Subway Riders Saw Swastikas. Then They Dug Into Their Bags

One of 3 such incidents to make headlines this weekend
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2017 3:27 PM CST

(Newser) – Houston made headlines first over the weekend, after a swastika was drawn in chalk on Rice University's statue of William Marsh Rice on Friday night. As CNN reports, it was the first of three such incidents to occur in different pockets of the country over a roughly 24-hour period. On Saturday Chicago police shared a video that depicts a man who drove up to the Chicago Loop Synagogue and put two swastika stickers on its door. The Sun-Times reports police were alerted to the incident just after midnight Saturday and found a window smashed. That evening, New York City subway riders came face-to-face with a slew of swastikas. Rider Gregory Locke describes getting on the No. 1 train and seeing swastikas written in Sharpie on the windows.

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"The train was silent as everyone stared at each other, uncomfortable and unsure what to do," he writes in a Facebook post that includes photos of the incident; it has gone viral with more than 500,000 reactions. The New York Times reports vile messages were also scrawled in the car, including "Jews belong in the oven." Upon one rider's suggestion that hand sanitizer would undo the hate, "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." The Times notes the NYPD and Metropolitan Transportation Authority received no reports of the vandalism, though the paper spoke with Locke and another rider who gave their accounts. (This man found swastikas in his boot prints.)

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