As you must know by now, yesterday the State Department announced
that a crude swastika was found scratched into the wall of an elevator at Main State.
State Department Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter said in a briefing with reporters that the graffiti, which is synonymous with the antisemitism of Hitler’s Germany and the genocide carried out against six million Jews during the country's Nazi regime, was discovered late Monday evening.
“Unfortunately, late yesterday a swastika was found carved in an elevator in our building here, at the State Department,” Porter said.
“This graffiti has been removed and the incident will be investigated," she added.
The first report by Axios
included a few more details plus a photo, and some speculation - for whose accuracy I cannot vouch - that the particular elevator was chosen because it is "near the office of its special envoy to monitor and combat anti-semitism."
Vandalism with anti-Semitic elements is not so rare
, although it is unusual to find it inside a DC federal building, especially a prominent one.
It may be quite some time before we know who did it, or even have a plausible suspect, so it would be prudent to check our tendency to jump to conclusions about the offender's motive. Hate crime statistics
from the Justice Department are broken down by the race and ethnicity of known offenders, and perusing them suggests to me that the odds are not overwhelming that the offender was wearing a MAGA hat.
Yesterday's incident is reminiscent of another one from last March
when a Capitol Hill Police Officer was suspended after he was observed reading The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, of all things, while at work at an entry control point on the South Capitol Street entrance to the Longworth Building.
(FYI, the U.S. Holocaust Museum has a good background paper
on that "most notorious and widely distributed anti-Semitic publication of modern times.")
That incident happened back in mid-March. At the time, the acting Chief of the Capitol Hill Police announced that she had immediately ordered the officer to be suspended until the Office of Professional Responsibility can thoroughly investigate. So, it's now late July, and you may be wondering what was done about the officer. I don't know, because the incident dropped completely out of the news. The Office of Professional Responsibility may be investigating still. Or, possibly the officer's motive may have been of a nature that does not lend itself to easy political exploitation, and the whole thing has been dropped down the memory hole.
Antisemitism is not peculiar to any particular race, politics, or national/ethnic/religious slant. Fanatics of the left, the right, and the just plain crazy might scratch a swastika into a State Department elevator for who-knows-what reason. See Black or White, It’s the Same Old Anti-Semitic Pathology
for a number of examples.
Personally, I will wait and see. And I consider it even money that we will never find out exactly who did it, just as happened with the Capitol Hill offender.