graffiti | Not in Our Town


Early last month, a group of four vandals set out on a hate-fueled excursion in their Mount Dora, Fla., neighborhood--spray cans in hand. Their target was the Traditional Congregation of Mount Dora, a newly erected synagogue that was scheduled to open in two weeks.    On the morning of July 9, 2011, Mount Dora residents woke up to a shocking scene. Anti-Semitic graffiti, as well as other hate message and profane slurs, were spray-painted on several structures of the synagogue.    While it took police officials weeks to arrest James Maple, 22, two juveniles, and twenty-year-old Cory Gallman--the latter lived right down the street from the synagogue-- it took community members a mere two hours to react to the hate. A community unites to clean up graffiti sprayed on the 
Nashville, TN:  "How terrible that someone would write ‘Muslims Go Home’ when they are home!” exclaimed a neighbor who helped organize a team of volunteers to support Nashville's Muslim community after a mosque was defaced.  The community's swift response reaffirmed its commitment to inclusiveness. FEAR INSPIRES HATE
Lessons from Billings, Montana