Overnight, numerous hate symbols were found drawn on the walls of churches, The Salvation Army, and other buildings around downtown Schenectady. Police responded to emergency calls and found around fifteen crude drawings of swastikas, the anarchy symbol, and pentagrams with some profanity splashed in.

Seeing as the vandalism was drawn in chalk and given the bizarre range of symbols chosen that don't mix, ideology-wise, my personal guess is that last night's spree is just the action of some child seeking attention. To that child, I say this:

We're sitting about evenly spaced between Memorial Day and Independence Day, two holidays where we recognize the men and women who fought against the swastika and the repugnant, backwards beliefs it stood for. A generation of brave Americans left home to eradicate that symbol from the beaches of France, the dunes of northern Africa, and the mountains of Germany - many of whom never made it home to their parents, spouses, and children. In the time that followed their sacrifice, nobody would dare bring up that symbol. America knew and remembered the atrocities committed by those who wore that symbol proudly. What you cowardly scribbled in the dark was combated and defeated in the light seventy-six years ago by heroes that could still whup you to this day.

So, I guess you got your attention today. The symbols have already been washed off the buildings by Schenectady firefighters. Even so, your actions - no matter how seemingly ill-conceived - are also being considered as a hate crime. Maybe law enforcement will catch up to you (and I fervently hope they do) and you'll get yourself a nice, fun felony charge for your efforts. So sleep afraid, because there are a lot of surveillance cameras downtown.

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