Last weekend Adam Yauch Park, a playground in Brooklyn Heights dedicated to late Beastie Boys member Adam “MCA” Yauch, was vandalised with swastikas and pro-Trump slogans.
Hundreds of New Yorkers rallied within the park holding signs with Beastie Boy-inspired lyrics such as “We Gotta Fight for Our Rights” and “No Sleep ‘Til Not Hate Brooklyn”.
Community members and local politicians came together for a rally today at Adam Yauch Park after swastikas were found graffitied on the playground earlier this week. Borough President Eric Adams, Senator Daniel Squadron, Ad-Rock and other leaders addressed the crowd, urging them to continue to stand up to hate.
Fellow Beastie Boy, Adam “Ad Rock” Horovitz, addressed the crowd with the same vigour:
We’re all here today because we’re thinking the same thing: Painting swastikas on a children’s playground is a messed-up thing to do,” he said. “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 who taught nonviolence in his music, in his life, to all of us and to me.
What’s even more poignant about the vandalism is that Adam Yauch was born into a Jewish family, making the defacing a premeditated attack. Although in his later life, Yauch practised Buddhism, organising the Tibetan Freedom Concert that supported the cause for Tibetan independence.
— Karen Wang (@kw492) November 18, 2016
Donald Trump’s campaign for president was heavily focused on accusing minorities and foreigners for America’s high crime rates and unemployment. After his surprising win to become president-elect, his racist and violent rhetoric has been legitimised for others to attack minorities too.
Adam Yauch park has since been cleaned of the graffiti, but the messages left on the memorial highlight the xenophobic underbelly Trump has encouraged in America.