But the other, it was just more of the parroted drivel of the demagogues on television. I knew exactly where it came from. It was born of ignorance and bigotry, there was no need to be curious as to the personal insight of the author. It was just copy and paint hate. What personal connection or interaction could the vandal who painted that obscene challenge to America have with Islam? How many Muslims do they know? I can almost guarantee none, and if any, it's on the basis of a peaceful coexistence in their community. The unique and colorful language and art of the train graffiti that caused me to imagine a culture of its own expressing itself was suddenly sullied with the bland and obtuse propaganda of the network news. It concerns me, and it should concern all of us that the hateful rhetoric of the Islamophobes and war mongers can penetrate this far.
Yes, it was also vandalism, and it also seemed irrational, but this time it wasn’t harmless. It was exposing the symptoms of the sickness of our society. Of a society that can nurture and transmit hatred to the depths of our most independent sub-cultures and fester even there an unwarranted hatred of people they don’t know. “RISE UP AMERICA KILL ISLAM”: words that have little meaning to the vandal who scrawled it barely legibly across the train, except for what he was told by the television, and through those peddlers of hatred that seem to permeate all of our media.