This week, vandals defaced the Brooklyn park named for The Beastie Boys’ Adam “MCA” Yauch with swastikas and Donald Trump-related graffiti. It was yet another example of swastikas and other defamatory vandalism being done in Donald Trump’s name since he was elected as US President almost two weeks ago. On Sunday, a rally was held in the hopes of balancing out such hatred with a more positive gathering at the park. Yauch’s friend and former bandmate Ad-Rock was there to speak about keeping hate out of spaces like playgrounds, or anywhere.
“Spray-painting swastikas in a children’s playground is a messed-up thing to do. And for many of us, it 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 that taught non-violence in his music, in his life — to all of us, and to me.”
The event also included about a hundred people with posters bearing Beastie Boys lyrics and hopeful messages, local politicians, and celebrity attendees like friend-of-the-band and fellow New Yorker Ben Stiller.
Defacing any playground is one thing, defacing a community site named in memory of a beloved and dearly departed musician is even worse. A gathering like what happened on Sunday in Brooklyn Heights is an example of people coming together to overcome such hatred, and hopefully anti-hate rallies like this one won’t be a continuing necessity going forward.