.
While Greenpointers intended to help bring attention to the incident, the NYPD says that posting on social media first hinders investigations into these crimes.
Officer Rivera of the NYPD’s 94th Precinct Community Affairs informed Greenpointers that the most effective way to report hate graffiti is to leave the graffiti untouched and call 911 immediately, as 911 operators will be able to determine if it’s a situation that can be referred to 311. Not contacting the authorities first and posting on social media impedes the timing of the investigation. A proper investigation is paramount and can lead to an arrest, he said.
A joint statement from Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, Council Member Stephen Levin, Assembly Member Joseph Lentol, State Senator Julia Salazar, and Representative Carolyn Maloney says they are committed to bringing the community together to combat the issue.
We strongly condemn the virulently anti-Semitic, homophobic, and racist language that was inscribed on United States Postal Service stamps at lampposts and public spaces in multiple locations across north Greenpoint, including McGuiness Boulevard, Dupont Street, Eagle Street, and Freeman Street. Most disturbingly, the materials contained Nazi swastikas and the numbers 14 and 88, which refer to the fourteen-word slogan ‘we must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children,’ and the Heil Hitler salute respectively.
Unfortunately, these stickers are part of a wider pattern of neo-Nazi activity in the area around Greenpoint and Williamsburg, including swastikas that were spray-painted and etched on Manhattan Avenue and McGolrick Park in the past two years.
In response to this pattern of hate, we will be collaborating with a diverse range of community stakeholders across community-based organizations, houses of worship, and local businesses to bring residents of Greenpoint closer together. We cannot let this despicable act go unanswered, particularly as it is meant to intimidate members of our One Brooklyn family in a community that is made up of a diverse range of backgrounds from all walks of life.
We urge anyone with any information on who may be responsible for this reprehensible act to contact the NYPD by calling 800-577-TIPS.