Downtown Madison, Wisconsin
While I was born in Florida, I spent my formative years in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin, so the city I consider my "hometown" is Madison. This past Friday night/Saturday morning, my beloved hometown made national, even international news. It wasn't good news. It was news of the bad persuasion. The kind of news we have been hearing out of Europe a lot more as of late, but this isn't Europe. This is the Midwestern part of the United States. Thirty homes were hit with Anti-Semitic graffiti on the west side of town. Homes, cars, garage doors, and mailboxes were sprayed with slurs and swastikas. One of the houses that was vandalized is the home of the President of the Jewish Federation of Madison.
This is something I cannot recall ever happening in town before. My hometown is an open-minded, forward thinking city of close to 300,000 people. It is home to one of the best public universities in the United States, the University of Wisconsin, which has a diverse, cultural melting pot as it's student body and its faculty. Madison is a 'live and let live' kind of town. Its not a town that I have ever felt was ripe with anti-Jewish sentiment.
Now, not all of the graffiti was slurs and symbols directed toward Jews, there were houses that were sprayed with sexist phrases aimed at women, as well as other minorities, but the anti-semitic themed graffiti is extremely concerning to me, especially when it is known that one house was probably intentionally targeted (that of the Jewish Federation President).
I hope those responsible are brought to justice and life continues on as normal in Madison, just like I hope that all hatred aimed at Jews subsides wherever it shows its ugly head.