More and more hate crimes are occurring since the presidential election on November 8th. More than 700 to be exact. This is not the America children like my daughter should have to endure in 2016. I will not accept this hate against my fellow Americans as the norm, and I sure as hell won't accept it at a playground. Yes, a playground! On November 18th, swastikas and the words "Go Trump" were found in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn. The park was named after legendary musician and activist Adam Yauch, who most know for his work as MCA in The Beastie Boys. I had the pleasure of knowing Adam. Although we were not close friends, my connection with him allowed me to see just how kind and thoughtful he was. About a decade ago, he spent 90 minutes talking about the origins of the Beasties with a hip hop class I taught. Not only was he a true talent in music and film direction, but he was also a beloved husband and father. Adam was also a strong voice for a number of causes including raising awareness about the people of Tibet and the victims of 9/11, especially those affected in his hometown of New York City. And then there was this speech.
To deface a playground with images of hate is upsetting. To deface a playground named after Adam Yauch with these images of hate takes it to another level. An anti-hate rally was organized for Sunday, 11/20 at the park. My family, despite some feet shuffling, made our way to the rally, joining nearly 2000 other people who agree that this kind of hate is simply unacceptable. It was truly comforting to be surrounded by so many others outraged by the increased acts of hate. We sang the National Anthem and We Shall Overcome. Adults and children held up signs about love and empathy. Several of the politicians in attendance urged our President-Elect to stand up and denounce this hate that is occurring with his name attached to it. These are scary times for many of us, so not hearing concern for millions and millions of Americans from the President-Elect is frustrating. But those in attendance were reminded that we must remain aware, vigilant, and determined. Adam Horovitz, Ad Rock of the Beasties, shared the following words that will inspire me going forward. Perhaps some of you discouraged and dismayed by the election results will find some inspiration here as well.