This past weekend, hundreds of people came together at an anti-hate rally at the Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, which was dedicated to the memory of the late Beastie Boys singer Adam Yauch. The rally was held Sunday after the park was vandalized with swastikas and the message “Go Trump.” Oy.
Yauch, who was known as MCA, died in 2012 at 47 from cancer of the salivary gland. All three original members of the Beastie Boys are Jewish–which is why this vandalization is even more devastating. Prior to the defacement, the playground equipment was covered with paper flowers and hearts that were crafted by local children over the weekend.
The rally was led by fellow Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz, known as Ad-Rock, who was also joined on stage by local politicians and Jewish actor Ben Stiller. Horovitz told the crowd:
“We’re all here today because we’re thinking the same thing: Painting swastikas on 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 band mate 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.”
Stiller also had some key words to say:
“As a New Yorker and a parent and an American, I thought it was really important to stand up and say this isn’t OK. Hate crimes aren’t OK, and especially this happening in Adam Yauch Park when Adam Yauch was so about peace and non-violence.”
Afterwards, the Beastie Boys posted a similar message on their Twitter: “Hate has no place in Brooklyn, NYC, or America. Join us on Sunday to stand against hate messages.”
Hate has no place in Brooklyn, NYC, or America.
Join us on Sunday to stand against hate messages.
11:30, Adam Yauch Park, Brooklyn, NYC pic.twitter.com/DZXcUyZauP
— Beastie Boys (@beastieboys) November 19, 2016
Since the election, several swastikas have been graffitied in New York City, including on the doors of several dormitory rooms at the New School and on the apartment building of a gay Jewish state lawmaker in Manhattan. These recent events have definitely stirred a scary shift in the country’s attitude toward people of “different” races, religions, and gender identities. I hope these acts of hatred are not only taken seriously by those around us, but are the catalyst for the change we sorely need.