Over the past several years, hate crimes and anti-Semitism have continually reared their ugly heads throughout America. And unfortunately, they show no signs of stopping. In fact, there has now been another hateful incident targeting Jewish Americans, this time involving a poster of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. NBC New York reported that on March 13th a poster of the justice on a Brooklyn subway platform had been vandalized with the words “Die Jew” and a swastika. According to the news site, the NYPD was alerted to the incident after a Twitter user shared a picture of the message, and police are now investigating it as a potential hate crime.
The anti-Semitic graffiti was found on a poster promoting the Antonia Felix book The Unstoppable Ruth Bader Ginsburg: American Icon. The book was published in October 2018, offering a look back at the justice’s 25 years on the bench. According to the Jewish Women’s Archive, Ginsburg is the first Jewish woman to serve on SCOTUS.
Fortunately, the Metropolitan Transit Authority tweeted that it was able to clean the graffiti off the poster after police had collected evidence at the scene. This doesn’t change the fact that subway riders were subjected to the offensive vandalism for some time, but we’re glad that steps have been taken to remove it.
Hate crimes have been on the rise for years now. In November 2018, an FBI report found that in 2017, there were 7,175 reported hate crimes. According to The New York Times, this was a 17% increase from 2016. The report also noted that Jewish people made up 58% of hate crime victims who were targeted for their religion.
The year 2018 saw several other anti-Semitic hate crimes. In October, 11 innocent people were murdered in a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. And less than one week later, Broad City star Ilana Glazer canceled an event at Brooklyn’s Union Temple after the synagogue was vandalized with anti-Jewish slurs. While we’re glad that no one was physically harmed in this most recent RBG incident, this serves as a solid reminder that we must continue to stand up to hate.