New Yorkers got a bitter surprise when they boarded the No. 1 Subway train in Manhattan recently and found it covered in anti-Semitic graffiti. But they simply refused to take the effrontery sitting down.
Jared Nied was one of the passengers on the train that night. Nied told the New York Times that he could not hide how upset he was by the graffiti, which included swastikas and messages such as "Jews belong in the oven," and "Heil Hitler." Nied had a light-bulb moment. He knew that rubbing alcohol could be used to erase marker, and thought that hand sanitizer might have the same effect.
I just asked, ‘Does anyone have hand sanitizer?’” he told the Times.
Nied and a number of other commuters immediately began using their hand sanitizer to wipe away the offending messages. The moment was captured by another rider, Gregory Locke, who posted the pic and the story to Facebook.
"I've never seen so many people simultaneously reach into their bags and pockets looking for tissues and Purel," Locke wrote in his Facebook post. "Within about two minutes, all the Nazi symbolism was gone."
Just like that.
This isn't the first time that Nazi symbolism has been scrawled on a New York subway. Nor is it the first time that New Yorkers have taken action to right a wrong. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently posted an image on Twitter of an American flag that was defaced with a swastika only to be re-imagined as a symbol of love.
And that's how you turn hate into love.