Last Friday, the disturbing news broke that Adam Yauch Park, the park named after the late beloved Beastie Boys member otherwise known as MCA, was vandalized with spray-painted swastikas and the words “Go Trump!” New Yorkers quickly mobilized yesterday for a rally in the Park to stand-up against the hate. Among those in attendance were Ben Stiller and Beastie bandmate Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz.
When the mic was passed to the King Ad-Rock, his well received touching statement was just what was needed to help the healing after local families had already covered yo the graffiti with images of hearts. Horovitz blessed us with:
“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. For many of us, this 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 and 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’ kinda way, in a park where children play and laugh. This is about the woman at a Brooklyn restaurant who was talking with her friend about how upset she was that Trump won, and a man overheard her, left the restaurant, ran back in, punched her, 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 post-9/11. AND, this is about the white guy in 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’s being “discriminated against” because he’s white and he voted for Trump. C’mon.
These incidents and this type of graffiti has been popping up all over our country because we elected a president that’s given 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 electro-shock “the gay” out of somebody. C’mon!
This is real. It’s happening at a rapid rate. We’ve gotta 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 Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Work to increase the political voice of low-income people and people of color and transgender.
Volunteer! Do what you can. If you’re a graphic designer, or work in advertising, start designing 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, and what you truly enjoy, and lend your services to the causes 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.”