Victims of anti-Semitic graffiti won’t cover it up

It’s a completely understandable desire to cover up or remove the racist or anti-Semitic graffiti that has surged since last year’s presidential campaign. Who could blame any homeowner from wanting it gone?

But maybe Shoshana and Ari Simones of Phoenix are onto something. They were on vacation when someone spray-painted a swastika and the word “Jew” outside their home. Their neighbor covered it with paper but when they got home, the couple took it down and let everyone see what we’re becoming.

“We’re not going to let this frighten us. I think for my husband it’s more standing up, not hiding who are,” Shoshana tells the Arizona Republic.

“I mean, we’re angry and offended and disheartened, but we’re not scared and we’re not ashamed and we’re proud to be Jews.”

Neighbors have offered to paint over the graffiti and the couple says they may get rid of the swastika. But “Jew“? Why not leave that up and maybe add “proud” to it?

“We’re not gonna be afraid, we’re not gonna back down, and it’s important people still feel comfortable and proud being who they are whatever religion or minority they are,” Shoshana said.

  • MikeB

    Agree, it may be good for people to see this daily and be reminded that bigots and racists live among us. Last fall the Star of David was re-introduced to the mainstream as a derogatory label, it wasn’t enough to change voting habits.

  • This happened in Phoenix, AZ?

    I’m shocked…

    /Not really…

    • And Delano… and Maple Grove… and….

      • Jim in RF

        Falcon Heights…

      • Jim in RF

        West St. Paul…

      • KariBemidji

        Bemidji…

      • JCC @ St. Louis Park …

      • Agreed, which is sad…

  • KTFoley

    A friend and I talked recently about how this is the time to take every noble assertion we’ve ever made of what we’d have done if we were alive in one era of injustice or another, and prove those assertions out.

    We’re alive in this era of injustice.

    I don’t want to be the person who rationalizes doing nothing, or nothing too inconvenient. So when I ask myself what concrete thing am I doing about it, certain reminders always come back:
    – Educating myself is only preparation.
    – Talking is only prelude. Yes, even here on NewsCut 🙂
    – Voting is only one day in an election cycle.
    – Kindness to victims doesn’t prevent the victimization.

    What are other folks telling themselves about what to do, or why not to do it?

    • Al

      Concrete things. Yes. Talk isn’t enough. The rubber needs to hit the road on this one, today. Now.

      — Use my voice when I can to elevate and direct others to voices not heard
      — Seek out new experiences for myself and for my children, in person, online, in media, as much as we can
      — Keep working in my professional and personal life to dismantle systemic and institutional oppression (for me, that’s health inequity)

      And most importantly,
      — Listen; don’t talk, just listen

      Ideas of what else to do are more than welcome. We can only change this bullsh*t if we act.

  • lindblomeagles

    I know neighbors and police officers can’t see everything, but it is quite interesting how neighbors and police never catch people leaving racist graffiti and nooses in the act. Heck, neighbors have been known to call police for youth making too much noise in the neighborhood (see July 6th News Cut). Yet, racist graffiti artists and noose makers escape detection every time., How does that happen, I wonder?