Over 500 people came to Brooklyn Heights on Sunday morning for a peace rally brought on by the vandalizing of Adam Yauch Park.
Yauch, the late-member of the Beastie Boys, had the children’s park dedicated to him after his passing. On Friday, someone spray painted swastikas and “Go Trump” on the playground equipment prompting condemnation from a number of politicians including state senator Daniel Squadron, congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and city councilmembers Stephen Levin and Brad Lander.
During Sunday’s really, Yauch’s bandmate Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz took the microphone for an impassioned speech.
Thanks everybody for coming down today. I’m assuming that we’re all here today ’cause we’re thinking the same thing: spray-painting swastikas at a children’s playground is a messed up thing to do and for many of us, it has special meaning, because this park is named for Adam Yauch, who was my friend and bandmate for over 30 years but he was also someone who taught nonviolence in his music, in his life, to all of us and to me.
But this is more about someone in New York City linking Nazi Germany to Donald Trump in a ‘hell yeah’ kind of way in a park where children play.
This is about the woman at a Brooklyn restaurant who was talking with her friend about how sick she was that Trump won and a man overheard her, left the restaurant, ran back in, punched her in the face and ran back out.
This is about the KKK putting up flyers on Long Island.
This is about neo-Nazis targeting synagogues in Jacksonville and Missoula.
This is about hate crimes towards Muslims soaring to their highest levels since 9/11 and this is about the white guy at Starbucks in Florida that called a woman of color “trash” and “garbage” because she didn’t produce his latte in time and then he screamed he was being discriminated against because he’s white and he voted for Trump. Come on.
These incidents and this kind of graffiti has been popping up all over our country because we elected a president that is giving our children the message that it’s OK to write “white power” in their high school hallways. That it’s OK to attack women and girls. That Latinos and Muslims and Jews are bad people and that you can eletroshock the gay out of somebody. Come on!
This is real. It’s happening at a rapid rate and we’ve got to stand up against hate.
If you’re able to protest, protest. If you’re able to give money, give to Black Lives Matter. Give to Planned Parenthood. Give to the United Way of Flint, Michigan. Give what you can. If you’re able to volunteer, volunteer. Volunteer for the Syliva Rivera Law Project who works to increase the political voice of low income people and people of color who are transgender. Volunteer! If you’re a graphic designer or you work in advertising start designing some new slogans and amazing protest signs. If you’re a musician, write that anthem. If you’re a writer write. Take what you’re good at, what you truly enjoy, and lend your services to the cause that you care most about because we can’t and we won’t and we don’t stop.
And please keep your eyes open. Stand up for each other. Don’t be afraid to step in or enlist the help of others because this is home grown terrorism for real. I reject Donald Trump’s vision of America. New York City, I’m asking you to do the same. Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten, from the Battery to the top of Manhattan. Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin. Black, white, New York, let’s make it happen!