A couple of years ago, lawyer and New Yorker, Gregory Locke stepped onto his train and discovered something disturbing: anti-semitic writings and swastikas were scrawled across the windows and advertisements of the car. Vile phrases like “Jews belong in the oven,” “Destroy Islam,” and “Heil Hitler” marked the walls.
Locke and the other passengers were stunned into uneasy silence. Then they began to wonder aloud about what they should do about the shocking graffiti.
“Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie,” said a local chef named Jared Neid. “We need alcohol.”
A woman dug into her purse and came up with a tissue. Others followed suit, and soon a little arsenal of hand sanitizer and wipes was collected. People set to work using the sanitizer to rub out the hate surrounding them.
Passengers sanitized the whole car in minutes, saving future riders from seeing the hateful graffiti.
Locke felt uplifted seeing his fellow New Yorkers pitching in together. He posted about the incident on his Facebook page.
His post went viral and at this time stands at almost 750,000 likes and over 450,000 shares.
Later, in response to yet another incidence of subway vandalism, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted a picture of the swastika turned into a sign of love.
“This is what New Yorkers do — we turn hate into love. That is our message to the nation and to the world. And we won’t back down — not now, not ever,” said Cuomo’s tweet.
Hate is always defeated whenever people from all backgrounds stand up to wipe away ugliness and make the world a kinder, loving place.