Sep 20, 2017

Swastikas, Pro-Trump Graffiti Defaces Anti-Fascist Plaque Outside Synagogue in Madison, Wisconsin

Unknown person(s) defaced a plague honoring the anti-fascist
Abraham Lincoln Brigade outside the Gates of Heaven Synagogue
building at the popular James Madison Park in Madison, Wisconsin.
Photo is from Dylan Brogan at the Isthmus.
Update: See also Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's report on the incident and the series documenting hate, (Ibrahim and Hall).
Madison, Wisconsin — A plaque celebrating the Abraham Lincoln Brigade's anti-fascist battles during the Spanish Civil War was defaced with swastikas some 20 yards outside the Gates of Heaven Synagogue building at the popular James Madison Park about one mile from the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

The community is at a loss for words, (Isthmus, Wisconsin State Journal).

As even progressive cities face emboldened rightwingers, long-time Madison residents do not know where the bottom of racist activity lies.

Reports Rob Schultz:

'I'm horrified, I'm sad. I would have hoped that we were beyond this — especially in Madison,' said Dawn Berney, the executive director of Jewish Social Services of Madison. 'But xenophobia is everywhere, even in Madison.'

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said that the graffiti was the act of ignorant people. 'Given the enabling rhetoric from Donald Trump, particularly since Charlottesville, we know that vicious racist and Nazi attacks have increased. While we know that over 99% of the people of Madison abhor and reject this terrible act, let it stand as a reminder that there are always a few ignorant people who would destroy our liberty and rights,' Soglin said in a statement. 'I ask that they come forward not to be punished but to explain themselves. True patriots never hide and attack in the darkness; striking in silence and in the shadows lies in the heart of cowards and fools.'

The act was committed in the progressive and activist Madison Isthmus, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the first of the Jewish High Holy Days.

Wisconsin has for many decades been a home to anti-Semitic groups such as the John Birch Society and assorted hate groups.

Most concerning is the generic fascism in rural and small-town Wisconsin often dominated by xenophobic white people who vote Republican and support Gov. Scott Walker.

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