Many hailed TIME magazine’s brilliant Person of the Year cover last year, which featured the 45th US President Donald J Trump with the tag line ‘President of the Divided States of America’. The nail had been hit right on the head, and going by what’s been going on ever since Trump assumed his post, the gap between the American government and the seemingly much of the world (including those who voted for him) is widening day by day.
But that doesn’t mean Trump doesn’t still have his supporters among the public, not to mention the fillip racist factions of the society have got with his election. The number of instances of hate crime and racial discrimination have reportedly gone up, some against minorities, others in retaliation. But in the face of such negativity, what has come forth is a unifying force to tackle it and fight it down. Be it women from across the world who marched just the day after Trump’s inauguration, the world leaders who have taken to putting a check on ‘the most powerful man in the world’ and not to forget the social media campaigns that have been running in full force.
In one such show of solidarity in the face of racism was an incident in a subway train in Manhattan, New York. In a Facebook post written by Gregory Locke, passengers got on to a train in Manhattan to find “a Swastika on every advertisement and every window”. After a rather long uncomfortable silence, a man got up to take action – and thankfully he did.
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Read what happened in Locke’s own words. He also shared photos of the hate messages and people coming together to against it:
“I got on the subway in Manhattan tonight and found a Swastika on every advertisement and every window. The train was silent as everyone stared at each other, uncomfortable and unsure what to do.
One guy got up and said, “Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie. We need alcohol.” He found some tissues and got to work.
I’ve never seen so many people simultaneously reach into their bags and pockets looking for tissues and Purel. Within about two minutes, all the Nazi symbolism was gone.
Nazi symbolism. On a public train. In New York City. In 2017.
“I guess this is Trump’s America,” said one passenger. No sir, it’s not. Not tonight and not ever. Not as long as stubborn New Yorkers have anything to say about it.”
The post has since gone viral with more than 80,000 shares in just eight hours. People have come in support of erasing the hate messages, and one comment among the hundreds stands out. “This is devastating and incredibly heartening at the same time. It fills me with much optimism that a group of strangers on a subway train would protest and stand up against something so hateful. It is acts like these that will preserve our values. I just wish we would count on many in government to do the same. I fear not but have faith and hope that the lawyers and judges will stand up to power and show that this is not a nation of hate”, said a user.
What an irony it will be if Trump – in an effort to be divisive – becomes one of the most unifying forces for people across the world.