Dear Editor: Cowardly neo-Nazis defaced a monument and plaque commemorating the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in James Madison Park. Under the cover of darkness, they sprayed their allegiance to white supremacy, and their hatred of anti-fascist protesters, bigotry and racism resisters, and “liberal elitist” cities.

It is no coincidence that the monument sits next to the Gates of Heaven Synagogue, built by Jewish families in the 19th century. Or that the damage occurred on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year.

Recent data from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism show a significant increase in hate crimes around Election Day 2016. White supremacists in Charlottesville held signs, wore hats and chanted slogans supportive of the president, who returned the favor by equating their violence to the self-defense acts of those opposed to it.

Seeking Tolerance and Justice Over Hate (STAJOH) is a Madison-based anti-hate crimes group, partnering with the Madison Department of Civil Rights to educate about, and eradicate hate and anti-Semitism from our community. Join us in condemning this latest hateful act!

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Norman Davis, director, Madison Department of Civil Rights

Alix Olson, member, Seeking Tolerance and Justice Over Hate

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