The Alt-Right Claims These Swastikas Are Staged, But These Hate Crimes Are Very Real

by Rosa Schwartzburg


Brad Hoylman is a State Senator from New York’s 27th Senate District, which includes a good deal of Manhattan — including Greenwich Village, where he resides. Hoylman is an openly gay and Jewish politician; in fact, he is the only openly LGBTQ+ member of the State Senate. According to his website, “Brad is the prime sponsor of legislation legalizing gestational surrogacy in New York and banning so-called LGBTQ conversion therapy, and he is a co-sponsor of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act.” Hoylman practices Judaism openly, and, along with his family, belongs to a prominent New York LGBT synagogue Congregation.

Hoylman posted a photo on Twitter Tuesday night of a swastika that had been carved into a wall in his apartment building. Hoylman believes the hate symbol to be tied to Trump’s election.


brad hoylman original pic

Some, however, have claimed that there is no correlation between the incident and Trump’s election, or even that Hoylman flat-out lied about it ever occurring.

lying brad

rioting bedwetters

Most of the tweets come from conservative and Trump-supporting accounts.


Some of the online critics said that antisemitism does not occur in liberal space, such as New York City, but that is clearly not the case. An incident at SUNY New Paltz, a liberal arts school, occurred just this past Thursday, immediately following the election. Graffitti was “scrawled inside the bathroom stall racially charged messages, along with the word “Trump” written next drawn out hearts.[sic]” Make no mistake; this hateful rhetoric directly correlates to Trump’s election. 


Whether the individual who drew it was deliberately trying to target Hoylman is unclear, but hate crimes have been on the rise ever since the announcement of Trump’s election. Incidents of racism, antisemitism, islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobia have been occurring more frequently and to escalating degrees in the wake of the news.


According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, they have aggregated “437 reports of hateful intimidation and harassment” since Trump’s election.

southernpoverty graph

Bigotry, antisemitism, and racism in America are nothing new, but the rate of escalation is alarming. The Swastika, in particular, has been harnessed to express racist, anti-semitic, anti-Muslim, and white supremacist sentiment. The connection between the “Alt-right” and Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists has been clearly drawn, and it is little wonder why they are becoming bolder now. Trump, who was endorsed by the KKK [source] and has announced that he will appoint White Supremacist Steve Bannon to his cabinet, “not only ran an openly nativist campaign but he, or the people around him, gave interviews to white nationalist radio shows, retweeted open racists, and refused to quickly denounce the endorsements of hate group leaders.” “While the election itself proved difficult to predict, the radical right’s jubilant response to president-elect Donald J. Trump should come as no surprise.” These hate incidents, in short, are a White Supremacist celebration.

This bigotry, however, cannot win. New York is tough, and it is a city that will stand up to this bigotry. New York has been the center of many of the protests of Trump’s election, and Mayor De Blasio has come out in support of both the activism and of Hoylman. The Mayor tweeted the city’s solidarity with the representative and spoke out specifically against anti-semitism.

de blasio tweet

People are fighting back against the hate crimes and terrorizing actions. The White Supremacists might be celebrating now, but though vigilance, activism, and by caring for those most at risk in the community, we can band together and stop the violence.


You can help by going to protests, advocating for and supporting those who are being subject to harassment (this guide may help), reporting hate crimes (you can do so with the FBI here), and by actively being informed (The Southern Poverty Law Center is a great source). You can also become engaged by calling your local representative to block the appointment of Steve Bannon and other white supremacists to Trump’s cabinet. 

Cover Image Source:

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