By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
It’s a standard reply whenever you post about swastika graffiti. “That’s not a symbol of hate. It has pre-nazi origins. It’s not anti-semitic. It’s not anti-Jewish.”
That’s the reply I received today when I posted a photo of a Pawtucket synagogue whose sign was defaced by a red swastika. “That’s not a Swastika, that’s a *Hakenkreuze*, a twisted cross. Very different from Swastika!” The swastika excuse industry is particularly popular on social media. The excuse mongers always claim that swastika graffiti is always drawn “incorrectly” and that really it’s an “ancient symbol.” They will tell you that it’s actually a “holy” symbol with “universal” value. Even news stories will claim that a swastika was painted “by mistake” on a house of worship.
For all you swastika-excusers who always want to lecture us that it’s really a “Hindu” or “ancient” symbol, then why in the West is it almost ALWAYS being used as graffiti on a Jewish synagogue, a Jewish graveyard, a Jewish site? If it’s part of your “universal” symbol and a “Hindu” symbol so why are people always painting this “Hindu” symbol on Holocaust memorials? If they want their “universal symbol” to be included at a graveyard, why don’t they make a request to include a grave with it through normal channels, why do they come at night and spraypaint a Jewish grave?
If it’s part of your lovable “universal” symbol that “pre-dates” Nazism, so can we graffiti it on your house? Can we graffiti it on your parents’ graves? Can we graffiti it on a sing by your church or mosque or temple? But it’s universal, right? It’s not racist? You have an excuse for it everytime someone vandalizes a Jewish place, right? So why can’t we spraypaint it all around your house?
Oh, wait. Suddenly your “pre-nazi” symbol of “universal value”, you don’t want it on your parents graves? You don’t want it spraypainted on your war memorial in Turkey or Japan or Zimbabwe? But it’s universal? But its ok everytime someone does it to Jews, right?
So actually you are LYING. You don’t want graffitti on your family estate, your house of worship, your graveyard of your ancestors. Only Jews. It’s ok so long as its Jews. But remember, it’s not “anti-semitic” right? It’s just a “symbol”. Ok, so we will put it in your college dorm room? Oh, you mean you only think it’s a “universal” symbol so long as someone does it to a Jewish fraternity, or in a Jewish person’s dorm room. It’s not “universal” when people come at night and tag up your door with it, or tag up your non-Jewish fraternity. Then your “Hindu” symbol isn’t “universal”? It’s…what’s the word…VANDALISM.
So here’s the deal for you excuse industry folk. If everytime a Jewish graveyard was filled with swastika graffiti, and a fraternity or a school, or synagogue, if everytime the next day graffiti was put all over a Christian graveyard, a Muslim mosque, a Hindu school, then let’s see if suddenly your “universal” symbol would be so universal.
So let’s test that. If it’s so “universal”, lets see how people feel when it’s on their graveyards. So I say to you, you excusers, everytime you make a excuse, go take red spraypaint and tag up your ancestors graves with swastikas.
Oh, you don’t want to do that?
What, you mean, you don’t like people spraypainting on your graves?
Yeah. Well neither to do we. So shut the hell up about your “universal” symbol and go clean off the graffiti.