ADL Arizona reports year-end rise in hate symbols

Carlos Galindo-Elvira

In the first 10 days of December, a series of six swastika incidents across Arizona were reported to ADL Arizona. The latest incident involved an elderly woman in Scottsdale who found a swastika drawing at her doorstep the morning after displaying her menorah during Hanukkah. This was the second incident for this woman, says Carlos Galindo-Elvira, regional director for ADL in Arizona; two years ago, her mezuzah was destroyed at her home.

He described two other incidents: A mural in Yuma was vandalized with swastikas and racial slurs. The Yuma Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime. An etched swastika in a bathroom stall was found in a western part of Maricopa County at a movie theatre. Accompanying the swastika were the letters “WP” for white power.

A swastika also was found at a Phoenix high school. None of the incidents took place in the Tucson metro area.

“Use of a swastika degrades Holocaust victims and survivors who were murdered and persecuted by Nazis. There’s no place for hate in our schools, neighborhoods or anywhere in Arizona,” says Galindo-Elvira.

ADL Arizona responded to all six incidents, contacted law enforcement, and spoke out against use of this hate symbol.