Welcome to Trump’s America, where a predominantly-immigrant church in Maryland was defaced with racist graffiti over the weekend in yet another example of the wave of violent bigotry and hatred that has been sweeping the nation since Trump’s election.
According to local news station WJLA, vandals targeted the Episcopal Church of Our Savior in Silver Spring, a suburb of Washington, on Saturday night. A sign reaching out to the large local Hispanic community was painted over to read “Trump Nation! Whites Only” and a similar message was scrawled on the church’s wall.
Church Rector Robert Harvey told WJLA that his membership is approximately 80% immigrant, and includes members from more than fifty countries. “They’re afraid,” he said, noting that two white men were seen last week yelling racial slurs at Latina churchgoers from across the street.
This incident is but the latest in an frighteningly enormous list of racial and bigoted hate crimes that have taken place in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, a man who has begun installing avowed white supremacists in his cabinet. In this environment of hatred and division, Rector Harvey’s words call to “work to help bring peace and reconciliation” ring truer than ever. And the best way to do that is to reach out to protect members of oppressed communities around us and spread a message of love and inclusion to counter Trump’s hate.
James DeVinne is a student at American University in Washington, DC majoring in International Service with a focus on the Middle East and South Asia. He is a founding member of Occupy Baltimore and interns at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.