BROOKLYN – Today, NY State Senator Daniel Squadron, Beastie Boys member Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, the Anti-Defamation League – NY Chapter, Congresswoman Velázquez, Public Advocate James, Comptroller Stringer, BP Adams, City Councilmembers Levin & Lander, community and faith leaders came together to stand against a hate incident at Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn Heights. On Friday, Squadron’s office received a call regarding multiple swastikas and the message “Go Trump” appearing in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn Heights.
The constituent and Squadron’s office connected with the NYPD and Park Department, who quickly removed the hate messages and are investigating the incident.
“Hatred has no place in our backyard, no place in our city, and no place in our country,” said NY State Senator Daniel Squadron. “Anyone who thinks the current political climate will allow oppression to win in this country is wrong. The swastika represents genocide and monstrosities our nation came together to defeat. Brooklyn's diversity represents our country's great strengths, and we will stand up to any who want to undermine its values. I thank the City, Parks Department, and NYPD for their fast response and attention to this issue, as well as my colleagues, our community organizations, and the community for standing together against hate.”
“As the state’s top law enforcement officer, let me assure anyone who is feeling scared or threatened at this time that this office stands behind you and has your back,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who last week issued an urgent bulletin to law enforcement offices statewide that provides guidance and support to identify, investigate, and prosecute hate crimes. “New York’s diversity is our greatest strength, and we will not allow anyone to turn that strength against us. Hate has no place here in Brooklyn, in New York, or anywhere.”
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) said: “Irresponsible rhetoric and a toxic environment can engender acts of hate and I fear we are seeing some of that play out. Our community stands united in denouncing these despicable acts and making clear -- if you commit acts like these you will be brought to justice and prosecuted.”
“There are still many questions about where President-elect Trump may take America - but one thing is clear: we all must stand up for what we believe in. Hate speech, offensive symbols, and discrimination have no place in our city, especially in our playgrounds and in front of our kids. New Yorkers stand for modern values - not an agenda rooted in the 1950’s. Now more than ever, we must be united, and we must continue to speak out against this kind of behavior. As the First Lady said, when they go low, we go high. And for the next four years, we’re going to have to go higher than ever before,” said New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
“This type of hateful action and rhetoric does not reflect the values of our City and will not be tolerated,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “We are a City and a community that is inclusive and accepting of people from all religions, and we stand united today to remind New Yorkers of that truth. Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in hate crimes following the election, and I am calling for increased vigilance by New Yorkers to report hate crimes against any and all communities.”
“Hate is not a Brooklyn value, and hate has no future in our borough. There must be zero tolerance for anyone seeking to divide, intimidate, or scare our neighbors through their destructive displays of cruelty,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Brooklynites will stand shoulder to shoulder in opposing hatred whenever and wherever it attempts to root itself, and we will pursue accountability for those responsible for these acts. Those who seek to spread hate and fear in the darkness are cowards, and they will inevitably face justice in the light of day. The legacy of Adam Yauch, a proud son of Brooklyn, will continue to stand for peace.”
Assembymember Jo Anne Simon said: “When national leaders intentionally or otherwise act in ways that give license to those who would express their hate, it falls to us to speak up against these actions and refuse to normalize them. I am reminded of Pastor Martin Niemoller’s words: ‘First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.’ (‘First they came for...’ Holocaust Encyclopedia. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.) We will speak up. We will not normalize hate.”
"We do not tolerate acts of hate," said City Councilmember Stephen Levin. "The perpetrators of these incidents intend to strike fear into our hearts and divide our community. It's during times like these that we must come together with one another. Let us not respond to hate with more hate - love is the answer. In whatever way possible, big or small, let's reaffirm our commitment to our ideals of love, inclusiveness, and tolerance."
“I'm deeply saddened and distressed to see such hatred and anti-Semitism expressed on the playground at Adam Yauch park, but heartened by our community coming together today to stand strong against hate,” said City Councilmember Brad Lander. “If the forces of hate and division succeed in bringing us together across lines of difference -- even here in our own Brooklyn neighborhoods -- then I believe we can build something powerful and compassionate and beautiful that will make us stronger for years to come. Thanks to the kids and families of Brooklyn Heights and neighbors from all across Brooklyn for coming out today to make sure that love trumps hate.”
“We are deeply disturbed by yet another public occurrence of anti-Semitic incidents in New York,” said Evan Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “Since the election, we have witnessed a wave of incidents targeting Jews and other minorities in New York State. It is particularly offensive that this hateful graffiti was found in a park named after Yauch, a rapper who was also a passionate activist for peace, respect and diversity. We have been gratified to see the strong response to the graffiti; from local children who covered the hateful symbols with hearts, from Councilman Brad Lander and Senator Daniel Squadron who forcefully condemned the incident, and from the NYPD who are diligently investigating this crime. ADL will continue to work with elected officials and community leaders to stand up to all forms of hate during this difficult time.”
“Acts of hate, intimidation and discrimination have no place in New York City, especially in a park where children play,” said Commissioner and Chair of the NYC Human Rights Commission, Carmelyn P. Malalis. “Now more than ever, it’s critical that all New Yorkers stand together and protect each other against hate and discrimination. The NYC Commission on Human Rights is using every resource at its disposal to champion victims of such acts and prosecute violations of the City Human Rights Law. If anyone believes they have been the victim of discrimination, we urge them to call 311 and ask for ‘Human Rights’ or call us directly at 718-722-3131.”
“Adolescent foolishness, a copycat crime, or hatefulness emboldened by campaign trail comments by the president-elect, there is no excuse for what occurred here on Friday. This sentiment and behavior is unacceptable in our district,” said Brooklyn Community Board 2 Chair Shirley A. McRae.
“Intolerance and intimidation have no place in our neighborhood,” said Brooklyn Community Board 6 Chair Sayar Lonial. “To deface playground equipment in a park named after a son of Brooklyn who espoused peace and love, only strengthens us in our resolve to continue to celebrate our differences, which make us stronger.”