There are still a number of unanswered questions about life in America under Trump: Will our lakes and rivers become oil spills? Will working at a pizzeria become one of America's most dangerous professions? And will coming across swastikas in public places become a part of everyday existence, like a Man In The High Tower marketing campaign come aggressively to life? At least in the case of the last question, it seems like that's going to be true for the foreseeable future, with swastika sightings in Hell's Kitchen and on a trail along the Newtown Creek joining the many other hate crimes occurring in the city since the election.
In Hell's Kitchen, swastikas and the message "Praise Trump" have appeared on phone booths along Ninth Avenue this weekend according to NBC. Local residents and business owners there have covered them up with newspapers, and one was scratched out and replaced with the words "Keep HK hate free."
In Brooklyn, photographer Elizabeth Leitzell told Gothamist in an email that she came across a swastika, "Heil Hitler" and "Praise KEK" written on a table "at the very far end" of the Newtown Creek nature walk on Tuesday at about 1 p.m. Leitzell called the graffiti "very disturbing."
— elizabeth leitzell (@thesunismelting) December 6, 2016
KEK, a Korean equivalent of LOL, is frequently found on 4chan and Reddit, and is associated with Trump true believers on those boards in the form of a "religion" called the Cult of Kek. The placement of KEK could be a clue that whoever drew the swastika was just trying to be a troll, but it would still mean they're taking joy in drawing swastikas in public places to cause people pain. The internet, as ever, is extraordinarily dumb.
Leitzell told us that she's not a frequent visitor to the nature walk, so she wasn't sure how recently the swastikas appeared. After Tweeting the picture she took of the graffiti, Leitzell wrote that she "was grateful to hear from 311 that if I call in they would report this as a 'past hate crime' and that Newtown Creek Alliance picked it up and notified DEP. "
The swastikas fit into the rising incidents of hate crimes in New York City, which at roughly 360 reported incidents so far this year have already surpassed the number of hate crimes 2013, 2014 and 2015. If there's any good news to be found, it's that there are only 24 more days, including today, to surpass the 403 total hate crimes that happened in New York City in 2012, the last presidential election year.
And in other hate crime news, the New Jersey home of Giants fullback Nikitia Whitlock was broken into this week, and the thieves wrote "KKK" and "Go back to Africa" in the basement. There was also a swastika left behind, because everything is bad.