Nov. 30, 2018 By Christian Murray
Last Friday, Mindy Merdinger Blackstock and her daughter were exiting the R train at the 67th Avenue station when right in front of them were posters with swastikas and Hitler mustaches scrawled all over them.
Several posters on the subway platform had been defaced, with one hatemonger writing “Hitler for President 2020” on one of them.
“This horrified me,” Blackstock said, particularly given the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, when 11 people were killed.
Blackstock, who is Jewish, was coming back from Manhattan with her 18-year-old daughter. “I was getting my daughter a valid passport just in case we have to flee the country,” she said, prompted by last month’s shooting.
“I think this hatred and intolerance has become more prevalent,” Blackstock said.
One poster had scribbled on it “ash clouds,” a clear reference to the gas chambers, she said. “I once saw a swastika a year ago at the station but nothing like this.”
Blackstock said she took several photos and reached out to the police and the Anti-Defamation League. One picture was of a poster that was advertising the game Fallout. Here, the perpetrator drew a Hitler mustache on the character Vault Boy, with a swastika armband.
The transit police were brought in to investigate as well as the Hate Crimes Task Force, according to police. The graffiti was quickly cleaned up by the MTA and no arrests have been made.
An office with the 112th Precinct said that he was unaware of graffiti like this elsewhere in the precinct. However, he said it wasn’t taken lightly.
“We take all of these incidents very seriously,” Capt. Jonathan Cermeli, commanding officer of the 112th Precinct, told the Queens Chronicle last week. However, “I wouldn’t say there’s any reason to heighten the alert of any synagogues or for the Jewish population…based on those swastikas.”