Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States caused a surge in hate crimes across America.
In yet another example of the growing divide in the country, an employee at the Evanston Public Library in Illinois, Lorena Neal, came across hateful messages written in the Quran (a holy book for Muslims) along with several other Islamic books.
Apparently, the staff member was picking out books to display at an event about Islam being held in partnership with Northwestern University's Middle East and North African Studies Program.
“When the other librarians and I checked the section, we found several others that had also been defaced with swastikas and racial slurs. They were not like this a week ago, when one of the other librarians was showing a Muslim gentleman our collection on this subject,” Neal wrote in a Facebook post, narrating the incident.
“Evanstonians like to think we are safe in a bubble of tolerance, but none of us can afford to pretend that we are not affected by the hatred that surrounds us now. None of us can afford to sit this out, to hope it goes away, and leaves us untouched. Whatever your politics, if this kind of hatred and intolerance disgusts you, speak out today,” she added.
For now a police report has been filed and the incident has been reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The post garnered nearly 3000 shares in the last two days and many social media users have commented, expressing their distaste towards the incident.
“Very disturbing that this hate crime happened within the diverse and progressive community of Evanston. But it shows that this kind of racism and bigotry can happen anywhere, especially post-election. We must all be vigilant and resist this kind of hatred everywhere!” a man named Jonathan B. Rivera wrote.
“So sad: the way we learn about anyone who is different is , in part , to read about what they believe. To deface any book is disgraceful, to deface a sacred book is doubly so,” another commented.
It is appalling that people are willing to stoop to such low levels to bring down others. It is high time that we learn to co-exist in harmony, despite our ethical, cultural, racial and religious differences. However, ever since Trump’s election, this seems to be a long shot and a goal that America is far from achieving.