Several public areas around the American Federation of Teachers’ headquarters in the nation’s capital were defaced this week — including an outside wall of the building — with a yellow spray-painted message that said “I want Jexit!”
The teachers union said it reported the incidents to D.C. police and the Anti-Defamation League, an international nonprofit that fights anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred.
A D.C. police spokesman said he could not comment on the report regarding the defacing of the teachers union headquarters, on New Jersey Avenue NW.
The graffiti, the American Federation of Teachers said, is anti-Semitic and is used on hate websites to slur Jews. Randi Weingarten, president of the union, issued a statement saying:
“We will stare all bigotry in the face, whether it is anti-Jew, anti-Islam, anti-black, anti-brown, anti-native, anti-LGBTQ or any other hate directed at people because of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Defacing our community with hateful rhetoric is meant to intimidate, otherize and sow fear, and to divide our community and make people feel unsafe and unwelcome where they live and work. But this type of hate crime does just the opposite: It mobilizes us to come together and unite around the common causes of tolerance and peace, and to continue fighting for a more inclusive, more just world.”
The teachers union said the Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-leaning nonprofit that specializes in civil rights and public interest law and monitors hate groups and hate speech in this country, was adding images of the graffiti to its monitoring database.