“‘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.”
A group of passengers on a New York City subway worked together to remove Nazi graffiti that had covered the train.
In a Facebook post on Saturday evening, 27-year-old Manhattan attorney Gregory Locke wrote about how he and 30 other passengers sat together in a train cabin that was covered in swastikas and Nazi graffiti.
“The train was silent as everyone stared at each other, uncomfortable and unsure what to do,” he wrote.
Eventually, one guy stood up and asked if anyone had any hand sanitizer, as the alcohol in it could be used to remove the permanent marker.
Then, after a few people pulled out their hand sanitizer, the passengers got to work.
Gregory’s Facebook post has received more than 70,000 shares, 100,000 likes, and thousands of comments from people.
“I’ve seen a few swastikas here and there, but I’ve seen those before Trump [became President] too,” Gregory told BuzzFeed News. “This is the first time I’ve seen the whole car covered.”
“I’ve gotten some hate mail. People are accusing me of staging it to make Trump look bad… but 99% of the response is very positive. People keep saying they’re both disheartened and uplifted at the same time.”
The incident even caught the attention of Chelsea Clinton, who lives in New York City. “We will not let hate win,” she wrote on Twitter.
We will not let hate win. And, another reason to carry hand sanitizer. pic.twitter.com/bgrAJf7SCv
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) February 5, 2017
“It’s heartening to see strangers come together for what’s right,” said Gregory.
“People think of New Yorkers as cold and uncaring, but that’s not true. We just have a harder shell to crack. We have a strong sense of community and we know diversity isn’t a threat to the country.”
In a separate incident, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday praised a subway rider who had an ingenious way of covering up a swastika.
NY Gov’s Office
A passenger riding a northbound B train spotted the Nazi symbol on Thursday, an MTA spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.
The passenger then converted it into a square, adding the letters L-O-V-E.
The incident is being investigated as a possible bias or hate crime, but Gov. Cuomo praised the person who transformed the swastika.
“This is what New Yorker’s do – we turn hate into love,” he said in a statement. “That is our message to the nation and to the world. And we won’t back down. Not now, not ever.”